I work in Expedia Chicago. I have an offer from MS (TC $240, base $155, L63 SWE). YoE 10. I am scheduled to join in a month. After seeing the posts in Blind I am rethinking my decision. I have few recruiters contact me from Salesforce and other local tech companies. Should I look around or take the job at MS?
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- Facebook / Eng Easy Goingmore@NullRefEx, since when does MSFT encourage moving around? You've got to do a full interview loop to move or has that changed?
Plus if you fail to get an offer then a lot of times your current manager will write you off as no longer committed to the team. You're also required to let your current manager know before you interview so there's no way to keep it secret either.
- Microsoft zcqs20Nobody knows even a negative interview result. In fact, after new team sends you a formal offer and you accept, they explicitly ask you if it's ok to notify your present boss.
That said, HR is still there and still makes dumb policies. I.e. if you were officially checked with "insufficient results" by your manager, you cannot move.
- Ms can be toxic depending on your managers. Managers are given an outsized amount of power over your happiness. Personally I cannot recommend the place after moving here myself. We have lost our sense of collegiality. It’s not entirely unlikely that you will get caught up in one of the monthly RIFs after moving and committing to the place. There are a lot of evil managers around who do not have your interests top of mind, they have their own and their boss’ interests as the top priority. Think carefully before taking the risk, because it’s an odd duck for sure.
- Total BS. So much in this post just flat out trolling. I have several friends that have gone to Amazon specifically and they've all mentioned the lack of comaradery compared to Ms as something they miss. You will find the occasional bad manager in msft (or any other company) but the vast majority I've seen are good. As far as being riffed, if you are an engineer and not in a weird group, the likelihood of that is very low. Way lower than getting pip or managed out of another big tech company.Aug 22, 2018 6
- Not true, son, not true. As a manager I see it all the time. The smoke and mirrors prevent you from seeing the true evil that is happening behind the scenes. When a company only has high share products that are declining and low share products and features that are playing catch-up, you simply perfume the crap out of the garbage you have until you convince yourself and others that it’s not garbage.Aug 22, 2018 2
- Before you make more of an azz out of yourself you should know that I was a manager for 10+ years and have reported to some very high level people so probably know more of whats going on behind the scenes then you do. MS has 21 $B businesses, some of which are leading and others which aren't but that is more than any other tech company. They also spend more than nearly.any other company on pure research. They are positioned pretty well... for anything.Aug 22, 2018 7
- Each of those 21 businesses are either trying to play catch up to the actual leaders in the space or declining in relevance and product innovation. We’ve lost the key technology segments of the next decade, despite our tenacious efforts to play catch up in each. Additionally, with your excellent experiences and education I would think you’d know the difference between the words then and than. Perhaps there are other gaps that you also don’t realize?
- Your offer looks great to me. Even if you pass Google interview, they may give you SDE2 which will have similar compensation. Your compensation will be on par or more than existing level 64 engineers. Your offer looks very strong to me.
You may want to be prepared for culture shock here. I know people in Chicago are much more laid back, nice, social and chatty. Here, people will work with more intensity, are harder to make friends with, and don’t talk much. You will find people here are in general smarter and work better whether it be government office or contractor for your house.
Demographics is very interesting. At Microsoft, most of software engineers will be Indians with some Chinese and Eastern Europeans. Unless you are in Windows, there will be hardly any Americans. In fact, I have seen more Canadian engineers or Russians. There are a ton of Asian food here. American food in general will be inferior quality than Chicago. You will hardly fond any African Americans here. There are more Africans than African Americans :) Unlike Chicago, there are not many people whose parents lived here. I barely met people whose grandparents lived in WA. Most of local people’s parents or grandparents were immigrants. Lots of people’s parents came from Norway, Russia and Japan. This dynamics creates very interesting culture. My dental assistant told me her daughter who lives in Chicago was shocked to see so many Asian people here.
Due to sheer amount of immigrants, there are so many jobs for non engineers here. That is because usually immigrants background is primarily on engineering and their spouse tend to not have jobs if they didn’t study in engineering. Due to this, there is shortage everywhere. Speaking English and not worrying about visa can get her a job.
Also note that schools here are very strong. Eastside which is across from Seattle has five cities adjacent each other. Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah all have great schools. Very hard to find bad schools in this area. There are two high schools ranked top 50 nationally as well. Most of neighbors will work at either Microsoft, Amazon or Boeing. Pro is you can talk about nerd geeky topics all day long. Con is people will only talk about tech. Sports is secondary topic and people in general are not enthusiastic about sports or music.
