It has been an insane first couple of weeks at Microsoft. In actuality, though, I don’t know if I can count it as two weeks of experience. I’ve had two days of orientation, one day for the company meeting (which was awesome, by the way), and two more days for training in Live Search specifically. So really I’ve had only a week of work.
The team I’m working in is great. Everybody really knows their stuff and it’s fairly intimidating trying to comprehend all the knowledge (both project and organizational) that you need to drink from the fire hose. Supposedly, it takes an average of 6 months before most people feel like they’re contributing 100%. That seems like a really, really long time, given how fast things move in the Internet age. So far, I’ve mostly read code (fixed one small bug, and found another), and done online training (of which there is a LOT–you don’t have to do everything, but there’s a an awful lot there to choose from). It’s easy to start feeling caught between wanting to contribute as soon as possible and not wanting to screw up other people’s work.
I’ve also got to come up with my yearly commitments this week–a daunting task when you don’t know anything. Thankfully, my lead is a lot of help. There’s a nice big section for personal development and I’m planning on reading Scott Meyer’s Effective C++ and More Effective C++. They’ve been on my list for a while, but now I can get graded on it!
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it explicitly before, but I’m working on the Webmaster team as part of Live Search. The Webmaster tools are the interface between web site owners and the Live search index. If you have a web site, you should definitely create an account with our tools so you can see how your site is performing.
About Live Search in general…
Over a year ago I briefly tried Live Search as my main search engine, but quickly moved back to Google. About 6 months ago (before I was contacted about the job at Microsoft, incidentally), I decided to look at Live again–HUGE improvement. I have very rarely gone back to Google since then.
There are also some really exciting new features coming for both Live and the webmaster tools, so give them a try now and again in a few months. I can also personally attest to the fact that the Live Search team takes feedback seriously. If you have any issue with your site, or the results of your query–write up a little note and send it to the feedback page, or even send me an e-mail and I can make sure it gets sent to the right people.
P.S. My blog entry about my interview experience did make the rounds and a number of people commented to me on it….weird feeling…more infamous, than famous. Lesson: Make sure you never writing something you wouldn’t mind other people reading back to you. (I don’t think I did…)