Everyone seems to use the same analogy for what it's like to start working at Microsoft - "It's like drinking from a fire hose". Having completed my first week, I would say that it's an appropriate analogy. Here are the highlights of my week:
- The first day and a half are orientation or New-Employee On Boarding (NEO). Orientation presents a ton of material on the benefits (awesome medical, PPO with no monthly premium and no copays for pretty much anything), culture, services, resources, security, IT, employee responsibilities, legal, and more. You leave with a whole laundry list of things to do not only for the rest of the week but for the whole month.
- Met the members of the Cider, Smart Client and WinForms teams. That reminded me of a game of memory where you flip over two pieces and try to find a match except with names with faces.
- Setup my integrated voice mail/email messaging system which let's me get email via phone and get voice mail via email (of course you can still get email via email and voice mail via phone...). There is also a system that uses voice recognition that allows you to call anyone at Microsoft just by saying their name.
- Signed up for a ton of discussion groups. There are discussions on everything and its a great way to stay on top of what going on in the world, at Microsoft and with our competitors.
- Visited the Microsoft Library site where I can check out books, search journals and magazines and just have a wealth of information at my fingertips. Oh yeah, they deliver the books to you too.
- Saw Anders Hejlsberg at the cafeteria.
- Saw a "Free the Mallocs!" T-Shirt
- Got my Microsoft Prime discount card -- entitles me to a ton of great discounts around town.
- Enjoyed having the ability to install any piece of Microsoft software I wanted from the network.
- Joined what's probably the biggest (255,000 sqft) and poshest gym and spa in the US as a Microsoft benefit.
- Microsoft Company Store
- All the juice and soda you can drink! (burp!)
One of the common themes is the tremendous wealth of resources that are made available to you as an employee. I've never worked anywhere that comes close to the amount of information, ways to get your questions answered, infrastructure, and training that Microsoft puts at your fingertips.
It's been a lot of fun and a lot of work. I'm really excited about the project, the people I get to work with and just being a part of this company.