Content here is by Michael Still mikal@stillhq.com. All opinions are my own.
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Wed, 14 Sep 2005



I can't hold it in any longer

    Eric Raymond claims to have had a job offer from Microsoft. He so hasn't. If you actually read the letter he got sent (which he didn't), it's an invitation to apply. I've gotten these too, and if you go through the process the next step is a phone interview, possibly followed by a face to face. It just means they noticed he's an engineer, not that they actually think he's worth hiring.

    Eric, get a grip.

    Tags for this post: blog building19 eric raymond microsoft job

posted at: 00:46 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 19 Feb 2005



Well, that solves that

    I got a very nice email from my recruiter in building 19 the other day which explained that I wasn't a good fit for the job they had at hand, and that I wouldn't be made an offer. This kinda defused the need for me to make a decision about whether I was willing to move to the US, and whether I wanted to work for Microsoft or not.

    Having never interviewed with an American firm before, I'm not really sure if "not a good fit" means:

    • Too stupid
    • Too weird
    • Something else sinister
    • ...or not a good fit


    I know I wasn't too expensive, because we never discussed money. Anyways, I've taken some time to put this up here because my own big purchase from the US was the flu, and I'm still playing with that and getting to know the full joy of ownership. When I'm feeling better I'll comment more. One aspect I think needs some commentary is that having read How would you move Mt Fuji? just after the interview, I think there were some fairly major difference between what the book discussed and reality.

    Am I disappointed? Not really. As I said before, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to move to the US at the moment. I guess I'll decide that one when an opportunity comes up...

    One last point. I wonder if the 5,000 vacant positions that Robert Scoble talks about are because Microsoft is incapable of recruiting anyone because of their process, or because there aren't enough skilled people. I guess Microsoft will never tell me what skills I lacked, so I'll never really be able to comment.

    Tags for this post: blog building19 microsoft travel seattle scoble

posted at: 14:19 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 10 Feb 2005



Wish me luck

    I'm about to leave the hotel to go off to the interview. It'll be 8am by the time I leave, which is a little earlier than I planned, but I hate being late for things, and I'm ready, so I may as well go now and read a book in the lobby or something. Am I nervous? No, not really. I have a good job with a great bunch of people back home, so it's not like I'm going to starve if nothing happens, and as mentioned before, I'm not sure if I would take a job if offered. We'll just have to wait and see.

    I'll let you know how things go...

    Tags for this post: blog building19 microsoft travel seattle

posted at: 07:51 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 09 Feb 2005



In a holding pattern

    Well, basically another day lived. I spent the day before my interview (apparently they're called interview loops) remembering what virtual destructor are (I was asked in the phone interview but couldn't remember because I've been coding in c# for the last year or so), going to the mall for lunch, circuit city, the bookstore, and reading in my room. Basically a holding pattern and the first real relax I've had in a long time. Possibly since the kids were born?

    Anyways, now it's nearly dinner time. Tomorrow I figure I'll leave the hotel about 8:30 am. The practise drive took 15 minutes this morning using the route specified by the sat nav, so I figure double that to allow for traffic.

    Tags for this post: blog building19 building19 microsoft travel seattle

posted at: 17:48 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Working at Microsoft

posted at: 17:45 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Why American tech companies seem to get new technology better than Australian ones...

    I think it's because they're more exposed to it here. I can think of a few examples quite easily -- I've never stayed in a US hotel without free Internet access, that's still rare in Australia. The rental car has GPS navigation, that's unheard of in Australia. The front page of USA Today today mentions podcasting, which is something that I'm not even sure has hit prime time with bloggers yet.

    They just seem much more willing to embrace new technologies and run with them.

    (edit: Added tags)

    Tags for this post: blog building19 america travel seattle

posted at: 17:42 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 08 Feb 2005



In Seattle,

    Well, I'm over here now, and nothing untoward has happened. There have been no explosions, nor pied penguins, which is a shame I suppose in one sense. I guess there's time for me to be murdered horribly later in the week though.

    So far, having only flow, spent a little time in my room, and eaten dinner, I can say that there is nothing to fault Microsoft's hospitality. They arranged a hire car with GPS navigation which means I got here alive, they arranged a very nice hotel with quite nice staff, and the staff at the hotel even know what Microsoft is covering (much better than me). That appears to be basically everything I think it likely, except alcohol. Not that I feel like any at the moment after over 24 hours of travelling.

    The same cannot be said of Qantas, INS, or Alaska Airlines however. The Qantas Sydney to LA flight left two hours later because of two bent pins on a connector (apparently causing exploding cards on their on board computer -- there's an explosion!), the plane was way too hot for the first hour or so (I estimate over 40 degrees Celsius to be honest), but apart from that Qantas did ok. I must say they're still the best airline I've flown with. The INS got confused when I said yes to the ""seeking employment" question on the visa waiver, but we sorted it out in the end after about and hour. Finally, Alaska didn't have any staff in the airport to tell me which gate to go to, so the flight connection was a bit tight.

    I shouldn't complain. Overall it was about as crap as all the other international economy trips I have done. I'm sure someone will one day pay for me to fly business class... It is after all a 14.5 hour flight to LA from Sydney. Anyways, jet lagged little me is going to go and laze away on the bed with his red licorice now.

    Thought for the day -- I just noticed that the way I phrase sentences changes when I talk to Americans. Interesting.

    Tags for this post: blog building19 microsoft travel seattle

posted at: 18:43 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 07 Feb 2005



Oh my God! I'm being lured into a trap!

posted at: 01:12 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 06 Feb 2005



Packing for my trip...

    I really should be packing at the moment ready for my trip, but I'll write this first. There really is no point keeping it a secret any more, I think everyone knows anyways...

    On Wednesday I have an interview at Microsoft Seattle with the Visual Studio team.

    Will I take a job if they offer one? I honestly don't know. Microsoft simply isn't the company I grew up to hate all those years ago any more, and I think is trying hard to be a better corporate citizen. Do I want to move to the US? I don't know. Do I want to leave TOWER? No, but I don't know if I should grab an opportunity if one is presented.

    I guess we just wait and see...

    Tags for this post: blog building19 microsoft america

posted at: 02:58 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry