The scripts the team already had in place to setup up the development environment sure made it easy to get setup and everytime I open a Cider command window, it ensures that I have all the latest versions of it's dependencies and if not, prompts me to automatically update them.
That said, the week felt really hectic trying to get ramped up at work while being in escrow, dealing with the move (got my car, got the goods I sent to temp housing, and lots of little niggly things), and trying to get ready for Christmas.
While last week was mainly about getting oriented and getting signed up for everything, this week involved ramping up and training. This included mandatory training like Standards of Business Conduct, Security, Anti-Harrassment and Online Commitment training (work commitments which directly feed into your performance review) as well as the ramp up training/reading like how to moderate forums, and how to use the IT services (audio conferencing, meeting rooms, live meeting, sharepoint etc).
At the same time I was getting all of my remote access and smart card activated. A cool thing about Microsoft email is that I can access it from any internet connection, not only via the Outlook Web Client (which is typical) but also using my rich Outlook 2003 application. Microsoft rigs Outlook to use RPC over HTTP -- full Outlook experience, no VPN, RAS or Web client required.
I've also been able to enjoy getting ramped up on Cider by reading the internal docs as well as really diggning in and learning WPF/Avalon. In my prior job, I'd have to do make time outside of work to read up on those things, it's very fun to be able to do that as part of my job.
The thing which I notice the most about the people at Microsoft is how passionate, dedicated and commited everyone is. People work hard and long because they want to, not because they have to. It reminds me of this blog post SomaS made on what he looks for in Microsoft hires. His post rings true to me, working in an environment with passionate people is inspiring.