Coffeehouse Thread

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Where did you start at Microsoft?

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  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Serious question: there seem to be a lot Microsofties in this forum.
    So where did you start at Microsoft? For which position where you hired?

  • User profile image
    Jazzynupe

    I am not showing as an employee here, but I started in the Premier Field Engineering team...

    I am a Solutions PFE which specialized in SharePoint... Recently I took a haiatus and now am going to be doing SharePoint again, but migrating more towards Workflow/BizTalk and development in the future I believe.

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    Started as a Researcher in the labs in Cambridge, England. I was either employee #5 or #6 there, depending on whether you count accepted-the-job or arrived-in-the-building as being "first" Smiley

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    jonathanh wrote:
    Started as a Researcher in the labs in Cambridge, England. I was either employee #5 or #6 there, depending on whether you count accepted-the-job or arrived-in-the-building as being "first"


    What was your position there? What did you do?

  • User profile image
    Mark Brown

    I started in MCS back in 2000 and worked primarily on database type-projects and also got started doing mobility applications. Since then I've moved around a bit and am now doing developer and platform marketing in the US.

    btw, that bucket got stuck on my head way before I joined MS Wink

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    Sampy

    VB as an SDET (QA) intern. Interned again as an SDE (Dev) then got a full time job here on VB.

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    SlackmasterK

    I started in call centers... Then I worked in the military and gained tons of useless experience that has no practical application, back to call centers, then I finally turned my programming hobby into a job.

    Then again, I don't work at Microsoft.

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    littleguru wrote:
    
    jonathanh wrote:
    Started as a Researcher in the labs in Cambridge, England. I was either employee #5 or #6 there, depending on whether you count accepted-the-job or arrived-in-the-building as being "first"
    What was your position there? What did you do?

    My job title was "Researcher". I did some early work on Windows clusters, and then got into performance modeling (which I'm still doing now, but in product-land)

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    I started as a Program Manager on Forms^3 (basically the forms package for Office apps). Part of the team soon split off to form Trident in March 1996. Trident became the HTML parsing and rendering engine in IE4.0.

    Thanks
    -Dave

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Wow! Nice to hear... It's cool to see where those guys, who frequently visit this forum, work.

  • User profile image
    Lee_Dale

    I would like to work at MS one day, what kind of person do they look for, is it someone with exceptional knowledge of the subject area and a passion for technology? Doe everyone require a college degree?

    I wouldnt try for a position yet because I want to earn lots of money contracting so I can pay off my debts, pay for my mortgage and the missus shopping trips :O but when im 28-30 ill probably start to look for a permanent position somewhere and id love to work for someone like MS and be at the cutting edge of the industry.

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    BruceMorgan

    I started at Microsoft in January 1995, in what was the Consumer Division ("Microsoft Home").  I was what they call an "industry hire" since I came in with 8 years or so experience in the software industry, as a individual contributor and as a lead developer.

    I was a developer on Encarta 1996, and my job was:

    MFC expert  Encarta 1995 was a C app, in 1996 it was going to be a MFC app.  In the fall of 1995, they had consultant type work on their original architecture but it wasn't working out, so part of my job was to fix that and work with the dev lead and other senior devs to come up with better overall application architecture, and be the team MFC expert and resource.

    Implement multiplatform and 32 bit support.  Encarta 1996 needed to run on Windows 3.1 (16 bit), Windows 95 (32 bit), and the Mac OS (32 bit).  The goal was to run all three platforms from a single codebase, while isolating the differences from other devs on the team.

    Of course we had different compilers and different MFC versions for 16 bit and 32 bit Windows, but Mac support was even more interesting.  It was was based on using WLM (Windows Libraries for Macintosh) that basically made the Mac look like an odd Windows implementation.  I wrote a number of macros etc. to isolate additional differences, mostly in registry vs. profile system, memory manager, and palette management.  There were also a number of issues to solve around audio and video playback.

    Technical Lead for Mac 1996 release  That means I was the architect of all things Mac, managed the contractor on the project, worked with the Mac test manager, lead PM, etc.

    Feature work  I wrote the Related Articles feature, the Famous Paintings interactivity, and the Timeline feature.

    Perf work  I did a lot of the perf issue analysis and fixes.  Mostly this was memory issues.  The Mac version needed to run in 1600K of available memory (yes, K) on 68000 systems without virtual memory.  Of course, it ran much better with more memory, but in that era system requirements were fairly low - 8MB system RAM I believe.

    It was critical to avoid extraneous memory allocations, poor lifetime management, etc.  The incredibly archiac memory system of OS7 was also a lot of fun.

  • User profile image
    Jazzynupe

    I still have the CD from Encarta ( 94 or 95) and it still worked on Windows XP when my mom first got it...

    That's cool.. thanks for the hard work... I enjoyed it and used it for several reports... The only bad thing about Encarta was that after you got it for that year, it started getting out of date... Big Smile

    Very cool product though...

  • User profile image
    Jazzynupe

    leeappdalecom wrote:
    I would like to work at MS one day, what kind of person do they look for, is it someone with exceptional knowledge of the subject area and a passion for technology? Doe everyone require a college degree?

    I wouldnt try for a position yet because I want to earn lots of money contracting so I can pay off my debts, pay for my mortgage and the missus shopping trips but when im 28-30 ill probably start to look for a permanent position somewhere and id love to work for someone like MS and be at the cutting edge of the industry.


    There is no "One Path" to do it, I would just recomend to network, learn everything you can and know what you know but be smart enough to know that you don't know everything.

    As an example, I was interviewed for a SharePoint position, but when I interviewed in person, I was not asked a single question directly about SharePoint. I was asked about BizTalk and ASP.NET (they both were on my resume but I was not expecting to be asked about them).

    So it means finding your niche and Microsoft needing that niche filled. That's how it worked out for me I think. But I joined for the people... I love the people I worked with and the personalities in the group. Yeah the perks are great, but the people make it worth while. People who really do care about the customer/users.

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    BruceMorgan wrote:
    The incredibly archiac memory system of OS7 was also a lot of fun.


    Ah, System 7... those were the days...

  • User profile image
    David Washington

    Started off as an STE intern in the summer 2002 on Microsoft CRM 1.0. I came back the next summer as an STE intern and worked on Microsoft CRM 1.2. I started working fulltime in fall of 2004 on Microsoft CRM 3.0, we shipped that in October '05 and now I am an SDET on the Windows Vista Shell Team.

    Good times.

    Actually when I was in school after my first internship I was the Microsoft Student Consultant...I worked for Microsoft Research and I basically told people about .NET and hosted programming competitions and stuff. It was pretty sweet, we did some cool projects. The club I started is still around you can check it out: http://enlight.engr.wisc.edu/.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    David Washington wrote:
    Microsoft Student Consultant


    I'm in that program too.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Started a week ago as a PM in desktop search. Got hired exclusively because of my handsome looks and the italian accent.

    Hey Charles, what is one supposed to do to get a little Windows flag around here?!

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