It's strange how a number of different posts on my blog get comments practically every day. The big ones have to do with the
failure of US education, my HP laptop from four years ago with the
broken power jack, Xbox Live support sucking and the entire
app/page/control event cycle based on pre-beta ASP.NET v2. A new one
has become my post on my experience interviewing at Microsoft.
comments on that post were thin, but I'm staggered by the number of
e-mail messages I get. They come from random strangers, people who work
there now and probably know the people I interviewed with, and
surprisingly, a ton of people who had a similar experience, turned off
by the company as a whole. As I said in that last post, that's still
something I wasn't prepared for.
I also wasn't prepared for the,
"Dude, you should come work on our team," messages. Ha! If only it were
up to those people, right? The thing is, if I were approached again by
someone at Microsoft, I'd make damn sure that the job was right for me.
That's a luxury that I think a lot of people don't get used to when
they get to a point of more senior experience. I never really realized
it until I got my current job and left the consulting nonsense behind.
An interview isn't just you being evaluated by the company, you're
evaluating the company as well.
So would I work at Microsoft if I had the opportunity? Yes, I think I would, but I've developed a better sense of what I
need first. The list starts with having a better opportunity for
professional development than I have at Insurance.com. I feel like
they're finally getting me into projects and discussions that fit well
with my skill and desires. Other companies have to compete with that if
they feel I'm worth it.
Second, the position has to be right. My
greatest interest remains in the ASP.NET area. It's what I know best,
it's what I care about most. I really like the idea of being a PM,
especially the opportunity to share your new goodies at conferences.
I'm not sure if I'm smart enough to be a programmer, but my opinion may
change as I continue to look at the .NET source code.
people who will interview me need to know what I'm about to some degree
before I get there. I could tell that one of the guys I talked to last
time had never looked at my resume prior to me sitting down in front of
him, and frankly that annoyed me and I thought it was disrespectful
(but hey, thanks for the 4,000 free OnePass miles).
I think it
was that last part that really irked me when they came back with the
stock "different direction" response. I was in a
meeting last week talking about some pretty interesting stuff that we
were planning, and my mind wandered back to Building 42 where I
realized that no one had the slightest idea about the kinds of things I
was doing today. That seems like a massive failure on their part.
not the super-utility know-it-all type. I realize that, and I'm OK with
it. But I do learn what I need to when the gig is something I'm
interested in. The hard part about working for other people is that
there is a certain level of burden placed on them to best utilize your
skills, and you have only so much control in helping them connect the