Upcoming offer with MS office

Amazon / Eng@msoffice
Jan 31, 2018 24 Comments

I have received an offer from Microsoft office (MS Excel), any thoughts? How is the culture, how is work?

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TOP 24 Comments
  • Pinterest
    Brucie

    Pinterest

    PRE
    Google, Facebook
    Bruciemore
    It's a great place to learn how software was built in the 90s.
    Jan 31, 20180
  • Microsoft cout<<
    A lot is changing to attempt to modernize Office, but it’s a process. Different spots are further in the past.
    Work life balance is good. People are nice.
    Things may seem slow. Partly because of the added complexity across so many platforms and versions. Partly because of the massive legacy to bring forward.
    At the same time, Excel has some interesting things.
    Jan 31, 20180
  • Amazon QRWj43
    I just left the team (having worked there for 4 years) a few months ago for amazon so I think I’m pretty qualified to answer this

    Pros:
    -work life balance is amazing, some days I went in at 10 and left at 2pm
    -benefits are substantially better (medical, 401k, etc)
    -free parking
    -cheap and decent food in the cafeterias
    -a good place to learn traditional swe best practices: unit testing, code review, naming conventions

    Cons
    - super old code base, a large portion of which no one understands, gotos, jumps, etc are all common place
    - tech stack is ancient: everything is c/c++ forget about getting to learn any new technologies, scalability, etc. there’s no git
    -builds take a long time, particularly if you have to do a sync beforehand expect 1.5 hours for 64 bit debug, substantially longer if you need other flavors
    -tests take a long time to run
    -waterfall with daily standup to make it seem like it’s “agile”
    -can take a very long time to get code checked in, especially if it’s an area where multiple principles have differing opinions on
    -very political, don’t expect a promo or decent bonus if you are not best buds with your boss. That alone is more important than any deliverables
    -really shitty documentation, the team uses wikis which no one updates because it’s a pain in the ass to, most things are tribal knowledge

    Ultimately it’s up to you, if you love working on legacy code and value work life balance above all else I’d say go for it. But the skills you develop outside the few pros I mentioned above aren’t really transferable- a lesson I learned when faced with system design questions when I decided it was time to leave. But hey at least the awesome work life balance means you have all the time in the world for leetcode :P

    Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions
    Jan 31, 20184
    • Amazon / Eng@msoffice
      OP
      Can I move within Microsoft office or other Microsoft orgs?
      Feb 1, 2018
    • Amazon QRWj43
      You can but you’ll need to reinterview (basically a full onsite loop), better to try to get into your desired team to begin with
      Feb 1, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng@m
      Is that excel or the whole of MS office?
      Does that mean getting next job will be fully independent of my experience at Microsoft?

      (I got an offer too)
      Feb 1, 2018
    • Amazon QRWj43
      Whole of Microsoft- they’ll also take into account your previous reviews, and you may be able to skip it if you have worked with the team you’re looking to move into (particularly people with leverage) but otherwise expect to need to reinterview
      Feb 1, 2018
  • Yahoo anonhoo
    How easy is it to switch to another team if I hate it
    Jan 31, 20183
    • Microsoft / Engbingmyride
      Relatively easy within Microsoft but you'll have to interview again for each team separately
      Jan 31, 2018
    • Microsoft cout<<
      Its even easier within Office. I think it’s the only org with a talent mobility program.
      Jan 31, 2018
    • Yahoo anonhoo
      Very cool
      Jan 31, 2018
  • Microsoft Jim Raynor
    It can take 2 weeks to get an official build and deploy to test environment
    Jan 31, 20183
    • Microsoft qXMY70
      Your info is a few years out of date.
      Jan 31, 2018
    • Microsoft Jim Raynor
      Lol. Want to share your new Truth?
      Jan 31, 2018
    • Microsoft fitrajaa
      Cmon guys dont fight, everyone is watching. Go to the Microsoft forum and tear each other to shreds like everyone else does.
      Jan 31, 2018
  • Microsoft stateless
    I was in Office for a while. For Excel you will be working with ancient C code with Hungarian names, and also a lot of C++. Check-in is slow and quite painful if you’re trying to move fast, because they do build for multiple platforms (Windows, Android, macOS and iOS) and if your change breaks the build it gets backed out.

    Culture wise it’s okay, but of course depends on the team.

    Career advancement depends on how you play politics. Doesn’t really matter if you’re a superstar or not. If you pisses off the wrong person, then you’re fucked.
    Feb 1, 20180
  • Yahoo anonhoo
    Also op, what team in excel are you in?
    Jan 31, 20180
  • Amazon / Eng@msoffice
    OP
    Will get to learn good software development? How is work life balance?
    Jan 31, 20180
  • SEVENROOMS / Eng
    DEADB33F

    SEVENROOMSEng

    PRE
    Amazon
    DEADB33Fmore
    I heard MS office is the oldest, slowest, most conservative organization in all of Microsoft. Until recently, they followed classic waterfall development.
    Jan 31, 20183
    • Microsoft qXMY70
      5-10 years ago. Somewhat true. Haven’t been waterfall for over 5 years. Not conservative in the slightest. Ales is a great leader.
      Jan 31, 2018
    • Microsoft cout<<
      Ales is solid and funny.
      Jan 31, 2018
    • SEVENROOMS / Eng
      DEADB33F

      SEVENROOMSEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DEADB33Fmore
      I heard this circa 2012, so it lines up squarely with your timeframe.
      Jan 31, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng@msoffice
    OP
    Can you pm me?
    Jan 31, 20180
  • Amazon / EngBabyEllie
    What was your interview difficulty like?
    Jan 31, 20180

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