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Jobs Blog — Aug 2011

  • August
    30

    Pauline’s Journey to Global Foundation...

    When I was first contacted by a corporate recruiter on professional network/career website, the first thing I thought was: is this a joke...construction contract management at Microsoft? When I learned that Microsoft is heavily involved in constructing and operating data centers domestically and worldwide, I was hooked. With my educational background (Juris Doctor & Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Business Law), I initially dabbled in the labor law and entertainment industry, trying to find the right balance of using my legal skills/negotiation skills for a large, multinational company. Once I entered the Program/Project Management-Construction Management and Engineering industry, I knew I found the perfect fit. I was able to utilize my analytic skills (business and legal) on "cool" projects domestically and worldwide. Seeing projects you work on getting built from the ground up is quite rewarding. Now, all I needed was the right company to exercise my skills and full potential. Enter Microsoft's Global Foundation Services - Data Center Services group... Read More When I was first contacted by a corporate recruiter on professional network/career website, the first thing I thought was: is this a joke...construction contract management at Microsoft? When I learned that Microsoft is heavily involved in constructing and operating data centers domestically and worldwide, I was hooked. With my educational background (Juris Doctor & Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Business Law), I initially dabbled in the labor law and entertainment industry, trying to find the right balance of using my legal skills/negotiation skills for a large, multinational company. Once I entered the Program/Project Management-Construction Management and Engineering industry, I knew I found the perfect fit. I was able to utilize my analytic skills (business and legal) on "cool" projects domestically and worldwide. Seeing projects you work on getting built from the ground up is quite rewarding. Now, all I needed was the right company to exercise my skills and full potential. Enter Microsoft's Global Foundation Services - Data Center Services group... Read More
  • August
    29

    Newbie in GFS

    By: AshleyJ Webster defines "new blood" as persons who are accepted into a group or organization and are expected to provide fresh ideas and vitality. Those are pretty high expectations; but I'm up for the challenge as I finish up my second week as a recruiter in Global Foundation Services. I'm actually not quite a newbie to Microsoft - I joined the organization in February 2010 in the HR Trax Program, a rotational program designed to give those who recently received Masters degrees in human resources (I received mine from the University of Illinois...GO ILLINI!) an opportunity to rotate through 2-3 functions in HR - generalist work, staffing, compensation & benefits, etc. This is my final rotation in the HR Trax Program, but it's my very first time being a recruiter. So, as you can imagine, there have been some things that keep me up at night - one in particular is the panic that ensues when I think about finding the right people for the right jobs! Ok, so I'll admit I'm a bit overdramatic. Still, in the competitive environment in which we play, it won't be easy. But luckily, I've landed in an amazing role that allows me to hire the smartest people in the industry for... Read More By: AshleyJ Webster defines "new blood" as persons who are accepted into a group or organization and are expected to provide fresh ideas and vitality. Those are pretty high expectations; but I'm up for the challenge as I finish up my second week as a recruiter in Global Foundation Services. I'm actually not quite a newbie to Microsoft - I joined the organization in February 2010 in the HR Trax Program, a rotational program designed to give those who recently received Masters degrees in human resources (I received mine from the University of Illinois...GO ILLINI!) an opportunity to rotate through 2-3 functions in HR - generalist work, staffing, compensation & benefits, etc. This is my final rotation in the HR Trax Program, but it's my very first time being a recruiter. So, as you can imagine, there have been some things that keep me up at night - one in particular is the panic that ensues when I think about finding the right people for the right jobs! Ok, so I'll admit I'm a bit overdramatic. Still, in the competitive environment in which we play, it won't be easy. But luckily, I've landed in an amazing role that allows me to hire the smartest people in the industry for... Read More
  • August
    26

    MEET DAVID LOW from the Microsoft Operations...

