Saturday, July 17, 2010

Favorite thing about working at Microsoft

Well, I can't really pick just one thing, so I'm just going to list a lot of awesome things.

  • Free beer at company events
  • If I seriously wanted to, I could get drunk at work every other week on Microsoft's dime. Nobody actually does, of course, because that'd be idiotic, but there's certainly enough beer that you could.

  • Working with extremely geeky people
  • Today: Me: "Yeah, waiting doesn't really count as work." Coworker: "Unless you're a spinlock! :D" If you don't get it, it would take way too long to explain. XD

  • Completely awesome company events
  • The big intern event for the summer was taking us all to go see a private showing of Cirque du Soleil. (Oh, and while we were there? They gave us all free Zune HDs.) Microsoft is trying pretty hard to make a good impression on us while we're interns, and you know what? It's working.

  • Challenging work environment
  • This is the first job I've ever had where I feel like I need to work extra hours just to keep up. It's a humbling experience, and that's something I kind of needed. I feel like I'd kind of reached a plateau with my skills, and this internship is really helping me to push up to that next level.

  • Real-world impact
  • There's a good chance that some of the code I'm writing this summer will ship in the next version of Office. That's a pretty cool feeling. :D Internships here are structured the same way as projects that full-time employees do, only shorter.

  • Fully furnished apartment
  • Yeah, I could have gotten by without this, but it sure is convenient to just show up the weekend before you start work and actually have a place to sleep. Related to this: I'm living about a ten minute bike ride away from my office.

  • Novel work environment
  • This is the first time I've really done Windows-style development, and since I left my Linux box at home, it's a complete immersion sort of thing. (I know it sounds geeky, but this is the coder equivalent of going to live in a foreign country for a while.) There are a lot of things I'm learning about that I never would have gotten a chance to learn about otherwise (.NET, in particular, is freaking cool).

  • Intern perks
  • There are a lot of these, but the one that springs to mind is a free year of MSDN access. If I wanted to go and actually buy this, it'd cost something comparable to what they're paying me for the entire summer. o_o

  • Flexible work hours
  • Instead of 9-5, I work 9+X to 5+X, where X is a function of when I wake up in the morning. It is incredibly convenient. :D

  • The weather
  • I seriously cannot remember any time before coming to Washington where I could go outside during the summer and find that it's a completely pleasant temperature. Surprisingly, there aren't as many rainy days as people say to expect - I guess that's more a winter thing.

No comments: