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Applying to Microsoft, any recommended teams?

I'm thinking about applying to Microsoft after my job at a startup runs its course. Are there any particular teams within Microsoft that you would recommend? Any to avoid?

anon
Saturday, February 21, 2004

At this point it's been so long since I've been there I just couldn't say.

Although, Tom Button is the only Microsoft employee who was so mean he actually made me cry, so try to avoid working anywhere near him.

What are you interested in?

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I'm most interested in Windows Media Player and Win CE/Pocket PC groups. I have a lot of ideas and some background in both of those areas. Things like dev tools, servers, Windows, office don't interest me at all.

anon
Saturday, February 21, 2004

um, ok, you answered your own question!

Anyway it looks like Tom Button, Mean Person, is probably too high up by now to cause you much trouble wherever you go.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Well I suppose I did answer my own question, but perhaps there is a lesser known group that does really interesting work. I think it was in Dynamics of Software Development that I read about the super duper AFX group at Microsoft. Of course they do dev tools, or at least they did, if they even still exist. But maybe there is another group that does mobile or media technology that is doing stuff an outsider wouldn't neccisarily know about.

anon
Saturday, February 21, 2004

AFX is the old name for MFC.

Anyway, I'm too out-of-date on this topic. It used to be that the best way to figure out what Microsoft will be shipping in two years was by reading their help wanted ads... that may still work!

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Saturday, February 21, 2004

"Although, Tom Button is the only Microsoft employee who was so mean he actually made me cry"

Please tell me you're joking. 

Not that I'm taking a shot at you for crying...it's more that envisioning the degree of mean-ness it would take to get a grown man to cry, and feeling a little shocked that anyone would actually bring that level of mean-ness to work.

Norrick
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Developer Tools (or rather, Developer Division) is a lot of fun to work in. Whidbey's been a lot of fun to work on for the past few months (I just started as a full-time employee in November).

I should point out, though, that Whidbey is a heck of a lot more than just Visual Studio. Whidbey constitutes the next version of Visual Studio, the next version of the CLR, the next version of the .Net FX, the next version of the ASP.Net runtime, etc. All that means is that I'm sure you would be able to find some sort of activity within the division you would find interesting. There are a ton of different things going on all the time, and a dull moment is never found. Good luck! (shameless plug:  http://blogs.msdn.com/aaronbrethorst)

Aaron Brethorst
Saturday, February 21, 2004

My first real software job was an 8-month internship at Microsoft on the Visual Studio Deployment Dev Team.  I was working on Visual Studio back when it was still called "version 7", just before we shipped the alpha for the PDC.

Since then, a lot of my work has been somewhat biased towards developer tools, which probably means I was assimilated along the way.  :)

Anyway, I also recommend the "dev tools" team, mostly because you get to make software development better and there's nothing cooler than being more 20% productive due to a 2-hour investment where you changed 5-10 lines of code to get a feature or fix a bug you had been itching for for the last 2 months!

Oli
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Tom Button is now a Corporate VP in Windows Client Marketing.

I worked in the Windows eHome division for a few years (on Media Center Edition).  They're doing some cool things over there.

Cybersuraa
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

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