The image to your left was taken a year ago to the date, well according to Snapchat that is. A year ago, I was given the opportunity to interview for a position at Microsoft. Never once did I think I would be doing such a thing. About a week later I was got a phone call that changed everything. Then a few weeks later, my girlfriend, FrancSoph, and I found ourselves on I-90 bound for Seattle.
What’s happened after a year?
Looking back on the year, it seems like a blur, I keep telling myself I’ve only been here a few months, but in reality, it’ll be a year in a few weeks 😅.
Some of the first things we did when we got settled was exploring the beauty of the PNW. Coming from the Midwest, you don’t get a huge change in elevation very often, and the most “scenic” areas, are just fields of corn and soy. Out here the story is much different.
Life at Microsoft
It’s a question I get asked a lot, even more so than when I worked for other organizations, “What’s it like working there?”.
Over the year, my answer to this question hasn’t really evolved. This is in part due to the complexity of the question, and part being I’m still so fresh and Microsoft is so vast that it’s hard to know what I don’t know. After a year, here is what I can tell you (I think).
No, I don’t have any inside information on Xbox or any of their titles, and if I did I’m definitely not allowed to spill any beans. It’s a very popular question among the kids I coach and some of my gamer friends. Xbox is kind of like Ft. Knox, if you’re not authorized to get in, good luck getting anything out.
Yes, I like working here. I’m usually not one to stick around a situation I don’t like. When it comes to departments and teams, I have been extremely lucky in my career, as I have been part of fantastic teams with great coworkers, a lot of who I call friends after I punch out. My greater departmental team is full of a lot of smart individuals, many of which who are too good at Mario Kart. When it comes to my actual team, which I may be a bit biased about, are some of the best in the office. Every time I look at a PR (pull request), I’m like “Man that was pretty slick”. We’re constantly challenging each other, and other teams, to push better code, for a better product.
Life outside of Microsoft
As I’m writing this, and as you’re reading it, we both may have came to the conclusion that some of this blog could have been separate posts, but knowing me that could be next year.
For those who know me, or spent 5 minutes talking to me, knows I wrestled in college and high school and have a great affinity for the sport. My last year in Milwaukee, I spent good part helping out as an assistant wrestling coach at my Alma Mater. For anyone that spent some amount of time coaching, knows how much it fuels your soul. When we moved to our apartment, it was probably the second thing I did, right after unpacking, looked for a neighboring high school that wanted an extra hand.
That’s when I found Edmonds-Woodway High School. Met with their head coach, and the rest is history. I thought the college season was emotional, but the 4+ months I spent we these young men were intense. Filled highs and lows, these guys went to war and fell just shy of a state title. I wish I could go into more detail, but that would be a mini-series in and of itself.
While I could go on here and literally list everyone that made the past few years what it is today, not only would it be an endless list, I would inevitably forget someone. On that note, thank you to everyone that made a splash in my life, I wouldn’t be here today without you. And for those I have never encountered on personal level, thank you for making the world go round.