You will find parents here focus on math and science a lot. Issaquah school district is behind Lake Washington and Bellevue however its smart balance test score averages 80% while national average is 50%. I was amazed how smart and well educated preschool kids were here. If you kid is smart or focussed on academics, he will thrive. People send kids to lots of private lessons. To get into gifted program, it is usually 93% in other regions. Here your kid needs to score 98% in like all of six tests.
Chicago has much better museums and historical structures. Here, there are mountains all over the place. Driving can be dangerous due to this and rainy weather. Traveling is fun. If you drive 3 hours east, completely different nature as it approaches Rocky mountains area. 3 hours to Vancouver or 4.5 hours to the best ski resort in Whistler. Portland is not bad either.
Overall my friends who moved from Chicago had cultural shock and miss some of Chicago but they never want to go back because it feels Chicago is heading towards Detroit way eventually while Seattle feels like growing forever. Seattle has pretty much all of engineering office from all big companies or hot start ups. If you are in cloud or virtual reality, this is much bigger than bay area. In fact all of cloud is here. Housing price is still half of bay area so you can maintain lifestyle you had in Chicago (little less due to housing price difference).
- Google frust-nooDont be blinded by blind. Microsoft is doing some kickass work(Azure) etc. If work aligns with your interests no harm giving it a shot. Microsoft is still solid top tier company along side FANG and some unicorns. L63 + is pretty respected and gets lot of autonomy in work.
- Microsoft CifwThe things that recruiting didn’t tell me when I moved here were the softer things. Microsoft products are a bit embarrassing so don’t give you a lot of pride. Think about the list. Bing, HoloLens, Cortana, MSN, Dynamics, Windows Phone, Yammer, Skype. Not what you want shining on your resume. Yes we have large legacy products like Office and Windows, but both are on a declining path in terms of popularity and product leadership.
Our research investment is large but results in very little.
In terms of relevance with consumers such as retail stores, we’ve lost the game for at least the next decade. Even our heavily hyped O365 and Azure products for business are simply trying to hang on / play catch up with the hope of being protected by our enormously heavy PR and legal machines. Our best play is to buy companies like LinkedIn and do as little as possible to harm them. Kind of sad when your reputation is toxic.
For me, it is more satisfying to work on products that are truly leaders, are growing in relevance, and you can have more pride in.
Other subtle elements of the culture are also disappointing. The company wastes tons of money on events, treehouses, pet projects, and hiring people on one hand, and then RIFs people and their families almost every month on the other hand. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time the company proves that you and your commitment / service mean nothing to it. The RIFs happen quickly, and Microsoft works hard on the associated PR to stay out of the news if possible. The company is quick to show off how much it is helping people who are disabled or different but is even quicker to RIF its employees and take away their health insurance. Blind is where you get the real scoop.
Also, the internal reorganizations are endless. Someone once told me that every single person moves desks on average once a year. It’s quite common to have 3 managers in 3 years, and 2 skip managers during the same time, as the place is so big. Most people care more about themselves than their teams or products or the company. This unfortunate reality is reflected in the products.
You spend a lot of time dealing with red tape because the company is so huge, and you’re a disposable number at the end of the day. This can be extremely frustrating for those who are used to working at a 20k person company and not at a 120k person company.
Transportation is quite bad. To afford a house here, which often is a million+ dollars, some people are commuting 90+ minutes one way which is stressful.
Decent housing stock is difficult to find.
It is gray and wet weather a lot from October to June and then dry and hot and sometimes hazy in the summer. Many houses and apartments don’t have air conditioning, so it can be unpleasant during the summer.
The people in general aren’t as friendly as in the Midwest.
Seattle is also getting dirty with a lot of visible trash, graffiti, and homeless people as Microsoft, Amazon, and the newer tech companies and their employees have focused mostly on enriching themselves and not the community and helping those around us in need. Notice how exited people are on Blind that there isn’t an income tax in Washington State, as if that is somehow helping them and not indirectly harming them or offset by other costs. It highlights the priority of enriching yourself and focusing on items that support that objective at any price.
Additionally, I have a terrible management chain that I work for, which is not uncommon at Microsoft.
My advice is not to commit too much to Microsoft and make sure you know what the options are for your next play after Microsoft on day 1. If you stay too long you’ll be stereotyped as a Microsoft employee which are a dime a dozen locally so you’d likely need to relocate or come up with a good story why you’re different and why a company like Amazon would benefit from you.
As you can imagine I’m looking for an exit now, so maybe you can move into my spot if I can find something better! During my time at Microsoft I have evolved from an optimistic go-getter to a beaten down negative Nancy. Would try to avoid the path if possible.
- Azure is the future. It is CEO’s baby and gets the push and support. They work the hardest but comp is the same as engineers in Windows who don’t do on call and work 30 hrs a week. Management is mostly Indians. While they are not bad, you have to deal with different management style. Basically speedy delivery over quality and new shiny features which no one will use over core functions with many dependencies.
