Sunday, August 07, 2005

6% raise? I want to work for Dilbert's company!

Holy whatsa, Alice got a 6% raise? I'd seriously consider hanging out in the bushes near Google-Kirkland with my aluminum bat to totally Tonya-Hardin-up some delicate competitive fingers just to get a 6% raise.

If you're a lead, you can bring up the manager review tool and check-in on how your reports are doing within The Model. Maybe some bits and pieces will move around, but the review model is pretty much done now and set to go into effect the 1st of September, with the mid-September paycheck showing any benefits.

One thing I've noticed kvetching with other managers is that once again, pay raises are minimal. I'm talking 2%-ish for a 3.5 review. That's barely keeping up with cost-of-living / inflation for doing more than is expected up of you. And of course, 3.0s, for the most part, get nothing. That's right: you're losing buying power for making a 3.0 - doing what's expected of you.

I watch the teams I work with lavish attention and interesting work on our summer interns to convince them what a fantastic place Microsoft is (it is, pretty much, but not that fantastic). I regale interns about my early days, too. Thing is, once you're signed on it's like that old joke where we go, "Oh, that was just the demo." So-so pay with marginal pay-increases and two, that's right, two whole weeks of vacation for you automatic-3.0 newbies!

It's as if someone is actually on my side and is all about getting people to either quit or not come work here to begin with... I think they have the resplendently passive-aggressive long-view.

Some other random things:

  • Gretchen's Josh posted a very nice "Ten Crazy Ideas"-themed item: http://blogs.msdn.com/jledgard/archive/2005/07/26/TenCrazyIdeas.aspx
  • I've actually been spending more time bopping around various web forums defending Microsoft and ripping dumb-butt online journalists and posters new ones when they can't manage to put a moment in to get their story right. Sometimes, it's easy pickings, like the recent skirt-lifting "OMG! VIRUS!" being shouted out about Monad. One thing I notice out of this: I think there's a tangible favorable shift happening towards Microsoft and the technology we're putting out. If Microsoft is going to be saved, it's certainly going to happen from the bottom up.
  • Speaking of tangible favorable shifts: How 'bout dat stock price last week! Yep, sure enough: when you actually get around to shipping software, people think favorably of you. One thing that surprised me, listening to a couple of Wall Street analysts post-FAM, was how much they buy / echo what we're telling them. Huh!
  • FAM again: The biggest takeaway from the "Word from Wall Street" meeting was this recommendation (one that made Colleen Healy look fairly nervous) to get buyers interested in MSFT again: stop with the unpredictable dividends and commit to a predictable dividend schedule. That would get more investors onboard for investing in MSFT.
  • The weather's nice, I'm spending more time correcting egregious errors in cyberspace, and there's nothing fresh or interesting off the top of my head usually to post. Ergo there's not much currently happening here - so go on, enjoy the outdoors!

 

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the weather makes it a great time to be homeless.

Anonymous said...

How can you complain about not getting a bonus for a 3.0 review?

You get a paycheck for doing what is expected.

Anonymous said...

How can you complain about not getting a bonus for a 3.0 review?

D'oh: "Raise" not "Bonus" - you're doing your job, meeting our expectations. No raise for you! Now, excuse me while I do my Rakin' in du bucks dance! Sorry that everything is getting more expensive and you're working for less effective pay this year than last year.

Anonymous said...

A 2% raise actually loses ground to inflation, which is now 3% nationally (source: bls.gov inflation calculator) and probably higher in the Seattle area.

So if your raise doesn't beat 3%, it's effectively a pay CUT.

Microsoft made $12.5 billion in profit in FY 05.

Anonymous said...

The govt. numbers are more fudged than market share statistics. Energy costs (which have gone up just a tad, no?) aren't even included in the calculations for starters. Real Inflation is probably closer 4.5%.

The MS winner-take all system seems to be taking a toll. I recently had a chance to visit some departments where people didn't know that I've left. I would let them know by joking that I no longer had to endure the review process and the accompanying BS, and the unsolicited outpouring of private frustrations just overwhelmed me. If my current job doesn't work out, I'll become a therapist for MSFT employees specializing in post-review traumatic stress disorder.

If my tiny sampling is anywhere representative of the company, then an awful lot of energy that should be put into products and staying ahead of the competition is diverted internally into jockeying for position in the review system. It reminds me much of an inefficient engine, where energy is lost in the form of waste heat that can't be put to productive use.

Anonymous said...

