Evolving to the future with lots of cool opportunities, engineering culture still a work in progress
Pros: smart people, great benefits package, free drinks, career/subject matter versatility
Cons: unpredictable rewards system, cronyism, inconsistent quality of senior leadership
If you want to impact people using technology in their lives and work, literally everywhere in the world, Microsoft is the best place to be. If you are entrepreneurial, this is a spirit that jives with the future direction of the company but current engineering culture is still figuring out how to embrace this spirit given the need to maintain and bring forward legacy products and processes. Microsoft is a work in progress, yet again.
A day in the life depends on what your role is, and many of us wear many hats. Expect to exchange opinions and take feedback, sometimes harshly delivered, on a regular basis. When you work on something important, which is most everything, there are always others who care deeply about getting it right and getting it out on time.
If you are lucky enough to interact with customers on a regular basis, expect to spend time trying to get their voices heard. This is more and more a value in the company and everyone will spend time on forums like UserVoice, Reddit, and other forums for direct customer and partner contact.
Some degree of politics and many layers of management in this huge company still make it hard to move and respond quickly even though there is a strong push towards One Microsoft. Top leadership at the company has the right ideas, some of the engineering leaders are better at technology, others better at product vision, some care a lot about people, some don't do as well in any of the above categories.
The benefits are amazing and the opportunities for learning endless. You can work on almost any kind of product and technology in – more... the software, services or devices world. The products coming soon are indicative of the evolving culture and business, but there is more work to do to make this an awesome place again, in tune with the rest of the industry.
If you want to work with some of the smartest people on the planet, build a great career and work on some of the coolest products of the future, MS is a good bet. You need to be wiling to put up with some big company irritations to get the big company rewards though. It is a great place for many, but not for everyone. – less