Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Making More Microsoft

I was back on the Microsoft campus today, and in fact right back to my ol' stompin' grounds on the West Campus. There are hundreds of buildings on the Microsoft campus, which essentially covers the city of Redmond (as well as parts of Bellevue, Seattle and other local cities), so to be doing business at almost the same exact location as where I used to work certainly defies the odds -- especially since I'm now working in a completely different line of business.

Even though I was back to familiar territory, everything looks very different than it did just a year ago. An entirely new complex of buildings went in -- seemingly overnight -- right next door to where I used to work, and now there's massive building going on right on the other side, and cranes occupy the skyline, seemingly as far as the eye can see! (If you look carefully, you can see the beautiful snowcapped Cascade Mountains in the background. )

The white car is a hybrid Microsoft shuttle car. You see them zipping all over Redmond, shuttling workers from meeting to meeting -- and all-day interviewers from manager to manager.

I'm liking my new job. I didn't really have any expectations going in, except that I wondered what it would be like to NOT work in education or media production. But other than learning about an entirely new business of which I previously knew absolutely nothing, I'm settling in quite comfortably. I like both my boss and the people I work with -- and that always makes a job far more enjoyable! I still have a lot to learn about the businesses we're dealing with, but the project management piece of it all feels familiar and comfortable, and I have a feeling the job will exceed my expectations.

Phew, eh?!

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Maria said...

Wait. So when you work at Microsoft, do you get to avoid the stark white office? Hmm...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad it's working out for you. Liking what you are doing and those you work with make such a difference.

Is that the main campus or across the freeway?

Carol said...


I work as a vendor, meaning we work work WITH, but not always AT, Microsoft. And actually, we'll be moving into new digs on April 1st! The new place has a few offices as well as a conference room -- AND it's both closer to my house and to the Microsoft campus, so I won't be complainin' -- er, I mean JUST SAYIN' -- anymore!


Carol said...


Thanks! That photo was taken on West Campus, which is north of 520.


Maria said...

Let me rephrase-- So when you work with Microsoft at their campus, you get to avoid stark white... right? ;)

Congrats on the new digs. I'll be praying for something other than stark white for you! :) LOL!

Carol said...

Yes, the Microsoft campus is very nice and the offices and meeting spaces in each building are quite comfortable -- but lately we've actually been meeting in the commissary!

Interesting aside: when I worked AT Microsoft, as in, IN their offices (which line long halls), I was amazed at how little people really interacted throughout the day. 99% (or so it seemed) of the communication is done electronically AND Microsoft has a history of lawsuits, so the CYA mentality is big, meaning that we were not exactly encouraged to get out of our chairs, go across the hall, and actually physically and verbally CONNECT with others. That is completely opposite of how I work best (I like to get as much done collaboratively, face-to-face as possible, and follow up with e-mail), so I struggled with the lack of personal interaction.

I know that their new buildings have been designed to encourage more face-to-face connections -- and most companies I've visited in the past year had much more open spaces to encourage impromptu collaboration, as well. It's the new work mode, don'tcha know?!

Which explains our current office! ;-)


Maria said...

I seem to remember reading that from your first Microsoft experience. I forwarded it on to my uncle who was dreaming of a job there. Personally, stark white is what stood out to me in the photo... and haunts me now (for you!). I work in a cubical... I yell over the top all the time. LOL!

I'm glad you like your new job, btw. There is nothing like loving what you do. Or at least enjoying it! :)

kim-d said...

A job that exceeds your expectations? Ohyeah--that's what I like to hear! I am really curious as to what you did when you worked for Microsoft. One of these days, I AM going back in your archives! I love seeing where people work, and I love hearing about their jobs. So very interesting. Mine is even interesting, even though it doesn't seem like I make it there very often anymore. HAHAHA! Mostly, though, I'm just glad that you are so happy with your new job. Can't think of anyone who deserves that more than you, Carol!

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