Quit your whining folks... Its important you all take your small pay raises for the good of the whole company. How else can we afford the new COO
($570k per year, $7 million bonus!)

http://www.forbes.com/facesinthenews/2005/08/05/microsoft-turner-coo-cx_vc_0805autofacescan01.html

Anonymous said...

How can you complain about not getting a bonus for a 3.0 review?

Easy, just find a manager who says someone got a 3.0 because he ran out of 3.5s.

Anonymous said...

How else can we afford the new COO
($570k per year, $7 million bonus!)


Since he's from Wal-Mart, I expect a new company policy to be announced shortly that all employees will need to share rooms on hotel stays.

Anonymous said...

Companies all over are giving small raises. It is not just MS! Quit bitching I was laid off a couple of years ago after working for a bank. I spend about 4 years there and got 1 raise for 4 years. My position was equal to a director here at MS. So you need to realize that everyone is cutting back on salaries. I agree that the execs who are getting $500k+ and million dollar bonuses are out of control but I really like the idea of having a job vs being laid off again.

Anonymous said...

But I don't understand...

People are our most important asset!

Anonymous said...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002421586_microsoftcoo05.html

Become a worthless VP. They get 19% pay raises.

Anonymous said...

"Companies all over are giving small raises. It is not just MS! Quit bitching "

While it might be true that some companies are doing this, the cetainly aren't all giving out poor raises. The most productive thing to do here is interview with a couple other compaines and see what kind of offers you get. Its not like you need manager approval to interview outside the company.

I really think this is one of the ways MS is shooting themselves in the foot. Since even 4.0 doesn't really bring in much bonus/raise all the people who can do better are leaving. That leaves us with all the people who can't do any better. These total lies trying to convince us that it is worse elsewhere is just a bunch of bull.

Anonymous said...

Companies all over are giving small raises. It is not just MS!

After getting a 3% raise for a 3.5 and being told to be happy about it, I quit and went to work for another local software company (not google) and got a 6% raise this year for the equivalent of a 4.0. I'm also getting about an extra 20% on top of my salary in combined profit-sharing, product-shipping and performance bonuses.

I don't understand why all of MS isn't jumping ship at this point.

Anonymous said...

When I used to work at the soft (4-5 years ago), a 5% raise was considered an ok raise for an ok performance (3.5), 3.0 would usually get you at least a 3% raise.

Anonymous said...

Damn...I ought to be an exec...I could be rich getting Kevin Johnson's raise.

Heck..in addition to an 18% raise, I can get a 91% bonus. And his 700,000 stock award puts my 350 to shame.

I feel rich now. Thanks a lot MS.

Anonymous said...

I left. New job = 6% raise.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, and we hired a guy from this company?

"Answers sought in death outside Wal-Mart
Man accused of theft begged to be let up from hot pavement, witness says"

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3301862

Anonymous said...

Arrggh, see this one instead.

http://tinyurl.com/7hkpd

Anonymous said...

[Hmmm, and we hired a guy from this company?]

Because what - MSFT's reputation is squeaky clean? PULLLLease. Look on the bright side, maybe he'll restore the killer instinct that's so clearly been lacking for the past 3 (5,7?) years...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, so maybe you will think twice now before copying that disk...

Anonymous said...

Kevin Turner was mentioned in a blog comment about Microsoft compensation, so I can't resist venting about this new hire... I have to ask: what's so special about Kevin? After all, if he hypothetically decided to quit on his first day on the job, he'd be compensated with 16 million USD (7 mio in signup bonus, 9 in retirement money). Yup, that's 16 times more than I can hope to save in my entire lifetime of working. It makes me wonder in which way he'll contribute enough value to the company to make up for this (and it nicely puts my relative valuation in perspective). Realistically speaking, he'll hold meetings with his direct reports, during which he'll have them suggest courses of action and then will let everyone debate until he says either yes or no, he'll author a few documents full of meaningless buzzword infested drivel (or even better, have them authored), and he'll set next years sales target as a percentage of last years. Since we obviously have nobody qualified to do this at say, just a round million a year, I have to wonder about the people in our sales org. Ok, some might argue that he's paid for bearing all the responsibility his job brings with him. Then again, I wonder - what kind of responsibility is that? He might be forced into early retirement if he really screws up and be handed a few more million (by, say, MSFT forgiving a corporate credit)? I for one haven't found a way to sue our incompetent management for any of the lost revenue they are allegedly responsible for.

Anonymous said...

last summer I had a long closed door discussion with my lead about an economist who had a theory about older companies who wanted to bring in new blood. How do you do that and how long does it take?

3 years...

