First Month at Microsoft

It's hard to believe that a month has already passed since I joined Microsoft.  I still feel like I have a lot of ramping up to do on the job and on Microsoft and I still haven't moved out of my corporate housing into my house. (although I'm dealing with that this weekend).

It's official though!  I love my job.

So what is it exactly that makes me feel that way? 

  1. The culture of accountability.  Microsoft has a culture where they give you a lot responsibility and ownership and give you whatever resources you need to succeed.  You are then held accountable for your results and rewarded accordingly.  No big brother, no veto power, no micromanagement...  Trust + ownership + remove barriers + accountability = motivated employees.
  2. The people.  Yes, Microsoft has a large number of industry luminaries (Don Box, Chris Sells, Anders Hejlsberg, Chris Anderson etc) and being in a company with that kind of intellectual horsepower is truly humbling -- what I think is even more amazing is that if you look down every aisle in every building, you're going to find some kind of "guru", probably more than one.  It's just an amazing feeling to work day in and day out with a group of dedicated people who are incredibly bright, knowlegeable and passionate.  It's like being at the PDC every freakin' day!
  3. The resources.  Discussion groups, a library where you get books delivered to you and research done for you, the IT infrastructure, the technologies, the access to software, the awesome cafeteria food (whoops how did that get in there?), the perks, the Pro Club gym membership, the benefits, the brown bags, the training...
  4. The product.  Working on the Cider designer is just an amazing project to be on.  I get to learn WPF/Avalon, I get to learn designers, I get to interact with customers who are developers... 

In a sentence: I feel good about what I get to work on and I enjoy working with my colleagues.

Ok, enough gushing.  Here are my 1 month anniversary thoughts:

  • I think it's rained every day since I've moved here.  I'm not joking.  We're breaking records for rain.
  • The traffic moves much slower than in San Diego.
  • I love all the wine bars around, notably the Purple in Kirkland.
  • I've never gotten so much and such quality feedback on a spec before, during and after a review. 
  • I don't think I can go anywhere in the Puget Sound without bumping into other people that work for Microsoft.  You've heard of the Six Degress of Kevin Bacon right?  Well, in the Puget Sound, it's gotta be the Three Degrees of a Microsoft Employee.
  • Microsoft cares a great deal about the customer.  There is a greater emphasis on the customer than you might imagine.
  • Microsoft employees are an incredibly dedicated group.  You can come in any day, any time and there will be people working, not because they have to but because they want to.
  • The lights aren't sensor based.  Late at night when the lights go out, dancing in your office isn't going to bring them back on.  You have to know about "the switch".
  • The performance evaluation review procedures and yearly commitments are taken very seriously. 
  • I'm still drinking from the fire hose.

Comments (3)

  1. Nishant Sivakumar says:

    Sounds like fun, man! Posts such as these are very motivating for other people who may be wondering if they should try and join Microsoft.

  2. Henry says:

    It’s my first month in MS, too. Though I’m just a v-, in MS China R&D. I applyed for a MSDN blog and was refused because I’m not an FTE. Well, I do feel like what you are telling. So I said, I will be an FTE someday~~

    Enjoy working, enjoy bloging!

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