Microsoft couples & bloggers

Scoble recently pointed at an article about women seeking out “Microsoft men”. One of the comments on the entry is:

I'm always amazed at how many softies are married to other softies though. I mean there's usually lots of dating in the workplace, but there are a LOT of inter-Microsoft marriages I think. I guess it's a big enough place you can work there and never see your spouse all day unless you want to.

In case it's not obvious, I'm married to another softie... and we work in the same product team. Our offices are currently about 20 yards away from each other, around a corner. We eat lunch together fairly frequently (with a group of other folks).

You might think that this would make for a really boring relationship, but the truth is it's a blast. I wonder how other couples do it - when you both come home from work (or if only one works) and want to talk about your day, but your spouse doesn't really know the people enough to really get the stories.

Ever wanted to vent about someone or something that happened at work, and your spouse sympathized with you but couldn't really do more than that? Imagine what it's like if they totally understand the story, they've worked with that person before and have had the same problem. Even better, they might have a suggestion on how to improve the situation that they learned from a previous experience... Stuff like that happens to us all the time.

I think the main reason this works so well for us, however, is that we both work at such a great company where we are incredibly passionate about what we do, the product we work on, and our customers. We talk about work a lot - but it's a good thing. He gives me great advice that helps me with my career and direction and choices. I consider him my closest mentor (we're both program managers but he's in “real“[1] management - I'm a peon). I help provide the female/peon perspective for some of the issues he encounters. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement. Of course, we do have other interests... some that we share, and some that we don't. But work is a shared interest, at least for now, and it works well for us. I can sum it up neatly as follows: If it wasn't fun for both of us, we wouldn't do it.

Of course, another tidbit is that we're both bloggers (and yeah, we started the same week. Awww, how cute). On a side note, Outlook MVP Sue Mosher is the person who got me interested in RSS, which lead to blogging, and David and I started talking about it and looking into it together. I know of one other softie couple where both husband and wife blog about work stuff (Josh and Gretchen), but I'm sure there's more.

[1] I.e. a manager of program managers or other folk. Although I have “manager” in my title, I do not have anyone reporting to me. When I was a tester, my title was “Software Test Engineer”, and we used to joke how I didn't have a degree and was an engineer, and he did have one, but was just a PHB.

Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    The CynicalBlog » To anyone from AIIMS this is familiar

  2. josh ledgard says:

    I think that Gret and I would agree about it being a blast. We don’t work as close as you guys do, but the advantage is that I get to hear the perspectives from a completely different part of the company and I can be her consultant for dreaming up new and interesting PM or SDET questions. I also get a lot of experience trying to answer them to. 🙂

  3. B.Y. says:

    Thinking (not that I’m doing any of this) from a male pig point of view, working with your SO in close proximity is not a good idea. Sure women enjoy the sympathy and the shared understanding of work environment factor, but for men it’s not that important. We enjoy flirting with our female collegues and fantasizing about having sex with them much more. Having SO close by will cut down on the flirting opportunities, although it might improve the fantasizing (I’ll leave this to your imagination), but how do you explain the lunch breaks to local strip clubs and phone calls from your mistress ? And no more circling the block and checking out babes and hookers on your drive home.

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