I was in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada last week for a day talking to the students at the University of Waterloo about the Open Source Labs at Microsoft, and about working at Microsoft as an intern or full time employee.(well, I stayed in Kitchener, the university itself is in Waterloo) Now, I grew up in the era of computer languages coming out of the guys down there. Watcom C, C++, Fortran... ah those were the days. I never went to no University (never took to book learnin'--out on the range, only thing you need to rustle code is your trusty Model M under your fingers) so I was actually kinda excited to see how the city-folk did it.
I got there about a half hour before my session and setup the projector and whatnot, and the recruiter from Microsoft had a box full of goodies for me to give away after I was done--which brings me to a really good point: when Microsoft comes a-courtin', stay till the end--the prizes are often worth it. In addition to the predictable t-shirts, software, keyboards and mice, I gave away a pretty darn nice digital camera, with a bunch of accessories. At the end of the night, I drew names, and let them pick their prize.
Now, I know that y'all in the city do things a tad different, but what happened next completely knocked me off my horse. The first name I drew came up, looked over this items and picked... a t-shirt! ... The next one picked a copy of Expression Blend -- ok, that was cool, but still--a pretty nice digital camera. The next one picked up a keyboard and mouse combo. Finally the fourth one took the digital camera. I never thought I'd have so much trouble giving away a camera 🙂
I had a great time talking with the students; we covered what the OSSL lab has done, where we're headed and what can we do to get better. I got to talk about my time at Microsoft, working in the product group, and now in the OSSL. They were very nice to me, and I think they got alot out of it too.