First Day at Microsoft

Today is my first day at Microsoft. I am a Program Manager
on the Visual Studio Team. Before coming to Microsoft I worked as a .Net
developer and Architect at

UnumProvident Corporation
. UnumProvident is a life and disability Insurance
company based in Chattanooga Tennessee

Portland Maine
. I worked in the Portland office.  So today is my second day
in Redmond. So far the weather is sunny. In fact they are having record high
temperatures. I am told it rains a lot here

New Employee Orientation – NEO

The first day of Microsoft you attend NEO. NEO is where you
do the normal stuff that happens the first day of any company, fill out HR forms
and sign up for benefits, and Microsoft has some great benefits. You also get
the highly valuable ID card. The smart card gets you in to all the buildings and
onto the VPN.  There were about 70 new employees there. One of the most
interesting things was the number of employees that had already worked for
Microsoft in some capacity, intern, consultant or returning employee.

Finding My Office

After Lunch and the completion of NEO, I found my way over
to my new office to meet my new manager. I work on the forth floor of Building
41 of the main campus. Building 41 is the Visual Studio Building. My team,
Trinity (more on Trinity later) is on the forth floor, the first floor is the C#
and CLR team (and I think FoxPro). The second floor is C++. The third floor is
VB. The fifth floor is XXX. The sixth floor is XXX.  I found my new computers
waiting for me in my office. My primary computer is a

Toshiba Tablet PC
. The other is a

Dell desktop
. This will be my first time using a
Tablet PC.
I look forward to learning about it. Microsoft unlike most large companies does
not use cubicles; instead everyone has an actual office. Having a real office is
a big commitment from Microsoft. They feel that you can get more quality
thoughtful work with a quiet place to work. I totally agree. It is great to be
able to close the door and do some deep thinking. People have total control to
decorate there office. This includes everything including painting, furniture,
and lighting. Some are like walking into a small apartment. I spent the rest of
the day setting up my two PC’s and trying to find out where everything was.
There was still a list of HR tasks to complete.

App Building Week

I found myself in the middle of App Building. App Building
is a concept where everyone takes the product and uses it to create
applications. This is a way to get internal feedback and find bugs and design
problems in the product at an early stage. So every morning there is a meeting
where everyone gets together and talks about what is good and bad. Bugs and
design issues are entered into the bug database. Everyday there is a new build
and any show stoppers are fixed and ready for the next days build. This is an
all hands process, so Program Managers, Product Managers, Developers, Testers,
User Education people are all creating applications. Then everyday at the
meeting people can demo them to the group.