Today is my first day at Microsoft. I am a Program Manager on the Visual Studio Team. Before coming to Microsoft I worked as a .Net developer and Architect at UnumProvident Corporation . UnumProvident is a life and disability Insurance company based in Chattanooga Tennessee and Portland Maine. I worked in the Portland office.  So today is my second day in Redmond. So far the weather is sunny. In fact they are having record high temperatures. I am told it rains a lot here J

New Employee Orientation – NEO

The first day of Microsoft you attend NEO. NEO is where you do the normal stuff that happens the first day of any company, fill out HR forms and sign up for benefits, and Microsoft has some great benefits. You also get the highly valuable ID card. The smart card gets you in to all the buildings and onto the VPN.  There were about 70 new employees there. One of the most interesting things was the number of employees that had already worked for Microsoft in some capacity, intern, consultant or returning employee.

Finding My Office

After Lunch and the completion of NEO, I found my way over to my new office to meet my new manager. I work on the forth floor of Building 41 of the main campus. Building 41 is the Visual Studio Building. My team, Trinity (more on Trinity later) is on the forth floor, the first floor is the C# and CLR team (and I think FoxPro). The second floor is C++. The third floor is VB. The fifth floor is XXX. The sixth floor is XXX.  I found my new computers waiting for me in my office. My primary computer is a Toshiba Tablet PC. The other is a Dell desktop. This will be my first time using a Tablet PC. I look forward to learning about it. Microsoft unlike most large companies does not use cubicles; instead everyone has an actual office. Having a real office is a big commitment from Microsoft. They feel that you can get more quality thoughtful work with a quiet place to work. I totally agree. It is great to be able to close the door and do some deep thinking. People have total control to decorate there office. This includes everything including painting, furniture, and lighting. Some are like walking into a small apartment. I spent the rest of the day setting up my two PC’s and trying to find out where everything was. There was still a list of HR tasks to complete.

App Building Week

I found myself in the middle of App Building. App Building is a concept where everyone takes the product and uses it to create applications. This is a way to get internal feedback and find bugs and design problems in the product at an early stage. So every morning there is a meeting where everyone gets together and talks about what is good and bad. Bugs and design issues are entered into the bug database. Everyday there is a new build and any show stoppers are fixed and ready for the next days build. This is an all hands process, so Program Managers, Product Managers, Developers, Testers, User Education people are all creating applications. Then everyday at the meeting people can demo them to the group.