David Smith (and others) - Meeting the Interns

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Ever wonder what it'd be like to intern at Microsoft? Think that interning at Microsoft might be boring? No, we don't give our interns menial jobs that no one wants to do (many of our best features are done by interns -- the audio record feature in OneNote, for instance, was done by an intern in a previous year). Hear from a group of interns from across the United States about what their experiences are (we meet out by the main flagpole on campus).

The interns here are David Smith (Michigan State University), Caleb Bell (Texas A&M), Hari Sivaramakrishnan (Maryland), Jacqueline del Castillo (Stanford), Eric Woo (Brown University), Kevin Grigorenko (Rutgers University).

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Minh
      Excellent, high energy video. How come I didn't intern at Microsoft. Oh, yeah, could've been that 2.8 GPA.  These guys/gals must have mad skillz.

      PS. Did I hear correctly? That interns can be PMs?
    • User profile image
      Andre Da Costa
      What will Microsoft be shipping in the next year and half that will affect half billion to a billion people?

      Great interview, the internship interview process sounds scary.
    • User profile image
      Minh
      Andre Da Costa wrote:
      What will Microsoft be shipping in the next year and half that will affect half billion to a billion people?

      Great interview, the internship interview process sounds scary.
      Are you forgetting the new Visual Notepad replacement in Vista? Huh?
    • User profile image
      billatq
      I was an intern PM in Windows Servicability this summer. I don't really understand the animosity towards what interns work on exhibited in this forum, and having met both David and Caleb, I can say that they're good, hardworking souls and taking broad slashes at all of the MS interns is a bit excessive, I think. I know that I, at least, learned quite a bit this summer and that the things that I worked on were done right and are going to make a difference.
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      Orbit86: I use OneNote quite a bit and we used it on our book too and it sure didn't suck for me. It'd be nice to see if you could post constructive criticism here. Translation: how did it suck?
    • User profile image
      Deactivated User

      Comment removed at user's request.

    • User profile image
      intelman
      I've tried onenote, I love it. But I wish i had a tablet pc Sad.
    • User profile image
      Anando [MVP]
      Nice interview...in front of the Microsoft conference centre (if i am not mistaken). What really cracks me up is "What is PDC ?" (2:43). Come on, its one of the largest developer conferences and anybody who has got to do anything with Microsoft knows about it. Really great to see all the energy and enthusiasm amongst the interns.
    • User profile image
      Anando [MVP]
      scobleizer wrote:
      Orbit86: I use OneNote quite a bit and we used it on our book too and it sure didn't suck for me. It'd be nice to see if you could post constructive criticism here. Translation: how did it suck?


      I agree. Its one of the best tools, specially if coupled with a Tablet. I have used Onenote to take notes at school and its simply amazing.
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      We shot that in front of the flagpoles in front of building 9, actually. It's where the famous countdown clock is kept for major product releases.
    • User profile image
      IRenderable
      Do they give intern high school students?
    • User profile image
      Anando [MVP]
      Somehow I missed this clock Last time F visited the Ms campus. Would be sure not to miss it this time during the summit.
    • User profile image
      Minh
      billatq wrote:
      I was an intern PM in Windows Servicability this summer. I don't really understand the animosity towards what interns work on exhibited in this forum...

      I hope my question of intern PMs didn't convey any animosity. I certainly don't have any. Maybe it's my misunderstanding of what a PM really is. I'm equating the position to a group leader, or a head developer. That's why I'm surprise to hear the term "intern PM" which would sound like an oxymoron.
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      IRenderable: yes, but high school interns seem to be rarer. The Internet Explorer team had a high school intern this year, for instance, but he was a guy who made a name for himself finding security exploits in IE.
    • User profile image
      rdhatt
      I was a high school intern 8-9 years ago; back then it was a program for local (i.e. in the Seattle area) high schools only.
    • User profile image
      ajayjuneja
      scobleizer wrote:
      IRenderable: yes, but high school interns seem to be rarer. The Internet Explorer team had a high school intern this year, for instance, but he was a guy who made a name for himself finding security exploits in IE.


      My good friend Mark Hammond was an Intern in high school and college (he was local to Seattle, and went to Caltech) and worked on IE 3,4,5 & 6.

      He's now up in Boston doing an NLP startup, he just recently quit MSFT b/c his wife is getting a PhD up at Yale.

      He's someone I'll introduce you too later, Robert Smiley -- he's sure to keep making waves (he's about 26 now).
    • User profile image
      jorgen_veis​dal
      ..and I'm kicking myself even harder.
    • User profile image
      Minh
      Hey, Scoble. Spread the love, man. There's a quiet guy in that video that doesn't get to say anything.
    • User profile image
      crispybit
      Very cool guys, thats great that you get to meet some of the MS Brass. Very inspirational video, Im moving to WA next week just so that i can be close to Microsoft and goto school Wink Hope to see you guys next summer (Crosses fingers he gets picked for next intern cycle)
    • User profile image
      Steve411
      Orbit86 wrote:
      no wonder OneNote sucks


      Haha. Well put. Smiley

      - Steve
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      Orbit: we have an interview with Bungie setup for October. So hopefully I'll have some games for you then.
    • User profile image
      Nate​Furtwangler
      MSU represent!  Actually, as big of a school as MSU is, I've seen David Smith around campus and worked with him for a short time.

      Orbit86:  I can't even imagine using OneNote without a tablet, I'm sure it still has some useful features but with a tablet it is amazing.  Although I can still think of a few improvements:

      a) lasso select, rectangular select doesn't work well with my sloppy crooked handwriting

      b) basic shape creator, i'd like to box/circle things neatly.

      c) better TIFF support.  I scan my textbooks into a multi-layer OCR'd TIFF which I can read/search/annotate in Journal but not in OneNote.

