I've been immersed in all things Visual Studio and Smartphone/PocketPC/WindowsCe related for the last 2 weeks. Whidbey is rolling along nicely and the entire division is now starting to plan for the next release (Orcas).
Work here at Microsoft is pretty similar to what I expected it to be like. You're given a lot of freedom and you're trusted here . You're also given all the resources you would ever want. As I type this, I have 2 very powerful machines humming away underneath my table and I'm hooked up to a high speed internet connection. If I want anything more, I'll probably get it on the same day.
As you probably know by now, I work on the Visual Studio for Devices team. Mine is a relatively young team and has some seriously cool folks in it. I'm chasing quite a few people to start blogging. The official team blog is http://blogs.msdn.com/vsdteam. Currently, Amit Chopra and Partha blog regularly from my team at the IDC. My boss's boss has just started blogging and if you're interested in anything DevTools related, you should definitely subscribe to him. I should probably blog someday about the baseball bat in his office and how he scares new hires with it :-)
I'm still getting used to Microsoft culture. One thing I've seen is -the company works on email. On more than one occasion, I have mailed the person 5 feet away from me as I was too lazy to call out or to pick up the phone . If the Exchange servers that run our email systems ever go down (which is not likely to happen :-) ),the whole company would probably come to a standstill.
One side-effect of this email culture is the amount of Microsoft-specific jargon you'll see here. A typical sentence would be "I was OOF for the last week. Can you S+ me so that we can do a 1:1 about the progress on our ZBB. I also want to talk to you about the Express SKU in terms of the last CTP and what we'll be RTM-ing'.
The first time I got hit with such a sentence, I took around 30 seconds to unravel it . I knew most of these TLAs from a funny video played during our NEO (New Employee Orientation - another TLA ). I should probably blog someday about the amount of humour you see internally.
There's a lot more to Microsoft culture which I shall save up for later posts.
When I say "Benefits", I'm not talking about material benefits. When I say benefits, it means opening up your address book and seeing Dave Cutler or participating in a discussion group where Raymond Chen and Michael Kaplan post frequently.
In the 2 weeks I've been here, I've attended a talk from Sriram.K.Rajamani accompanied a jaw-dropping demo of Zing. Yesterday, I ran into Anandan (who runs MSR India) in the elevator and had a short chat with him. Not too many places where I could get to do something like that.
I could go on and on about the benefits of working here - but Scoble has already done that for me.
The best thing about working here? Getting to see all the cool stuff that Microsoft is working on before anyone else does. .
The India Development Center here at Hyderabad is spread over a few buildings but the bulk of the folks work out of the campus at Gachibowli, Hyderabad. Made up of 2 buildings which look as if they've been flown over from Redmond, the campus sprawls over a pretty wide area. We even have a cricket ground here and you'll see quite a few games in the evenings.
You'll see people playing here all the time - either at the table tennis tables or on the grounds. Myself, I prefer to play on the XBox on my floor. Physical exercise? Bah!
Things you should NOT do at Microsoft
I've managed to make quite a few boo-boos in my short career here.
The first thing I learnt was - *never* try to guess what a person's email alias is. One late evening, I took a guess at a colleague's mail id and mailed the one of the directors here by mistake. Probably not a good thing to do. :-)
In short - the people are cool,the food's good and there's free soda. What more could a guy want? And you get to work on incredibly cool stuff.
It's been quite an adventure here, though I've been here for a very short time. And I'm enjoying every moment of it.
1. One scary thought is to imagine Yoda working at Microsoft. "S+ you, I will. Bug count bring down, we must.".Come to think of it, that is not too dissimilar to the way some people talk around here ;-)
2. One of the first things I did when I joined and got access to the intranet was to download the latest build of Longhorn.