Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Getting into Microsoft

Anyone know if it's possible to get into Microsoft with an Associates Degree and not much experience or do they throw all those resumes out?

Yes I am serious.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

It depends.  If you're talking about development, if you've got rock-solid experience, you may have the tiniest of chances... if you're talking about anything, if you can find an opening in support, there are people working there without any degree whatsoever.

Greg Hurlman
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Depend on if you know how to place spaces after commas properly.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Yes it's possible.  It may be hard to get an initial interview, but if you can manage that everything else is in your hands.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I was flat out rejected when I applied with my brand-spankin-new Bachelor's degree.

In Electrical Engineering.

The bastards! :-)

Chris Tavares
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Sure it's possible to get a job at Microsoft, even in the product development groups, without having a bachelors or masters degree. In fact, one person I know really well (ahem) has been working there for years and never bothered to get his two year degree.

But, getting a job at Microsoft, even with a masters, is not very easy...the interview process is quite rigorous and the company is picky.

Good luck, if you're thinking of applying.

Mike Treit
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Mike, I get it.. hahahaha!!

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Well, here's a question:  What exactly would you like to do at Microsoft?

Friday, February 06, 2004

> Anyone know if it's possible to get into Microsoft with
> an Associates Degree and not much experience or
>  do they throw all those resumes out?

It is _possible_.  It depends on what you want to do. 

I interview a lot of developer candidates who are straight out of school, so that's what I know about the most.

Software Developer Engineer candidates who are straight out of school, I'm looking for smart, gets stuff done, good grades, knows all that "school" stuff inside out.  Like, doesn't need me to explain the difference between pre-order, post-order, in-order traversal, etc.  No experience, specific knowledge or specific skills necessary, I'm looking for strong CS fundamentals,  attention to detail, clean code, rapid problem solving and above all, potential to grow -- because there's nowhere to go but up.

SDE-Testers -- the people who build the internal tools used by testers, and the testers who have to be programmers because they test programming language tools -- same deal, but with an additional emphasis on enjoying breaking things.

Testers -- not quite as rigorous requirements in the coding department as SDEs or SDETs. 

Program managers, I'm looking for creativity.  Problem solving ability.  Negotiation skills.  Design skills.  Vision.  Ability to deliver complex projects, make tradeoffs, get stuff done.  Coding skills are a big plus, but not required.

Those are the four that I know anything about.  User Education, Product Support, etc, I know less about what they're looking for in a fresh-out-of-school hire. 

I know plenty of people who have worked their way up from manning phones in product support to ALL of the positions I listed above.  My girlfriend started in internal helpdesk support and is now a tester, I have coworkers who started in product support who now test and implement the internal plumbing of Visual Studio, etc. 

So, like I said, it is _possible_.  But Microsoft is getting something like a thousand resumes A DAY right now, and we're hiring about fifteen people per day, so you do the math. 

By all means, submit a resume.  It will be immediately scanned into a database, so don't bother with the nice paper and whatnot.  A plain text file will be fine.  Make sure that your resume is amenable to keyword searching, and that it gets across at least these three things: (1) very smart (2) gets stuff done and (3) passion for technology.  Those are the basic requirements for _every_ position.

Good luck!

Eric Lippert
Friday, February 06, 2004

Oh, and I forgot to say, go to for more information.

Eric Lippert
Friday, February 06, 2004

Thanks for the informative replies guys.  I think I'll give it a shot.

Friday, February 06, 2004

By all means, give it a shot.  Look at it this way: what's the penalty for failure?

Saturday, February 07, 2004

>> a thousand resumes A DAY, and we're hiring about fifteen people per day

Sounds like excellent chances to me (really).
Saturday, February 07, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home