Why doesn’t Kenny Kerr work for Microsoft?

Chris Sells posted a comment to my Controls and the Desktop Window Manager article that read:

I give up -- why don't you work at Microsoft? Want to?

Before I could respond, my wife chimed in with quite a revealing comment. Read that first.

I had always dreamt of ideally working on one of three teams: Visual C++, COM (now Distributed Systems Group), or Windows. I would have been happy with almost any group, as Microsoft is known for smart people, great products and challenging technology.

It started when the Visual C++ team approached me about a position as a program manager. I did the phone screen and flew to Redmond for a long day hanging out with the Visual C++ team. It was one of the most enjoyable (and exhausting) experiences I have ever had. It also included two overnight flights across the continent in the span of two days. Shortly after that, I heard that they wanted to offer me the job but were waiting on the lawyers. I then stopped hearing from the recruiter and when I finally inquired, he told me that I do not qualify for a US work permit since I am not university educated.

Quite a few teams at Microsoft have since approached me but after mentioning the work permit issue, they went nowhere.

Most recently, the Windows Client Performance team (where I would absolutely love to work) approached me after coming across all my in-depth Windows Vista articles. A few really nice and persistent people (hi Paul and Richard!) from the Windows team persuaded me to consider again the possibility of joining Microsoft. Unfortunately, after explaining the work permit issue, this latest attempt again ground to a halt.

So, why don’t I work for Microsoft? I would love to but it seems those powerful Microsoft immigration lawyers that I have heard so much about are not all-powerful after all.

Kenny Kerr
British Columbia, Canada

© 2007 Kenny Kerr 


  • It is a PITA, the "official qualification" requirement. I tried to get into Canada at one point and was met by the Needs A Qualification wall (how did you get into Canada, Kenny? Some kind of family history?)

    I can't get over how countries don't count work experience.

    Maybe Bill should have a word with a buddy of his in immigration for you, Kenny ;)

  • Hi Kenny

    Somehow, someday very soon you'll be working at Microsoft, I can feel it in my bones! Hang in there, buddy, you have a lot of friends in your corner :-)


  • If it makes you feel any better, I've added this feed proudly to my Microsoft feed folder.

    Also, smiley face as to not break the trend :)

  • It's just plain amazing that in today's globalized economy, stuff like that keeps companies from hiring the best in their field....

    Here in Europe, anyone with a EU passport can work in any other EU country - no questions asked. Even Switzerland (not part of the EU) has adopted this practice. Makes things just so much easier.... (and I thought the NAFTA agreement was sort of the same as the EU, for North America)

  • Hi

    Just downloaded this

    But it complanes that I don't have a 32 bit dispaly which I do!

    xp sp2 etc with two dispalys?

    Any idea how to fix this


  • Paul: with multiple monitors make sure that *all* displays are set to 32-bit color. If the problem persists check that you have the latest video card drivers as that is known to be a cause of this problem.

  • I've seen this before. A friend of mine from Toronto had a job in Colorado. Not an offer. He had the job. He'd been doing work for a company in Colorado remotely for a couple of years and was offered and got a job at their head office.

    He and his girlfriend packed up their apartment, and started off to Colorado.

    At the border, a U.S. border guard looked at his paperwork and said that he wasn't qualified for the job because he didn't have a degree, and turned him back.

    It's not something found in any one country, this kind of stupidity can be found everywhere.

    Good luck. I hope you get you wish.

  • Hey funny, you're in the same boat I'm in.

    I live in BC right now and attend college here. Microsoft contacted me seemingly out of nowhere a little while ago and offered me some work.

    The the offer fell through at the technical phone screening though, probably because I told them at that point that I'm still a couple years away from graduation.

    As I do for myself, I hope things work out for you.

    By the way, I want to bug you for the WindowCapture API. I'll send you a message on your contact form.

  • Why not enroll in a lame, short-term community college to get a degree? Obviously you are talented enough, just our immigration laws are the barrier.

  • Google has offices all over the world. Why don't you consider working for them? Microsoft's getting a little long in the tooth anyway. Come to where there new stuff is being built...

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