Contract at MS or full time elsewhere

T-Mobile Aqa453737z
May 10, 2018 31 Comments

I'm a current FTE SDE at T-mobile with almost 10 years of full-time coding experience at various places. I've been offered a contract SDE position at Microsoft with lower compensation (slightly lower base, no bonus, no equity) but what sounds like more interesting work on Bing maps.

I've been told the contract should be 12 to 18 months. Can anyone provide me with context on making this decision?

I'm interested in things like the reputation of the team, if it could be possible to transition to full time, and if the contract could be cut short.

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TOP 31 Comments
  • Microsoft JapNslap
    I am a contractor pm at T-Mobile right now. I’m in NP5 in Factoria. I was a Microsoft FTE for 12 years and also contracted there. First of all, make sure your coding skills are up to par with Microsoft. I happen to think T-Mobile is far behind it is ridiculous. Too much red tape to get things done. Agile and DevOps are a foreign language there etc. The thing about being a V- at Microsoft AKA dash trash is regardless of how good you are you are still considered dash trash. Microsoft is better for you long term but do so as an FTE. By the way, what kind of jacked up color is Magenta? Get out before he merger as that is going to be a major back stabbing headache.
    May 10, 2018 7
    • T-Mobile Bseyhjh
      It is refreshing to hear someone else say T-Mobile is ridiculously far behind.
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      A contractor is called a “v dash” internally, because all vendors (aka contractors) have an email alias that begins with “v-“ to identify them as vendors. JapNslap was slamming vendors by calling them “dash trash”.
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      The only way to land an FTE job is to apply for an FTE job.
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      Not all vendors at Microsoft are looked down upon. It really depends on the team and the org. But in general, vendors are given the crappy work that they would never give the FTEs. It’s probably not a good idea to go into contracting in the middle of your career, when you’re still passionate and wanting to accelerate your career.
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng AmI3vil
      That’s pretty much how I think of vendor work: it’s either work that would demotivate an FTE, like running endless test passes, or it’s work that’s not core or not our business, such as roofing.
      May 11, 2018
  • Microsoft lzmz70
    I will not recommend contracting, try for FTE or join a company that offers FTE.
    May 10, 2018 3
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      Contracting isn’t bad if you’re sunsetting your career. You don’t have to deal with politics—you just do your job and go home. And contracting lets you work on different teams, at different companies, and on different projects—lots of variety. I’ve done both. There are pros and cons associated with each.
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft lzmz70
      I also worked as contractor for 5 years and will do in future if i dont have any choice. For the 5 years i worked as contractor i atleast got 150k less pay overall since i dont have any benefits
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft kKLn55z
      I’m one of the few who do this at the start of a career since I had an employee friend make an intro for me and some of the older contractors take me under their wing. Learned so much from contracting. I’d love to go back to it or do a startup, but need the benefits and stability for a couple of years.
      May 10, 2018
  • Microsoft Sleestak
    Are you aware that you have to take a forced 6-month break after 18 months of contracting at Microsoft? That’s why a lot of contracts max out at 18 months. After 18 months, you’ll have to find a contract outside of Microsoft (if you need to work) or take a break from work before you can go back to Microsoft. It’s a pain in the ass. Been there, done that.
    May 10, 2018 3
    • T-Mobile Aqa453737z
      OP
      Do I have a shot at going FTE instead of running the contract out and getting the boot?
      May 10, 2018
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      If the team happens to have any FTE openings and you’re good at what you do, sure. I wouldn’t count on it, though. Are there any positions posted on Microsoft’s Career site that interest you? Why not apply for some FTE openings?
      May 10, 2018
    • T-Mobile Aqa453737z
      OP
      I was planning to, but not yet. This fell in my lap more or less out not the blue.
      May 10, 2018
  • Microsoft / Product pizzaqueen
    Agree what other poster said about great for sunsetting and if it fits your lifestyle. Be careful though....i am in engineering and we only hire contractors for jobs that are mundane and boring. My best contractor does a great job, but we would never consider hiring him and we dont look at them as a pipeline for hiring. It might be different in services, other groups. If you want FTE, interview for it.
    May 10, 2018 0
  • Microsoft FlyingOwe
    Don’t take a pay cut to do contract. There is no growth in a contract assignment.
    May 10, 2018 0
  • Nordstrom kIrc67
    sounds like 20 to 30% drop in pay for more interesting work. I would keep interviewing.
    May 10, 2018 0
  • Microsoft / Eng MSFTis🗑
    Absolutely not. Contractors get all the shit work at msft. Don’t do it and definitely don’t take a pay cut. Contractors have to pay self-employment taxes and you will get super fucked. Absolutely do not throw away a full-time position for fuckin’ Bing.
    May 11, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      You don’t have to pay self-employment tax if you work on W-2 through an agency.
      May 11, 2018
  • T-Mobile
    Iiiiiiiil

    T-Mobile

    PRE
    Microsoft
    Iiiiiiiilmore
    If they think you're good enough to hire as a contractor, then maybe they would consider hiring you as FTE. Does anyone know how to wrestle a FTE interview or offer out of a contract offer?
    May 10, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      No, you can’t wrestle anything out of a contract offer. Positions are budgeted as either contract or FTE.
      May 10, 2018
  • Google still
    Are you a US citizen? Since contract jobs can be more easily terminated over FTE. Also they might not be extended beyond the specified time frame. So do you have backup in case?
    May 10, 2018 1
    • T-Mobile Aqa453737z
      OP
      I'm a citizen. But it sounds like MS has a hard limit of 18 I need to contend with.
      May 10, 2018
  • Nordstrom kIrc67
    Sr at Tmobile pay is the same band as L59 to L61. Why not go FTE at Microsoft? Benefits are better at Microsoft compared to Tmobile.
    May 10, 2018 1
    • T-Mobile Aqa453737z
      OP
      I'd love to, but the offer I have right now is for contract. That's why I'm hesitating.
      May 10, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng superpen
    Your current role looks better on resume. Keep it or find another ft role at a better company like amazon
    May 14, 2018 0
  • Microsoft O|||||||O
    Do you at least get basic benefits like healthy insurance?
    May 10, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Sleestak
      Microsoft does not offer benefits to contractors. But agencies offer benefits...for a price.
      May 10, 2018
  • Microsoft @russia.co
    probably getting laid off after Sprint/Tmobile merger
    May 10, 2018 0

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