Year 1 you raise the review bar criteria, lower the bonus and salary adjustment budgets and then tell people you need to "tighten your belt" and "cost efficacy is the most important thing right now". The buckets are created with 1/3 being in the top, 1/3 being the middle (3.5) and the remainder being down below.

Year 2 you start to raise the bar even higher, chop off another .5% off the departments bonus and raise budget, and then start to tell your 3.0 performers that "multiple 3.0 reviews will soon become 2.5s" and "long in ladder level is not looked upon favorably - so therefor if you're at a 1.0 compa ratio or higher, your 3.5 will become a 3.0".

Year 3 (this year) is the year that you have 1/2 the bucket consisting of the multiple 3.0s and long in levels as well as this year's 3.0s. You're trying to get rid of approximately 20-25% of your longer term work force to bring in younger and less hampered (read: single) individuals who will work long hours and buy into a doctrine.

By this point everyone who has been getting low numbers in reviews will actually jump ship since their careers are virtually destroyed at MSFT.

The negative connotation for this is: there is a good likelihood that you'll lose some solid 3.5 and borderline 4.0 performers because of the way that managers are applying the system. This is where you get the "I dont have any more 3.5's to give out, and you got a 3.5/4.0 last year, so you need to take one for the team..."

While I agree that it's a good thing to have a steady job, and my 3.5s and consistent ascension up the level ladder will likely maintain that stability, I really resent finding out that a new hire at a level 1 lower than me and little coding knowledge is making more than I do - just because of the company's policy of needing to attract fresh young talent. I've been here 7 years and have 10 years coding experience in the industry and I'm making less than a wet behind the ears lazy and unmotivated individual who has 1% of my coding knowledge...

Where is the justice?? 2%?? To make it fair and equitable I had better get a serious salary adjustment and level increase to make up for this garbage!!

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the stock price action, as well as all the September call option action, is that there is speculation we will do another one-time dividend (half the size of last year's) and raise the regular dividend to 1.8% (S&P average).

This is supposed to be announced 08/15. Win, lose or draw, I would therefore expect the stock to take a hit next Monday.

Anonymous said...

New hires get 3 weeks off and not 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

On the 'force them out' comment, I believe it's safe to say that's been formalized.

A few months back, a long-time manager friend of mine showed me a piece of training they had received. He wasn't able to send me a soft copy of the doc; all I have is hard copy of the last page.

Long list of predictable bullet points followed by:

"This is generally effective at forcing someone to resign when outright firing is not possible or justifiable.

"Budgets can be reduced to an awkward point.

"Authority can be reduced.

"The individual can be subjected to social snubbing, or bypassed for any consideration of promotion or reward.

"Usually, people have enough pride that unfair treatment and continual lowering of will cause them to go elsewhere."

Anonymous said...

You're trying to get rid of approximately 20-25% of your longer term work force to bring in younger and less hampered (read: single) individuals who will work long hours and buy into a doctrine.

Great idea. I don't see any problem with that. We'll get rid of all the useless old farts clogging up the org chart and leaving early every night to be with their kids.

No Problem. We'll cut the ‘fat’ and keep the ‘lean meat’ of the company. It'll be the company’s gain.

Unless... there is too much specialized knowledge in their heads about the products they work on. Of course they will make sure to fully transfer that knowledge and product history to the new hires before they leave in disgust.

Unless... some of the 'fat' stays while the 'lean meat' leaves. Fortunately nobody ever gets a high review score based on sucking up or playing politics. And no superior performer ever gets a lower score for not playing politics or backstabbed.

Unless… we target too large of a group for disillusionment. But that can’t happen. We scientifically determined the distribution of employee performance, and then matched the review curve perfectly to the reality of every department.

Unless… some of our best decide that this corporate environment isn’t worth staying around for. Luckily, all of the people we want to retain can see this for what it is, and are 100% dedicated to sticking it out, smiling all the while. Their meager raises and bonuses and outlook for stock riches in the mean time will not cause them to see if things might be better at a competitor.

This wonderful plan, designed and implemented by our infallible senior executives, is going to allow this company to make products that are of higher quality, more bug-free, and delivered faster than we have ever done before. Our stock will soon reach an all-time high!

Anonymous said...

Are they trying to get people that will work long hours or are they trying to get people that will produce more? There's a big difference between the two.

Anonymous said...

Someone posted:
"A few months back, a long-time manager friend of mine showed me a piece of training they had received. He wasn't able to send me a soft copy of the doc; all I have is hard copy of the last page.

