Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft, at the start of 2014, its employees have been on a roller coaster.
On the other hand, he has also changed Microsoft's culture. Gone are the combative rivalries, the dreaded employee stack review system, and the obsessive focus on Windows.
Under Nadella, Microsoft, which shocked the world this month by buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, has regained a lot of buzz. And for the most part, employees are loving the new Microsoft. Nadella has a 93 percent approval rating on the job-hunting site Glassdoor.
According to comments on Glassdoor, Quora, and other sources, here are the best and worst things about working at Microsoft:
5. Great salary and benefits
Microsoft employees rate the benefits package 4.4 stars out of 5. The mean pay across all titles in 2015 was $137,000, Glassdoor found.
"Bar none the salary, perks, and benefits exceed all of my former employers, and I've worked at some very good companies," says one former employee.
4. Diversity in the work you can do
Microsoft makes money on a huge assortment of tech products, and employees can--and do--move from team to team. But they can also simply collaborate to build new stuff.
"Because Microsoft has so many product offerings, it is easier here to take a little from Column A, a little from Column B, and make something new and different and exciting," one longtime Microsoft employee wrote on Quora.
"Sounds like a cliché, but you get the chance to work on products used by everyone," says one engineer on Quora.
2. The CEO
Because of all the changes, some employees think Nadella is taking Microsoft in the right direction.
Microsoft "got its groove back with Satya," says one.
Another says: "Life under Satya is much better than under [former CEO Steve] Ballmer, no question."
1. Working with great people
With Nadella at Microsoft's helm, there's a new emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, rather than competition and glory grabbing.
"Microsoft values its employees. The culture also shifted in recent years from super individual competitor to making others successful and teamwork, which reduced the stress level at work to low," says one employee.
5. A lot of jargon
Microsoft employees often speak their own language. Every company has some of its own jargon, but Microsoft takes it to an epic level.
For example, one person offered this advice to new employees: "There's a ton of internal jargon floating around; if you hear terms or acronyms that you can't define, ask for a quick clarification and then do some research offline later."
4. Long hours
Microsoft has always been known as a company that requires a lot of hard work. That has improved under Nadella, with many employees saying the work-life balance is great.
But other employees say it isn't.
"No work-life balance, and huge pressure to transform and deliver today, many conflicting priorities, and internal chaos," writes one.
Overall, Microsoft employees gave the company 3.3 stars out of 5 for work-life balance on Glassdoor.
3. Career stagnation
In a company with the size and scope of Microsoft, the opportunities are limitless--but so is the competition.
Employees say it can be easy to get stuck on a project that doesn't have high visibility and then to just drift along.
"Easy for career to stagnate without proactive effort and being on [a] good team," says one employee.
2. Big company = bureaucracy
Microsoft employs more than 110,000 people in offices all over the world. Managing that many leads to a lot of bureaucracy. That's the most frequent complaint from employees posting to Glassdoor.
"Very complex, extremely large organization that is often challenging to navigate, but to be expected for a company of that size," says one employee.
Another says: "Complex business with complex processes. Lack of communication/integration among different business units. Slow to respond to market, although that's been improving."
At a company as large as Microsoft, some amount of office politics is unavoidable. Still, some employees say that at Microsoft, the politics can really get in the way.
"A decent amount of frustration occurs due to politics. Your career can excel more by aligning with the right manager and drinking the Kool-Aid with a lot of enthusiasm," writes one.
Another writes: "Very competitive. Politics become very challenging as you rise in level."