Twelve Weeks and a Hundred Chocolate Milks Later

Each summer, Microsoft hosts hundreds of interns from universities around  the US and the world.  This year, the Publisher team was fortunate to have four – two in Development, one in Program Management, and one in Test.  We’ve asked each of these unique individuals to share their thoughts on the blog as their time with the team comes to a close. Interns spend 12-16 weeks working  on real projects that will eventually ship with one of our products. If you are interesting in exploring an internship possibility with Microsoft, more information can be found at - - Cherie



Having finally finished a summer internship on the Publisher team, I have felt firsthand the magic of Microsoft.  The first few days were dizzying, deciphering the geek speak and diving into the work. Soon enough, I became oriented and went full speed ahead with my assigned projects.  As if I were standing on a rug, wondering when it would be pulled out from under me, I worked each day with that thrilling, nervous excitement of perhaps seeing the most challenging problem or most heinous programming bug I had ever known.  The fact that I was even given work that involved such brain-bending, mind-crushing, clown-saddeningly tricky enigmas was surprising—a welcome relief from the formulaic and manufactured problems I was expecting, to say the least.


After the initial dust settled and I dared peek out of my office, I came to a great realization: Microsoft Office is an organization of people.  Rather than being a horde of drones, domesticated and benighted by the blissful imbibing  of corporate Kool-Aid, I saw it as a vibrant culture of geniuses—scary, not because of any spooky aura of evil encircling each employee, but because each individual is so alive and talented and full of knowledge  that you’re just waiting for their head to explode in a gory, B-movie kind of way.  And although I noticed  that the individual employee is important, the lessons learned of teamwork were even more vital to me.  As a software developer at Microsoft, you are not alone.  For each feature, I always had a program manager making sure I was headed in the right direction and a tester making sure I was not headed in the wrong direction.  No longer did I work while crossing my fingers only hoping I was right.  If there existed a bug in my code, I would hear about it: from plain to pedantic to simply pathological—I always heard all about it.


Not only has the work itself been fascinating, but the activities and opportunities—particularly for the interns—have been plentiful.  Ranging from free chocolate milk in every break room to special guest speakers every week to renting out two entire IMAX theaters for a night, there has never been a dull moment.  Working on the Publisher team has been a real delight.


Trevor Lacey


About the contributor:  Trevor is a senior at Brigham Young University, majoring in Computer Science.    His hometown is Heber City, Utah.  He spent the last twelve weeks working on the Publisher 2010 Page Setup experience and a couple of other unannounced features that he can't tell you about.

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