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so spending the last week in redmond gave me a lot of insight.  i was able to do a few key things that were important to me in the first few weeks of working with ms.

it must be fun to work at ms campus
one walk around some of the buildings and you can see it must be fun for most to work there.  relaxed, yet professional and focuses environment.  everyone is able to establish their own identity of their office -- one woman had a tiki bar as her desk, which i thought was cool.  there is significant dining experiences (for those who care) that encourage a lot of interaction for the campus community -- and i was surprised to see how much of that occurred.

you must be smart to work as a dev
these guys are smart.  super smart.  extra super smart.  and diverse.  our crowd was throwing out tool/language names i've never heard of.  part of that is my ignorance and a result of me being exclusively in a ms-world for so long.  but it was interesting to note that the people who are devs on our teams have a strong background in all technologies -- and stay on the forefront of understanding all technologies.

i don't think i'm smart enough to be a dev :-)
i've often wondered why ms requires a strong c++ background on all their dev positions...my friends have also talked about this.  after all, look at some of the key people there -- they have business degree backgrounds and are self-taught themselves.  i now know that this is a true requirement and stems from a lot of fundamentals.  we as app devs often think in a business solving role.  these guys are software devs and have to *also* think of system solving problems (memory management, exceptional security, etc.).  a lot of these key skills stem from strong computer science fundamental education.  i hope some day to get there -- guess i better get studying ;-)  i didn't post about my interview too much -- it was different than most as it isn't a full dev role but rather focuses on devs in the community.  however i did talk quite a lot with one of my colleagues about some interview processes -- and the whiteboard questions he got that week were amazing...and over my head a bit in some areas -- i need to educate myself better.  it makes sense now to me why the interview process is so long.

ms is a big company -- duh
obvious i know...but seriously...you have no idea.  not just in terms of size, but listening to the execs and key people in the product lifecylce management, you get an appreciation of how big the company is by their processes, etc.

i've got a lot to learn
with any trip i realize this.  this one just helped me realize how much.  i look forward to working with the java/linux/etc. communities to get a better understanding as well as help them really understand the efforts ms is making and the gains ms is making in software development frameworks.

more to come...

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