Long list of predictable bullet points followed by:

'This is generally effective at forcing someone to resign when outright firing is not possible or justifiable.

'Budgets can be reduced to an awkward point.

'Authority can be reduced.

'The individual can be subjected to social snubbing, or bypassed for any consideration of promotion or reward.

'Usually, people have enough pride that unfair treatment and continual lowering of will cause them to go elsewhere.'"


They were claiming that this training was given to managers at MS. I have been a manager here for 3 years and have never received such training.

I urge people not to believe unsubstantiated claims such as this which appear to be designed to demoralize our workforce and/or damage the perception of MS as a great place to work (which it is).

Too bad all the energy focused on trying to bring down the company & the workforce isn't being spent shipping great products and making our customers successful.

The people focused on those objectives are much more likely to receive the better review scores, bonuses and merit increases (i.e. pay raises).

Anonymous said...

"This wonderful plan, designed and implemented by our infallible senior executives, is going to allow this company to make products that are of higher quality, more bug-free, and delivered faster than we have ever done before. Our stock will soon reach an all-time high!"

Now THAT was one funny post! Kudos on the judicious use of sarcasm and 100% accurate insights imo.

Anonymous said...

I have been a manager here for 3 years and have never received such training.

Um, without a name, your claim is no more or less believable. Besides, give people a little credit - just because we might be unhappy with our current situation, doesn't mean we are lemmings ready to believe every negative post we read.

Anonymous said...

Are they trying to get people that will work long hours or are they trying to get people that will produce more? There's a big difference between the two.

Not to upper management there isn't. The typical view is that one developer is roughly replaceable with another developer (i.e. cog). Therefore, a cog willing to put in 60 hours without family distractions and accept less pay is far superior. The new blood still has the eagerness to fight their way up the ladder and has not yet grown somewhat cynicical and questioning of managerial (lack of) direction. Fresh hires make great fire fighters.

It's hard to put a monetary value on institutional knowledge and experience...but it's VERY easy to read the bottom line on the operational costs spreadsheet.

Anonymous said...

Since he's from Wal-Mart, I expect a new company policy to be announced shortly that all employees will need to share rooms on hotel stays.

Um, that policy has been in place for years for the big field events e.g. MGB, Envision, and now TechReady...

Anonymous said...

I have been a manager here for 3 years and have never received such training.
Of course, Allchin or Raikes would never ever even think of cooking up such nefarious bad behavior, and certainly wouldn't try to cover the scheme up by limiting it to senior mgt.

I urge people not to believe unsubstantiated claims such as this which appear to be designed to demoralize our workforce and/or damage the perception of MS as a great place to work (which it is).

Oh no, heaven forfend our shareholders actually learn how much process us devs under with crappy leads and PMs who take dependencies on every other division under the sun. How about how all our ship dates are slipping? Or how we're underperforming our competitors in all key growth areas. Solution? Centralized stationary stores!

Too bad all the energy focused on trying to bring down the company & the workforce isn't being spent shipping great products and making our customers successful.

In case you hadn't noticed, Mini, Scoble and others are helping to make us more agile. Idiotic attitudes like yours, with heads buried in the sand, have kept our stock below $30 for so long. It might be a great place to work for mgt, who can lead the mkt in insider selling, but for us code dweebs, a subinflation raise makes MSFT a wonderful company, in which we can take so much pride.

The people focused on those objectives are much more likely to receive the better review scores, bonuses and merit increases (i.e. pay raises).

My manager has told me that I got a 3.5 instead of a 4.0 to fit the curve. I'm quitting soon, as soon as I find the right place.

You sound like you're as incompetent as most other mgt here. Of course, it would be stupid for you to quit, what with the gravy train you're riding. But childish outlooks like yours, unable to take the slightest criticism, are bringing MSFT down.

Anonymous said...

Can I have your job after you leave?

Anonymous said...

3% raise last year
3% raise this year
= NEW JOB.

Its been fun, but not anymore. Even if we have the coolest people to work with.

Anonymous said...

The people focused on those objectives are much more likely to receive the better review scores, bonuses and merit increases (i.e. pay raises).

That's total fucking bullshit that people who get good review scores are being rewarded. The last two review cycles I had a 4.0 and 3.5 - and ended up with raises at most 4%.

What a fucking crock when they claim we can get up to a 15% raise at review time based on performance.

Let me know what candyland you're working in, cause I'll jump over to your group if you're handing out average raises of 6-8%.

Anonymous said...

