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Working on an open source project and then applying for a job in Microsoft

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  • User profile image
    Keskos

    This question is specifically targeted to Microsoft employees, more specifically human resource department. Having worked in an open source project, whether it is GPL or not, does it hurt or help me to get a job in Microsoft? In some cases it may be a vulnuerability but in some other cases it might help. How does Microsoft look at candidates participated in an open source project, does the license matter, is it a positive thing or negative thing?

  • User profile image
    PeterF

    What could be wrong at showing you did something with dedication?

  • User profile image
    Manip

    The guy that made Bit Torrent was hired by valve software *because* he was, in their opinion the leading researcher in distributed networking. That was an Open Source project...

    Also I’m sure Microsoft already has some Open Source advocates in their ranks, maybe not the C9 team but they are not representative of the entire employee base.

  • User profile image
    GooberDLX

    Experience is gold.. and no matter what shape/form gold is in, gold is still gold...

    Jake

  • User profile image
    jsrfc58

    I've got some old Apple II stuff I made that I could open source (word processor, disk utilities, a game maybe)...although I doubt anybody there would be a market for it or that Microsoft would even bother looking at it.  

    Seriously, though, any bit of experience helps.  Reading/coding on your own time is sometimes tough, but it only makes you a better employee/job prospect in the long run. It also makes you quicker on your feet and it shows you have initiative, which many people on the job seriously lack.  When I met with a DBA within our company a ways back, it helped a great deal that I took some of my own time to read a book on databases, even though I already had worked a great deal with one.  It helped me to ask better questions.  Simple things like putting up your own website/maintaining it can help give you an edge if that is a field of interest.  Download a compiler or two (or buy one), and contribute in any way possible, open source or closed source.  I myself plan on putting some things out there soon...some way, some how.  I wish I could say I was on the "inside" but someday maybe I will be (hint, hint, recover Mike's resume from recycle bin).  I would also make an effort to point out what you have done and slip it into the interview as casually as possible (as long as you are not revealing some company's proprietary source or something).

    Just don't contribute to the ever growing field of viruses, worms, adware, etc. Nobody needs more of that unless you build something that defends against it.  After all, destruction is easy, but the creation of something useful...now that's art.





  • User profile image
    Gretchen

    Hi Keskos -  I'm a recruiter at Microsoft.  Working on open source definitely doesn't hurt you in getting a job at Microsoft!  Open source projects can provide great experience.

  • User profile image
    jsrfc58

    !

    Wow! Is this the first appearance of an HR person/recruiter here? I've seen your blog before (a ways back) so I recognize the name.  This is proof that somebody is watching (although I did not need proof of that).  This may not make a whole lot of sense to say this from my end of things, but...

    Welcome to the site! Smiley

  • User profile image
    Manip

    You sure this is a good thing, I mean most HR people are evil

  • User profile image
    GooberDLX

    now if only the HR people would see my resume for the .Net Evangelist position...

    Wink

    Jake

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