Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Initial and abstract impressions for my first week at Microsoft

So I’ve finished my first week here at Microsoft working with the .NET Compact Framework team.  They are a very friendly group, and I am happy to be working with them. I daresay some exciting technologies are in the works that I am excited to be contributing to (soon). Microsoft’s internal development tools require some getting used to, though.

I already knew that Microsoft grades employees on some kind of a curve. I was then and I still am not looking forward to seeing how that process works in detail. I personally wish we could all be graded independently of each other. It seems we would be more of a all-for-one and one-for-all team if we could help each other without wondering how it may impact our relative rating.

What I did not know was that although most employees (from what I hear) get their own offices, seniority in time served here at Microsoft dictates whether you actually get your own office, whether it will have a window, how many monitors you have, etc. On the other hand, I have not felt any hazing at all. The people here seem to be rooting for everyone’s successes. What they say about the culture here at Microsoft, that employees are accountable to their customers and to each other, is very true. Every time I ask a coworker a question, that employee seems to take ownership of the responsibility to see that I understand the answer, or helps direct me to someone who can better answer me.

The relocation experience was good, overall. There were some hiccups, and the biggest area for improvement would be to add a web page where my recruiter and everyone involved in the relocation process could provide me with a centralized place to read up on status updates and work items for me in preparation for the relocation. Managing the dozens of emails that went back and forth to coordinate it, and trying to remember who to contact for which problems was a real challenge.

It took two hours during new employee orientation to explain all the benefits that Microsoft offers to its employees. I can see why it is said that some people work here just for the benefits. Absolutely amazing!