      But anyway, excellent video and I've heard first-hand from my brother that interning at Microsoft is a great experience and hopefully one day I'll experience it too.
    • User profile image
      KevinB
      Scoble,

      A huge fan of Channel9 and I have been following it from the beginning, although this is the first time I have actually replied to a video.

      I would love to try and intern for MS but unfortunately, MS Redmond won't accept interns from outside of North America. This means everyone here (in Ireland)  doing their placement, which is a full year of work with a software company, are advised to go to MS Ireland in Dublin.

      I have friends there this year who say it is amazing but I would still love to apply for a year with Microsoft in the US as I would pretty much like to leave Ireland and get out to the states for a year.

      Is there any chance that Microsoft might be changing its Undergraduate recruiting practices in the future? Or do you have the e-mail address of somebody I could contact for more information?

      Kevin

    • User profile image
      Andre Da Costa
      Honestly, OneNote needs a Tablet PC to be really powerful and productive, I rarely use it (Once in a Blue Moon).
    • User profile image
      Brandon​Furtwangler
      Hey guys!

      I know Dave from MSU and Caleb and I were in the same group this summer (Avalon).  Both great guys.  Its good to see some Intern love here on Channel 9.

      About the 'what's PDC' guy...he is wearing the very fasionable 'MS intern' shirt that is given out at NEO.  Every intern leaves with more MS cloths than non-MS cloths!

      Seriously, interning at microsoft was great.  Tons of smart people, tons of stuff to do (in and outside work).  Tons of free pop.  And unlike lots of places you could intern, you actually get to work on stuff that ships.

      MSU represent!
    • User profile image
      Brandon​Furtwangler
      KevinB wrote:
      Scoble,

      A huge fan of Channel9 and I have been following it from the beginning, although this is the first time I have actually replied to a video.

      I would love to try and intern for MS but unfortunately, MS Redmond won't accept interns from outside of North America. This means everyone here (in Ireland)  doing their placement, which is a full year of work with a software company, are advised to go to MS Ireland in Dublin.

      I have friends there this year who say it is amazing but I would still love to apply for a year with Microsoft in the US as I would pretty much like to leave Ireland and get out to the states for a year.

      Is there any chance that Microsoft might be changing its Undergraduate recruiting practices in the future? Or do you have the e-mail address of somebody I could contact for more information?

      Kevin



      I think you've got it all wrong Kevin.  One of the interns in my groupd this summer was from Ireland.  I think he said he had to go to England to interview, but Microsoft then flew him over to Redmond where he is right now.

      I'm sure it's not as common as US interns simply because it costs them a lot more, but he said 3 guys from his class got to interview.
    • User profile image
      Jeremy W
      Orbit86 wrote:
      scobleizer wrote: Orbit86: I use OneNote quite a bit and we used it on our book too and it sure didn't suck for me. It'd be nice to see if you could post constructive criticism here. Translation: how did it suck?


      Because I thought I could use it to keep notes from class, organize hand outs etc etc but It's only usefull if you have a tablet pc...

      I have OpenOffice 2.0 Beta on my laptop (Office 2003 on my main pc) , If I had the time I would transfer my notes to openoffice and export it to PDF (openoffice has export to pdf feature) but I could always scan notebook pages but quality is still a issue.

      searchable text images like pdf and regular jpgs that have text in them would be cool or a new format like XSPF or whatever MS is called would be cool.. can you search text thats inside a image or document?


      Orbit, you can organize notes and handouts, but you still need to get it INTO your computer. If you have it in digital format, OneNote'll take anything into a Page.

      Export to PDF? Why would you export to PDF? And, if you CAN export to PDF, then you can bring it into OneNote, write on it, record audio, search all of it.

      Just wait for the next rev of OneNote as well. It's crazy. It really matures OneNote like 3 versions!
    • User profile image
      Jeremy W
      Btw, huge congrats to the interns in this video. Any company would be privileged to have them and they should be very, very proud of where they're at and where they're headed.

      If I can ever do anything to help any of them, they can always drop me a line. The world needs more kids like these.
    • User profile image
      Jeremy W
      Orbit86 wrote:
      because mostly everyone has PDF and it looks more professional,cleaner than a word document


      More professional? Cleaner? ...

      I thought we were talking about school notes?

      Also, who said anything about Word?
    • User profile image
      anish_mohan2
      I was a PM intern with the Digital Documents group. The video summed most of the things in the internship program. Few salient points.

      1) There are about 700 interns. Lot of diversity and we get to meet lot of people and exchange ideas.

      2) Interns are treated as full time employees in most aspects.

      3) Interns work on real features which are to be shipped.

      4) Meeting BillG is one of the best thing in internship. Not even the full timers have this opportunity.

      5) SteveB came to the intern techfest. So one could meet him too.

      6) Intern program in thoughtfully organized with lots of activities interspersed like
         
         - attending Baseball games of mariners
         - Trip to Mt.rainier, Mt Baker, st helens
         - White water rafting in white salmon river
         - skydiving
         - Barbeque at BillG's house
         - Intern techfest
         - soccer matches   
      not all are organized by the Intern Program, but are initiatives taken by the interns themselves.

      7) some times your require to put 10-14 hours of work.

      8) Results/products matter a lot, so put 3 hours and produce it or put 14 hours. Quality matters a lot.

      9) Your co-workers are super intelligent guys. The discussions in corridors are really intellectually charged.

      10) People here are really passionate about their work and the company

      Overall a fantastic experience.

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