First Week At Microsoft

how I learned to use Outlook and sing karaoke

Microsoft offered me a position as an SDE. I accepted. I have experience developing on the various Apple platforms and frameworks, and Microsoft is realigning as a device and services company with some of the most useful applications offered on Apple platforms.

Thus I started at Microsoft …

Approximately two-hundred new hires shuffle into the Microsoft Visitor Center and I am floored at the array of devices to touch. Think Apple store without the wires. I spend a few minutes playing Sonic The Hedgehog and reading some random but interesting facts. Big and humbling.

Orientation is long.

I have never used a Surface but offer to look up some of the answers for our group’s team building, scavenger hunt bingo quiz. Can not figure out how to turn on the device. Finially get it on. Never used Windows 8. Can not escape the start screen. How do I switch from Word to Internet Explorer. Embarased. Ask my neighbor and then realize that everyone at the table has a Windows Phone. I suddenly feel alone.

I get my blue badge. Orientation is over.

Day two, I meet my manager. I meet the team; setup my computer; start getting email; and have lunch with some very freindly people. Everyone seems to be pretty young and everyone seems super smart. We schedule an event for the weekend: Karaoke.

I am in the habbit of reading every email and deleting nothing. I currently have one “filter” button for my personal account, it’s labeled “Report Spam”. Everything else I read. Massive amounts of email and Outlook frightens me. I am added to half a dozen important distribution lists and suddenly need to navigate 50+ emails a day, which I suspect, considering this is my first week, is practically nothing. I learn about rules. I create a few rules.

Meet lots of people. Ask questions. Begin coding. Build project. Wow.

Steve Ballmer puts in his 12 month notice.

The team invites me to help paint the office of our manager’s manager. Apparantly you shouldn’t go on a three-week vacation, know all the words of the Aqua song Barbie Girl, and not expect your office to be painted pink when you return. My wife paints a 4-foot barbie on the wall.

Realize there is more difference between AppKit and UIKit than I thought. New challenges are good. Lots of new tools, some good and some interesting chocies. I’ll reserve judgement for at least a couple weeks. Goodbye Git.

I try to longboard + bus into work and encounter quite a few hills. More research needed.

Win one beach volleyball match and then lose two. Join our team’s team for the inter-office softball league, we win one game. Walk past quite an impressive array of soccer fields, packed with people playing what looks like 5-a-side coed matches. Excited.

I begin refactoring some code and learn about Microsoft’s coding guidelines.

… which appoximately sums up one week.