First, to be perfectly fair, you should add the promo budget to the merit budget to get the real average raise across the company. Though honestly, HR is doing some creative math since they say 1.7% + 2.0% = 4.9%. And even 4.9% is thin stuff. Oh, yeah, it’s a lot better than some folks have gotten over the last few years, but the thing is, MSFT needs the best people it can find in order to compete. The software market is very, very lucrative, and that attracts competitors. MSFT with average employees is a sitting duck waiting to be taken down.

And the company is crossed up and going the wrong direction with the compensation package. Salaries at MSFT are better than average, but not outstanding (and this is by design – the company targets the 67th percentile, meaning roughly a third of software companies will pay better salaries). So, all else being equal, the company will get employees that are better than average, but not outstanding. That means companies that can attract outstanding employees will eventually eat Microsoft’s lunch. Unless the company can find some other advantages in hiring.

Well, MSFT does have two things going for it there. Great benefits and financial security. Now, what sort of employee is going to value great benefits and financial security? A guy with a wife and a couple of kids. So, with better-than-average salary, great benefits, and financial security, MSFT could attract outstanding married employees with kids. But a guy with a wife and kids wants to go home while it’s still light out, and wants to spend weekends with his family. This guy also maybe is more interested in a good steady job than in grubbing his way up the corporate ladder. He’ll do good work and contribute to a solid product, but isn’t interested in working 80 hour weeks to get a 4.0 and a promo.

But the company clearly isn’t interested in that sort of employee. We want aggressive, ambitious people who will bust their butts to stand out and get ahead. People who will take risks to grab the brass ring.

Only, we aren’t attractive to those people any longer. Not the best ones anyway. The guy willing to take a flyer to make it big isn’t impressed with financial security – he’s a risk taker. He wants salary and stock options, and we don’t pay enough for the best ones any longer.

So, there’s a mismatch between what the company is willing to offer and what it expects in return. The end result is that we’ll drive away the outstanding people who would be willing to work for 80% of the salary they could make somewhere else in exchange for great health coverage for the family and the stability to stay in the same place long enough to put the kids through high school. And we’ll replace them with the second-best of the young-and-hungry kids, because we’re paying second-best salaries and not offering stock options any longer.

It’s just plain stupid. We’re not using our competitive advantages and instead playing a game that belongs to other companies now.

I'm dissapointed

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have a pocket full of money than an ass full of Microsoft stock.

Anonymous said...

"So, there’s a mismatch between what the company is willing to offer and what it expects in return"

This is one of the most accurate statements I have heard in a while. I have to hope / assume that management understands this and it is a conscious choice.

Anonymous said...

"So, there’s a mismatch between what the company is willing to offer and what it expects in return"

No, all bs aside, the company probably realizes that its major growth days are over and worse, is resigned to that fact. With growth like IBM and HPQ (or actually worse) come salaries like IBM and HPQ. Will high-fliers leave as a result? Sure. Will it still be sufficient to attract the talent necessary to sustain a mature, slow growth, not particularly innovative entity? Of course - just like it does at IBM and HPQ. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourselves.

It's pretty much been said enough readers of this blog are packing their bags to leave MS as you speak.

Anonymous said...

Just think what a talk from Ballmer would be on this subject.

He'll dance around a stage doing his little monkey dance saying that we don't need no stinkin' raises, we work for the best company, blah, blah, blah. Work harder so my stock value will go up, no, you don't need any shares just me. You should feel good about making me and the other useless execs richer, blah, blah, blah.

Anonymous said...

"Just think what a talk from Ballmer would be on this subject."

You forgot to mention the sweaty armpits.

Anonymous said...

"It's pretty much been said enough readers of this blog are packing their bags to leave MS as you speak."

See ya. Here's about 15,000 hard working, talented individuals with in many cases more industry experience who will be happy to take your place - and that's not even counting the folks in India, Eastern Europe, etc, etc.

HP's Hurd Announces 10-Percent Cut

http://wldj.sys-con.com/read/111843.htm

Anonymous said...

yea, 15000 talented experienced people who were layed off from HP really fit the whole "young aggressive college hires" that MSFT wants. You think HP would let go fresh young upstarts to let them go work 80 hrs/wk at Google or MSFT?

Seriously, the ones who are drinking the company kool aid are generally the ones who are getting the seasonal 4.0s and higher - not through any hard work or serious benefit to the company or the shareholders bottom line, but because they've brown nosed and done the "highly visible" crap that their leads and upper level managers appreciate. WTF does "higher visibility" mean these days anyways?? It just means you were given a sweet task that gets a lot of exposure because it's some GM/VP's pet project and everyone between you and the GM/VP has their nose buried so deep up his ass that they can almost look out of his eyes.

