Jason Zander is Corporate Vice President of Development for the Windows Azure team at Microsoft.
Learn more about Jason.
More videos »
As much as I love spending time writing code, a big (and important) part of my day job is running a big team. Several kinds of questions come up during the various times of year. Right now we are interviewing summer intern candidates. I get asked by new leads how best to structure such efforts, so I thought I would blog my philosophy both to answer the FAQ and as a way to explain to prospective candidates what you can expect on the CLR team.
There was an episode of ER where 4 prospective interns were split between Dr. Green and Dr. Weaver. Dr. Weaver is a "by the book" rules oriented person who promptly took both interns to her office for an hour lecture on the virtues of being a Dr. She showed them where they would be working and what they might do. Dr. Green grabbed a clipboard and muttered "follow me" and proceeded to go from patient to patient and did the job. Each intern was asked to do hands on work with the patients. At the end of the day, guess which interns were totally stoked about joining the team?
If you come to work on the CLR team, roll up your sleeves. There are no observers.
My ideal intern projects meet the following criteria:
In the past we have had interns prototype obfuscators, create MDA plug-ins for VS.Net, write new automated test tools, analyze and publish performance projects, prototype new NGen enhancements, and implement features like the profiling API's. Many of our full time employees started out as repeat interns. At least two that I know started interning after their Freshman year.
We're looking for people who love to write code and think of themselves as developers (PM, Test, and Dev). There is a lot of competition for the open slots, so make sure to talk to your campus recruiter early and come prepared to kick butt!