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Life at the Mothership: an introspection

| Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Are you one of those people who hate when people post to their blogs about how it has been so long since they’ve blogged and they apologize for the delay and cite all sorts of excuses?  Yeah, me too ;-)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about my move to the mothership this past year.  I’ve been journaling things all along the way about my feelings, frustrations, personal tribulations and great experiences I’ve had this past year.  I thought I’d share some of that with you all to provide some behind-the-scenes aspects of how some, not all, teams operate at Microsoft…the good, bad and ugly.  These are pretty random thoughts and in no particular order.  This is a bit of a random stream of thought so feel free to move along.


Although this may sound like I’m writing about my first year at Microsoft, it isn’t.  I’ve actually been with Microsoft for just over 6 years now.  I started very local, becoming the developer evangelist for a geographic region (southwestern US).  In doing that I had so many great opportunities to work on a national level with developers and product teams that I was able to move into a “Community PM” role with a product team, Silverlight.  About 18 months ago I had an opportunity to get closer to the engineering process of shipping software…something I had a strong desire to accomplish.  This resulted in me relocating to Redmond, WA to work directly on the product and own some level of features.  These are my thoughts of being a part of that process and general observations at Microsoft.


I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how incredible the concept of being ‘on campus’ feels.  The benefits are great and the way the campus is run is quite amazing.  The company does a good job trying to accommodate employees in all areas.  Having worked with Microsoft in the field I know the benefits in general are awesome, but the aspect of working on the main campus are just even greater for an employee.  You can check out some videos of some of these aspects on Channel 9 series about the campus.  Particularly some of the statistics about the shuttle service (something I use daily) and the dining services are pretty astounding.  I also think it is great that Microsoft pays for public transportation for everyone and I’ve become a regular on the King County Metro bus system…it’s awesome people watching!  Companies vary in benefits to their employees but I do believe that Microsoft offers some world-class benefits to us, and I’m grateful for that (as is my family)!

The Office

I currently work in Building 40, home of CLR, HPC, all things XAML and some other random stuff of people I never talk to.  I pretty much keep to my team on the 4th/6th floors but hear murmuring from other product teams.  You can learn a lot by just walking around!

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