    Why Microsoft? Prior to joining Microsoft in July of 2010, I had done 3 tours of duty for other Silicon Valley companies. I first came down during the dotcom gold rush working for @Home Networks, which later became Excite@Home. I then moved to eBay which was still seeing massive growth. We expanded globally and acquired several companies such as PayPal. I then spent a short period of time at Yahoo! I worked within the Yahoo Sports team where I was responsible for launching the first global platform for the sports team to support the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Deploying and supporting a platform that operates globally across borders and languages was a real challenge, but it was time for a change. I found myself at a point in my life where I felt that I needed a bigger challenge. Over the past 12 years, I had been working with companies that had scaling challenges in order to meet the demand of their respective businesses. I talked to a variety of dotcoms. The smaller companies that I talked to seemed to want me to perform a job that I had done previously. The larger companies seemed to have either an established infrastructures and were no longer seeing large amounts of... Read More Why Microsoft? Prior to joining Microsoft in July of 2010, I had done 3 tours of duty for other Silicon Valley companies. I first came down during the dotcom gold rush working for @Home Networks, which later became Excite@Home. I then moved to eBay which was still seeing massive growth. We expanded globally and acquired several companies such as PayPal. I then spent a short period of time at Yahoo! I worked within the Yahoo Sports team where I was responsible for launching the first global platform for the sports team to support the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Deploying and supporting a platform that operates globally across borders and languages was a real challenge, but it was time for a change. I found myself at a point in my life where I felt that I needed a bigger challenge. Over the past 12 years, I had been working with companies that had scaling challenges in order to meet the demand of their respective businesses. I talked to a variety of dotcoms. The smaller companies that I talked to seemed to want me to perform a job that I had done previously. The larger companies seemed to have either an established infrastructures and were no longer seeing large amounts of... Read More
  • August
    18

    Interested in Microsoft? Let us know. More...

    The most frustrating thing as a recruiter is to bring in a qualified candidate that does a poor job conveying his or her interest in Microsoft. I often hear from hiring managers, "this candidate doesn't know anything about our business" or "the candidate didn't seem very interested in the role." Often candidates get so caught up in selling their qualification and abilities that they forget to convey their interest in Microsoft and the team. Below are some easy tips for conveying your interest and pushing your odds in favor of receiving an offer. 1. Do your homework. Understand the business, its competitors, and what the team's mission or goals are. Do your research prior to the phone interview with the hiring manager and ask clarifying questions prior to the interview either from the hiring manager or the recruiter. 2. Ask questions. Be prepared and bring a list of at least 10 questions to the interview and ask one or two to each person you interview with. Not only does this help build rapport, but it allows the interviewer to speak genuinely about their experience with the team. This will also make you more confident about your decision to join Microsoft when an offer comes... Read More The most frustrating thing as a recruiter is to bring in a qualified candidate that does a poor job conveying his or her interest in Microsoft. I often hear from hiring managers, "this candidate doesn't know anything about our business" or "the candidate didn't seem very interested in the role." Often candidates get so caught up in selling their qualification and abilities that they forget to convey their interest in Microsoft and the team. Below are some easy tips for conveying your interest and pushing your odds in favor of receiving an offer. 1. Do your homework. Understand the business, its competitors, and what the team's mission or goals are. Do your research prior to the phone interview with the hiring manager and ask clarifying questions prior to the interview either from the hiring manager or the recruiter. 2. Ask questions. Be prepared and bring a list of at least 10 questions to the interview and ask one or two to each person you interview with. Not only does this help build rapport, but it allows the interviewer to speak genuinely about their experience with the team. This will also make you more confident about your decision to join Microsoft when an offer comes... Read More
  • August
    18

    Christina Koehn: UX Designer for Bing

    Christina Koehn is a UX Designer for Bing. Her team's mission is to create a beautiful, usable and memorable experience for Bing. They also strive to be one step ahead of the competition in the search space, and create innovative design solutions that go above and beyond the traditional paradigms of search engines. Christina's role on the team is to design and drive implementation of visual systems across Bing. Christina commented that "in an engineering organization, people often lose sight of the color, typographic and iconic systems that hold a product together and enforce the brand." The main focus of her role is to maintain clean, legible, and consistent design across Bing and all of its properties, while exploring potential new systems and creating forward-thinking design solutions for our product. When her team recruits for UX talent, they typically look for someone who has a keen eye for color, typography and layout and a strict attention to detail. Christina commented when discussing recruitment of UX talent with me: "We look for someone who can take a complex problem and find a beautiful solution that takes into account all constraints while still maintaining clean, simple... Read More Christina Koehn is a UX Designer for Bing. Her team's mission is to create a beautiful, usable and memorable experience for Bing. They also strive to be one step ahead of the competition in the search space, and create innovative design solutions that go above and beyond the traditional paradigms of search engines. Christina's role on the team is to design and drive implementation of visual systems across Bing. Christina commented that "in an engineering organization, people often lose sight of the color, typographic and iconic systems that hold a product together and enforce the brand." The main focus of her role is to maintain clean, legible, and consistent design across Bing and all of its properties, while exploring potential new systems and creating forward-thinking design solutions for our product. When her team recruits for UX talent, they typically look for someone who has a keen eye for color, typography and layout and a strict attention to detail. Christina commented when discussing recruitment of UX talent with me: "We look for someone who can take a complex problem and find a beautiful solution that takes into account all constraints while still maintaining clean, simple... Read More
  • August
    16