- Cabrene green (sp?) was my favorite. Windows and storefronts all shot out. You barrel azz through there, not stopping for lights or signs or anything else to avoid becoming another violent crime victim. Police dont care because they're too afraid to go in there. Crazy gang drive-bys and whatnot on south side too. Nothing even close here in Seattle or suburbs.
- There are good teams at MSFT. Blind misrepresents that. Did you interview with the team that you joined? The interview was a two-way street. But yes, it’s very expensive to live here, and that’s one of the reasons I miss the Midwest.
- New OVzO14Plus your stock they give you at offer has faster vest cycle...you cannot go wrong with MSFT on resume....and once you accept get a relocation package they do provide them...but don't always offer them up. And in today's Microsoft salaries are kept behind the "doors" even Managers don't see the pay scales anymore (lawsuits) . And remember this time of year MS just did reviews and gave it salary adjustments and bonus so you won't get anything for a year so I might press them for a kick up in salary...they will give you more salary and stock than a sign on. Good Luck!
- Why have reservations now? Did you not do your due diligence before interviewing. Every company has its warts and nothing is guaranteed to be better than familiar and where you were.
- This why I said nothing is guaranteed to be better than familiar and where you are. If you're not ready to move then why does money matter? If you weren't looking why does the money matter. This is the essence of work life balance, you need to control it and determine what you want.
- Microsoft would be a good step forward but FYI, I was making more than that 3 yrs ago with slightly less experience and at the same level after working my way up. See if you can negotiate more. Don't listen to the trolls, Seattle is a wonderful city.
- Seattle is a garbage city filled with bums, fecal matter, and discarded needles... also, 8 months of cloud and misty rain.
The people are even worse - don’t lie, you know it’s true. The only way you can be happy here is if you move here already with a family, then *maybe*
- I love seattle. Homelessness has become a serious problem the last several years but there is way less crime than most cities its size with all of the amenities of a large city. It's also close to some of the best hiking and climbing anywhere. I live in a quiet area with great views of the lake less than 2 miles from dt. Best of both worlds.Aug 26, 2018 1
- Expedia Chicago ——> MS Seattle. Thats a big big downgrade in my opinion. But if you think you got the right talent and skills, i think you could do much better company and money wise both !
- Seattle is the best part of microsoft? I can go snowboarding after work and climb mountains on the weekends. And no freakin state income tax!
- Congrats on climbing during the summer! The summer here is PHENOMENAL, the other 8 months are constant dreary fog and mist.
Chicago gets more rain, but it doesn’t rain non stop for 8 months. It pours for several hours and then clears up.
Chicago has 63 more days a year with sun than Seattle THATS NEARLY A FIFTH OF THE YEAR MORE. I can deal with the cold for that much more sun.
I also notice that you didn’t comment about the bums either... the excrement and heroin needle thing is fact. I’ve experienced both in Belltown and Cap Hill.
- I dont mind the weather in seattle at all. For 5 months give or take its glorious. The rest of the time its gray and sometimes rains. Usually the air is super clear (not so much due to the wildfires), and there are generally no bugs.
I lived in Chicago (suburbs) many years and wi another 15. You can take that weather and shove it. Its hotter than balls all summer with giant mosquitos so you can't go outside and colder than a witch's tit in winter. And the snow is horrible with all that shoveling. I hated midwest winters and wont ever be living there again though much of my family still does. Fricken terrible. There is absolutely no comparison.
Seattle has problems but it's not a dangerous city in general. Chicago is a dangerous city. Some places on the south side and some of the housing projects, if you go in at the wrong time, you wont come out. My sister lived downtown for 2 years. She was robbed 5 times, one at gunpoint. Chicago has some neat, old architecture and some cool museums. I'll take the temperate weather and not having to carry an assault rifle, thank you very much.Aug 27, 2018 2
- Seattle is a horrifically expensive city. It’s not far behind NY or SF. I’m from Chicago originally, so I know the difference in costs. Also, the weather here, while warmer, is fucking shit. Clouds / misty rain 8 months a year. The people are even worse (google Seattle Freeze). People are passive aggressive assholes. I cannot overstate this - Seattle fucking sucks.
True story, without saying or doing anything I’ve been accosted for being a tech worker by a hipster in a restaurant once, and on the street by Antifa looking thugs multiple times. Oh, and let me tell you about how traffic snarls during our never ending series of marches and protests...
I’m looking to go another company in the Midwest in a couple years (as soon as my stock vests) and GTFO of here forever.
That said, I actually like Microsoft. I like my job and coworkers. I work on cool stuff, it’s great. That said, I’ll never look back when I’m gone.