The clocks were striking thirteen. The Xbox 360 was unoccupied. On the other hand, several people were gathering around the pool table, ping pong table, and the foosball table. The parties at the foosball table as usual were having a decisive battle, as witnessed by their fierce howling. Ignoring the noise, I went pass the coke machine and the coffee machine, and took a carton of milk from the fridge and settled at a nearby table overlooking a coarse horizon — my usual pick has been occupied by a whole team having lunch. I leisurely pushed a straw into the milk, and started sipping.
My name is CHIO Ka In, I am a Software Developer in the Access & Security Division. I am a fresh graduate from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and I would like to share my feelings with you here after joining the team for a mere period of four months.
A peek of our pantry.
Microsoft has deployed one of its fastest growing establishments in Zizhu Shanghai, an area that associates itself with high technology companies. Every day, the majority of us are shuttled from various points in the metropolis back here. Nearby the complex are other technology complexes, universities, and some flat ground with occasional short buildings. There are also vile winds which roast people in the summer and chill people up in the winter.
As a fresh graduate, I cannot deny that the most common question asked is “How’s work?”, and I cannot help but respond “Well! I love this place and the things I am doing here.” I better not repeat what many thousands have said about their love about here, but go onto share what we do here.
So what do we do?
I arrived to learn that the team will be working on Forefront Server Security Management Console, a product supporting the Forefront Server Security software series, which means software shipped around the globe. It’s already shipped now. The daily work of the development is centered on some technical discussions and, undoubtedly, programming aspects. We know very well that “All non-trivial programs contain at least one bug”, thus we are well-supported by our software testers who spend a good amount of time to help testing our products. Our program managers in turn help to make strategic decisions in planning out a product, and taking up the responsibility of interacting with our clients. Lastly, our group manager, who acts like a captain of a ship, takes care of the high level decisions, remote and painstaking decisions, and drives the team into efficiency here. Although we all have our different tasks, we do not really always have a clear cut of the tasks. Every morning, the leadership team comprising of software development engineers, developers and program managers stay in the room to take care of the new tasks, meanwhile the rest of the team work on matters that come arriving endlessly. Meeting adjourned, the leadership team resumes their work. Sometimes, some teammates gather up to voice out and work out improvements of our working processes. After all, the team is still young. Inexperienced or malleability — it is just a slightly differing perspective. Like a piece of white paper, every stroke and brush will be significant and obvious, and that is also where the fun lies.
I dumped the carton box into the bin, and filled a cup with longans, “Sigh… Eat and sleep and eat and sleep… I could use the massage chair in next room.”
That’s where I’m heading to.
To be precise, the “next room” meant to be two corridors away. Along the path, we can see what everybody is doing with the low cubicle’s height. It is often these moments as such, and even lavatory visits, that I got distracted into momentous chatters with the other teams. The gossips from the next cubicle always bring laughter and ease the then rather tense working atmosphere. I can ramble on more, but I really prefer to that massage chair now.
The legends speak of the free food and drinks, relaxed atmosphere and casual dress code in Microsoft.
Here, such legends are realized right here in front of me, and we can even create new ones.
CHIO Ka In
Software Development Engineer
Access & Security Division
Servers and Tools Business China