I was asked recently if I had any advice for people that might be considering the move to Seattle and possibly Microsoft. Given that Tuesday was the 4th day in the last week I've been trapped at the top of a road turned ice-skating rink it might be a bad time to ask. Anyway, here is a random collection of tips based on my experience moving to the Seattle area. There are some other recent transplants on my team that could probably offer their own advice.

  • If you love 90 degree beach days in the summer get a sweatshirt and a wet suit. Layers are required almost year round here and the few weeks that the temperature does break past the 90 degree mark the water in the sound or lakes is still cold enough to keep penguins happy.
  • If you don't live in Seattle you aren't cool. At least that's the attitude carried by most "West-Siders". I personally think there is a lot of character to the "East side" or even the "East East side" where I live.
  • Other than this year it really doesn't rain or snow that much. It's just overcast skies combined with short days in the winter that tend to effect people the most. I love the clean crisp air and being surrounded by mountains. There's a great sense of the outdoors all around you here.
  • It's rare that people are from here. Maybe it's just working at Microsoft, but I feel like a huge percentage of the population around Seattle is made up of transplants from other parts of the country. It leads to a lack of combined city character and gelling amongst the citizens. No southern charm or New York attitude here but rather something that's strangely neutral. It can take a while to meet people.
  • Commutes are terrible. Even busses take hour+ times during rush hour on a tour that shouldn't be longer than 20 minutes.

Here are some other relevant posts about life at Microsoft.

5 tips for Being Successful At Microsoft.

6 Months at the Empire & the follow-up at a year.

Maybe some of the other bloggers I know can chime in with their 2 cents on life in Seattle and Microsoft.