No one here is saying these things to "bring down the company"... in fact facing the truth of the bullshit stinking up the place (e.g.: 115 VPs just working the self preservation act) is the only thing that could possibly save the company at this point. Lean and mean? MSFT is not that at all!

Anonymous said...

"yea, 15000 talented experienced people who were layed off from HP really fit the whole "young aggressive college hires" that MSFT wants."

Many of them won't. However, on average, they'd likely offer better value for money. MSFT already has way too many people in place who've never proved themselves or learnt anything from anywhere else - many of them managers no less.

"Seriously, the ones who are drinking the company kool aid are generally the ones who are getting the seasonal 4.0s and higher - not through any hard work or serious benefit to the company or the shareholders bottom line, but because they've brown nosed and done the "highly visible" crap that their leads and upper level managers appreciate."

Getting ahead at MSFT has always been more about politics than ability - this is nothing new. It's the most politically fucked up corporate culture in technology - and it comes from and is sustained from the very top.

"in fact facing the truth of the bullshit stinking up the place (e.g.: 115 VPs just working the self preservation act) is the only thing that could possibly save the company at this point. Lean and mean? MSFT is not that at all!"

Ah, now you're getting to the heart of the matter. MSFT isn't paying people too little - its overall comp charges are some of the highest in all of technology. The issue is that too much is going to too few who in turn are producing too little. Rather than admit that - or god forbid aggressively deal with it - the company continues to expect general shareholders and employees to continue bending over to make up for these shortcomings. Bottom line, MSFT is incredibly poorly managed. As one article I read the other day commented, why do folks even still say "the next MSFT"? Instead, the only appropriate statement leadership-wise, execution-wise, stock-wise is "the next early MSFT". The last time MSFT excelled at any of these was the late 90's.

Anonymous said...

You guys are scaring me. I have spoken to a recruiter about Program Manager and Release Manager positions. Any thoughts? Whats a likely pay for someone with 12 years at smaller companies. Can anyone give examples of how the 'levels' map to salary? Thanks

Anonymous said...

and that's not even counting the folks in India, Eastern Europe, etc, etc.

MS is definitely recruiting there. In the next couple years nearly all of PSS will be staffed in India or China - not to mention the servicing (e.g. service packs and security fixes) for NT4 / Windows 2000 / Windows XP / Windows Server 2003 being moved over to India.

If anything, you should be more worried about MS outsourcing then MS hiring laid off workers to take your job.

Anonymous said...

Getting ahead at MSFT has always been more about politics than ability - this is nothing new. It's the most politically fucked up corporate culture in technology - and it comes from and is sustained from the very top.

Depending on who your general manager is, getting ahead is more about skin color than politics (or results).

Anonymous said...

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Bill Wradell said...

Everyone should get a at least a 2% raise to counteract these ridiculous gasoline prices.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Maybe the customers would be willing to pay 2% more to counteract your gasoline costs.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Johnson = New President?

Anonymous said...

Hey Il, love the blog.

Anonymous said...

What's he going to do as President that he can't do now as a VP?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

"Depending on who your general manager is, getting ahead is more about skin color than politics (or results)."

Could it be all the Indians getting the raises.....

It's interesting to see a comment like that. A quick count in my group shows 55% foreign. 75% of that from India.

Anonymous said...

I have spoken to a recruiter about Program Manager and Release Manager positions. Any thoughts? Whats a likely pay for someone with 12 years at smaller companies.

Assuming you will work at MS for an extended period of time, level is everything. I wouldn't worry about the salary (as long as it was liveable). Concentrate all your negotiating skills on getting the highest level possible.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that bigoted racial commentary gets posted here - yea it's opinion but totally inappropriate and just serves to drive a much more serious wedge between co-workers and further propagate these beliefs. No matter what your nationality, color or culture I seriously think anyone living and working here in Redmond is getting the shaft in the same place and fashion.

As far as 3.0s and the two flavors - this year that will get settled out as the deserved multiple 3.0s will now get 2.5s and their share of zeros on their review. The numbers game 3.0s deserve to at least get a cost of living increase to maintain equity of living standard since they are doing what is expected and commonly are going beyond expectations but are simply victims of "the curve". 3.5s should be getting the 2.5% + cost of living (which would total close to 4%-5% because friggin gas prices have doubled in the last 6 months) since they are going beyond but not in the all star category.

