Today is the end of my second week at Microsoft. I thought I'd take a moment to recap some of my impressions.
Interesting things I've done so far:
- Experienced Microsoft NEO (New Employee Orientation), which they say is like "drinking from a firehose".
- Had lunch with Robert Scoble, Microsoft Geek Blogger (http://scoble.weblogs.com) and generally interesting character.
- Joined the general rush of Microsoft people to upgrade their digital cable to the new Microsoft TV-based DVR from Comcast. It is amazing how many people around here are switching off DirecTV or Dishnet and going to Comcast to take advantage of this new settop box.
- Lived through the launch of Halo 2 on my second day at the company. Last Wednesday, one of my coworkers and I drove to the company store to pick up a copy and I had to laugh because there was a sign on the door that stated "Limit 3 copies of Halo 2 per employee per day"!
- Was assigned my first project (more about that later) and began to work through its early phases.
- Had an alumni lunch with several folks from Ernst & Young (one of my former employers). The general tone was that everyone was happier at Microsoft than at E&Y.
- Set up this blog and started communicating with the world.
- Signed up for multiple email distribution lists (using an internal web application called "Autogroup") and started seeing the internal conversations that go on via that medium. Let me tell you, there are some really smart people working at Microsoft from the quality of the email conversations I've eavesdropped on.
- Missed our team's Halo 2 Frag Fest, held last night. 🙁 They set up a training room with 4 XBoxes and 4 projectors, networked things together and had a 16-player Halo 2 battle royals until about 10:00 last night, complete with pizza and beer.
Observations about Microsoft:
- The culture here seems to be to go to lunch (usually, but not always) with people on your team or other MS people. At my previous job, I often ran out and grabbed something and ate at my desk, and this seemed to be pretty common on the team.
- The quality of the people I've met so far is very high. My coworkers are very smart and professional when it is called for, but very fun at the same time.
- It has become quite clear that social networking is critical at Microsoft. Who you know directly impacts how successful you will be, especially as a Program Manager. Perhaps developers can be heads down in a particular project and get by without getting to know too many people, but PMs can't.
- Microsoft knows that its people are its most valuable asset. The company really takes good care of its people.
- There is always something going on on campus, from talks to plays to clubs and so on.
- There is a strong feel of a college campus at Microsoft, with the campus layout, the cafeterias, the activities, and so on. I really feel that Microsoft tries to create a feel of a place to go after you graduate but aren't really done with being a college student yet.
That's it for now, but remember: if you are interested in joining Microsoft, check out http://www.microsoft.com/careers...