Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?



  • I may have an opportunity for a support engineer position at MS. My career goal is to eventually be a system admin. I'm currently doing junior system admin tasks in a break/fix type of environment and this position would be more experience with MS products in the ADDS/GPO/DNS/Etc role. I would appreciate some feedback.



  • I have a friend that started there recently and really liked it. He's more on the training side of things. But MS is well known for being a good employer. Way better than the companies famous to non-tech people for being good employers. MS is at the top end of the big software makers.

    Don't know if support at MS will lead to System Admin work. System Admin is a specific field and normally you would go straight into it, it's not the kind of career that you take paths to get to, you just... start there if that's the goal. How the MS role would aid in that goal, rather than just going straight after it, is hard to say without knowing the role really well.



  • @fredtx said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    I may have an opportunity for a support engineer position at MS. My career goal is to eventually be a system admin. I'm currently doing junior system admin tasks in a break/fix type of environment and this position would be more experience with MS products in the ADDS/GPO/DNS/Etc role. I would appreciate some feedback.

    If you want to work for Microsoft, specialize yourself in one area that's how they will see what they want on you.



  • I've read that a lot of people like working for the company. There is definitely different groups with different specialized roles. I'm use to doing a variety of roles such has troubleshooting vpn, ADDS, backups, vsphere, etc. I also consider this may introduce a new opportunity in the Azure/cloud platforms after getting my foot in the door and could be a game changer in my career.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    System Admin is a specific field and normally you would go straight into it, it's not the kind of career that you take paths to get to, you just... start there if that's the goal.

    True. I may be considering myself under qualified to apply for that particular position. I'm currently studying for MCSE 2016.



  • @fredtx said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    System Admin is a specific field and normally you would go straight into it, it's not the kind of career that you take paths to get to, you just... start there if that's the goal.

    True. I may be considering myself under qualified to apply for that particular position. I'm currently studying for MCSE 2016.

    System Admin is a career area, not a level. It does require a bit more for starting entry point than say helpdesk. But it's a big mistake that people coming from the SMB mistakenly think of the SA role as being a "higher end helpdesk" when in fact it is a completely different job with it's own L0 - L5 style levels and pay scale.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    It does require a bit more for starting entry point than say helpdesk.

    What would that "bit more" be?



  • Also this is Enterprise employment. Totally different than SMB.

    If you have never been in an enterprise, you have no idea.

    I would take the job, but then immediately look for an internal transfer. Find out what skills are required and go get them.



  • @fredtx said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    It does require a bit more for starting entry point than say helpdesk.

    What would that "bit more" be?

    Well studying the proper materials for example. Same as with any career, you need the educational background to get into it. Doctor, Lawyer, etc. they all have entry level jobs in their own field, but you have to study for that field and not for something else and then move into those things once experienced elsewhere. No amount of being an excellent, experienced carpenter will allow you to suddenly prescribe medicine.

    So for SA, you'd build a lab, get the MCSE or equivalent, do projects, and learn SA work and skills and practice them on your own before applying for an entry level SA job. Same as anything, SA isn't unique. Think about how you'd apply for any skilled job - all skills have to have an entry level point or no one could possible get into the field.



  • And think about things you do as an SA - most SA tasks are things that would never be used in helpdesk, deskside support, networking, databases, application support, etc. So no amount of experience in those prepare you for SA. They might demonstrate aptitude, but nothing more.


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    @scottalanmiller said in Anybody ever work at Microsoft? If so, how was it?:

    I have a friend that started there recently and really liked it. He's more on the training side of things. But MS is well known for being a good employer. Way better than the companies famous to non-tech people for being good employers. MS is at the top end of the big software makers.

    Tech companies pretty much have an arms race between each other for hiring and maintaining staff. It's not just in the pay. I have 15 weeks full pay maternity/paternity/adoption leave as an example of a benefit. I have unlimited vacation (I took ~7 weeks off last year including the entire month of June).

    The biggest dig against Microsoft used to be they used stack ranking but I hear they stopped that.

    In general with tech the expectation is you deliver results (high expectations) how and when you do it is really up to you.


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