For all those drinking in the MSFT Kool-Aid and fighting the opinions expressed here - someday after you've put in 5 years and are still sitting at a level <64 and watching new hires getting compensated higher than you, we can get together and talk. Until then just shut the fuck up and do your job very well since the first mistake you make will get the taser shoved up your ass by your manager and you'll be whining about the 3.0s and the much reduced career path you have ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

>> "Depending on who your general manager is, getting ahead is more about skin color than politics (or results)."

>Could it be all the Indians getting the raises.....

> It's interesting to see a comment like that. A quick count in my group shows 55% foreign. 75% of that from India.

Oh come on. There's a hell of a lot wrong with us, but we're the least racist, most diverse, etc, amongst the big software shops, and it makes us stronger. Concentrate on things you can genuinely do to improve and stop pretending many people here are systematically playing any sort of race card.

I agree entirely with the guy/gal who ripped the manager apart earlier BTW, I'm interviewing at other places too and hopefully can leave soon. These days MS sucks as a place to work. But to blame Indians is stupid.

Anonymous said...

most diverse

Diversity is a crapshoot depending on which group you work in. Start looking in the Windows division...you don't find to many women, hispanics or blacks being developers there.

Anonymous said...

The indians excel at kissing ass, that's why they keep moving on up, remember last year's unofficial survey about the benefit/pay cuts

"This is still a great place to work!"
-Ravi Raajklajrajk

"Don't complain, microsoft still a great place to work at"
-Reeki Raki

"Microsoft could pay me half as much and I'd still be here"
-Madlkjasdflkjsadf RAalkjfaskjasd

Anonymous said...

I used to love this site. Now it just depresses me. This descent into overt racism is a new low.

Anonymous said...

"I used to love this site. Now it just depresses me. This descent into overt racism is a new low."

It's not the mini's fault. It is just some moron making comments.

Anonymous said...

It's not Mini's fault, but he does no favors for the cause when he leaves such comments up - or at least explains that he himself finds them repulsive. It's sad that he should 'have' to, but that's life.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that kind of racism existed in the company. As a white guy I would expect to have been privy to conversations like that. Heaven knows I've heard the odd off-color sexist remark because I'm a guy. And certainly comments about people's sexual preference. Those but disturbed me. But racism? That's a new one to me.
What next? A Microsoft chapter of the KKK?
Maybe we can just pretend that the comments were really from Linux devs trying to discredit Microsoft.

- Drew the disappointed

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing around here that we're so liberal and diverse, but if someone who's not in a minority demographic and/or living an alternative lifestyle makes a comment about discrimination they're told they're racist and to shut up.

There's definately a pro-Indian attitude at the company. I've seen Indian managers with totally different attitudes / approachability when talking with Indian FTEs vs. non.

Is it racist to point these issues out? To say that is ridiculous.

Discrimination sucks, it sucks more when you're victim to it and you can say anything for fear of being branded a racist.

Instead of trying to kill the messenger, open your eyes and do something about it.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog today when doing some research on interviewing for Microsoft. It certainly has prompted me to ask a few more pointed questions. Any tips for interviewing??

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^For the love of God, someone kill this spammer

Anonymous said...

Ok. You have a point. I jumped to conclusions. I should withold judgement and call off the peasants with the torches and pitchforks because I don't really know the situation. I apologize.

If there's a problem with discrimination you can run it up the boss chain. If the problem is the boss chain you can go to HR. If that doesn't help or isn't an option then sure I guess you're down to just anonymously ranting on someone else's blog.
No - wait! There's something else you can do. I like to call it "get the hell out of there". For that matter, if this is a real problem then many other people around you must have also noticed it. Maybe they should leave, too. If there's a mass exodus of talent someone higher up will surely take notice.
There are plenty of other places to go either within the company or without.

- Drew

Anonymous said...

There's something else you can do. I like to call it "get the hell out of there".

You left out complaining to the EEOC...but that falls under gambling with your job - or burning bridges. I wouldn't trust HR worth a lick, the first person they'd talk to is your boss (or someone up the chain) and spill your name.

Our group director is a butt ass racist - and I've talked with other people (former and current) in my group who share this same sentiment. And yeah, pretty much all of us have left or are leaving the team/Microsoft.

If there's a mass exodus of talent someone higher up will surely take notice.

