Working for Microsoft

Andy Hopper has written about what makes the thought of working for Microsoft appealing to a geek.

“It’s presented as a tough place to work even if you’re a wizard coder. It’s also described as a meritocracy - Impress or Be Forgotten. I honestly don’t know if I could survive, and that is the exact reason why I want to do it “


I got a little closer than Andy, but not much. In August 2000 I was hanging around the ATL newsgroups and got chatting to Joe Long, who was, at the time, Group Manager of COM+. He took a look at the stuff on my website, and seemed to like what he saw. His recruiter, Eric Fraiser, called me and we chatted on and off for a few months.

The sticking point was the relocation. Personally I’d quite like to do the whole Redmond campus thing but Michelle’s legal training is pretty much ’non transferable’ - it’s harder to find openings for UK qualified IP law specialists in Redmond than it is to find somewhere for a C++ bod. Eric did try pretty hard though, which was impressive. But once you add in the fact that we were just starting to convert a shell apartment into a home and, well, it just wasn’t going to fly.

The whole process was a buzz though. Joe’s team was probably the place I’d have most wanted to be in Microsoft at the time. Eric was probably the most technically knowledgeable recruiter I’ve ever spoken to. The phone interviews with him were fun. All of the people I dealt with seemed to respect and understand my skills and they tried really hard to deal with the relocation issues. It was all a very pleasant change to how most companies view employing technical staff…

Ah well, maybe next time.