Yeah, our team had a mass exodus all right. Our director's manager (a VP) noticed and instead of figuring out why people were leaving, he just put in an order to stop internal transfers from the team. What a clueless twit. To be fair, another VP might be more clued in than this one.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that people do not pay enough attention to bonus and stock. Once you hit L62 the stock starts to really mean something (and then again at 65+). And if you are a top performer, your 12-15% bonus is going to mean a lot, too. Heck, the guideline for a 3.0 review still includes up to a 5% bonus. Plenty of other large companies aren't giving bonuses at all, much less 5% bonuses to the bottom third of performers. (if you're getting a 0 bonus review, you really should figure out what you're good at and go do it)

Anonymous said...

Since even 4.0 doesn't really bring in much bonus/raise all the people who can do better are leaving.

I remember this from my time at Microsoft. I worked like a slave one review period. Evening, weekends, a few hours on every holiday, etc. For this, I got a 4.0 and a $5K bonus (I don't remember my raise). I almost wanted to tell my boss, next review period, keep the $5K and I'd like my 20-30 hours PER WEEK back. It was almost an insult getting that bonus. I didn't work that many hours again.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust HR worth a lick

Yeah, in my experience with HR, I think a better abbreviation for them would be "LC" - for "Livestock Control."

Anonymous said...

Heck, the guideline for a 3.0 review still includes up to a 5% bonus.

Um, not for the last few years it hasn't. And 12-15% bonus for whom??? VPs? Sure as hell ain't the ICs.

Anonymous said...

"Um, not for the last few years it hasn't. And 12-15% bonus for whom??? VPs? Sure as hell ain't the ICs."

Last year I got a 4.0 and a 12,5% bonus. However, the merit of 3,5% was completely ridiculous, and I wasn't given a promotion even though everyone agrees I'm mislevelled.

So the past year I have left office early, hasn't worked in my spare time and I will probably get a 3,5 this time. But I don't give a shit, because they're getting what they pay for and I get a lot of time with my family.

New hires at MSFT? Fight like a bleeding dog for your initial level and salary, because it will haunt you for the rest of your career.

BTW, I'm actively looking for another place to work...

Anonymous said...

New hires at MSFT? Fight like a bleeding dog for your initial level and salary, because it will haunt you for the rest of your career.

Spot on. Nothing is more important to a new hire than the level you get hired at. Take a cut in pay, take a drop in grants, take a different position in the company, whatever you have to do...but get that level boost.

Anonymous said...

As far as 3.0s and the two flavors - this year that will get settled out as the deserved multiple 3.0s will now get 2.5s and their share of zeros on their review.

The fuzzy logic (ahem!) used in the review system makes the deserved part a fuzzy conclusion.

It will be interesting to see the effects of the outflow of institutional knowledge held by the wretched 3.0 masses and the inflow of a limited number of Computer Science graduates. Since most U.S. Computer Science graduates are from foreign countries these days, it may work to their advantage when their jobs are outsourced to their home countries.

Sidebar: Foreign Students Fill Computer Science Graduate Programs


Student Interest in Computer Science Plummets

"It's a major concern for us because we're a company that runs on people," says Mr. Rashid. "Our hiring has continued to go up, but unfortunately what we're seeing right now is a decline in the potential supply."

Anonymous said...

"Spot on. Nothing is more important to a new hire than the level you get hired at. Take a cut in pay, take a drop in grants, take a different position in the company, whatever you have to do...but get that level boost"

Can you elaborate on this a little more please? I don't have the details of my offer (level, pay, etc) yet because I was an intern, and HR hasn't contacted me.

However, I have in writing from my manager that I have been extended an offer.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well looks like finally Jim Allchin is leaving... that is the rumor flying around

Gabbahead said...

One thing that helps saves Microsoft in the browser war is Maxthon. I've always been a fan of IE's nebulous support for standards, but the current IE doesn't meet the growing standard of surfing. Thankfully Maxthon picks up the slack.

Anonymous said...

"Spot on. Nothing is more important to a new hire than the level you get hired at. Take a cut in pay, take a drop in grants, take a different position in the company, whatever you have to do...but get that level boost"

Why so, when there seems to be little correlation between level and pay? I.e. there are commenters on other threads who bitch about having a higher level but lower pay?

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point entirely. The issue isn't whether or not managing through differentiation (ranking) is good or bad.

The REAL ISSUE is that regardless MSFT isn't very good at it. The MSFT system is fundamentally flawed.

Fyi, I got a 4.5 by playing politics well

work at home ideas and opportunities said...

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Steve @
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Anonymous said...

I worked in MSN Shopping pimping crap until about 2 years ago. The morale plummeted as they brought more "old time" managers aboard. They were full of themselves and listened to no one else. So many have jumped ship since.