    A CSG to FTE Bing Design Success Story...

    I joined Bing Design team in April of this year (2011) as a user experience and visual designer. The design team works directly with user research and editorial to create the visual presentation and user experience of bing.com (including, that beautiful, interactive, home page). For 2 years prior to joining Bing, I was a contract designer for Microsoft's Interactive Experience Business creating information + publication design - so moving to Bing presented me with a dual challenge: transition from print to online, and from contract to full time. Meeting this challenge is still a "work in progress," but there's definitely never a dull moment. For an information designer - or any designer who loves creating visual solutions to communication problems - Search is an amazing place to be. There are new challenges every day, often every hour, and because the Search landscape is constantly reinventing itself, a designer's ideas are unrestrained. Sometimes, a solution has never been tried before. All the better! Inventing and envisioning happens here. At Bing in particular, the design team is a fairly new group, still growing and architecting itself - this creates a very inclusive... Read More I joined Bing Design team in April of this year (2011) as a user experience and visual designer. The design team works directly with user research and editorial to create the visual presentation and user experience of bing.com (including, that beautiful, interactive, home page). For 2 years prior to joining Bing, I was a contract designer for Microsoft's Interactive Experience Business creating information + publication design - so moving to Bing presented me with a dual challenge: transition from print to online, and from contract to full time. Meeting this challenge is still a "work in progress," but there's definitely never a dull moment. For an information designer - or any designer who loves creating visual solutions to communication problems - Search is an amazing place to be. There are new challenges every day, often every hour, and because the Search landscape is constantly reinventing itself, a designer's ideas are unrestrained. Sometimes, a solution has never been tried before. All the better! Inventing and envisioning happens here. At Bing in particular, the design team is a fairly new group, still growing and architecting itself - this creates a very inclusive... Read More
  • August
    16

    Meet Sharat-Finance Rotational Analyst...

    Coming out of college studying finance and marketing, I realized I didn't want to go the typical investment banking route after talking to mentors and friends that had gone that way. I instead wanted to land at a place that taught me what it took to actually build a product with enormous reach and to run a business around it. So after graduating from the University of Michigan, I ended up at Microsoft in the Finance Rotation Program (FRP). The FRP is a two year rotation program filled with four rotations in different areas of the company. I thought it would be a fantastic way to understand what it really took to run a huge technology company and it was. Among the highlights were the time I spent in the Entertainment and Devices Customer Service and Support finance group and the Windows Strategic Analytics group where I analyzed the impact of iPads in the commercial sector (excluding consumer) on the Windows business and also drove the long range planning for the Windows Academic sector. After my time in Windows, I joined the Advertiser Publisher Solutions (APS) group where I worked in product planning. Windows gave me a high-level strategic perspective and APS offered a... Read More Coming out of college studying finance and marketing, I realized I didn't want to go the typical investment banking route after talking to mentors and friends that had gone that way. I instead wanted to land at a place that taught me what it took to actually build a product with enormous reach and to run a business around it. So after graduating from the University of Michigan, I ended up at Microsoft in the Finance Rotation Program (FRP). The FRP is a two year rotation program filled with four rotations in different areas of the company. I thought it would be a fantastic way to understand what it really took to run a huge technology company and it was. Among the highlights were the time I spent in the Entertainment and Devices Customer Service and Support finance group and the Windows Strategic Analytics group where I analyzed the impact of iPads in the commercial sector (excluding consumer) on the Windows business and also drove the long range planning for the Windows Academic sector. After my time in Windows, I joined the Advertiser Publisher Solutions (APS) group where I worked in product planning. Windows gave me a high-level strategic perspective and APS offered a... Read More
  • August
    15

    Testing in the Ad Platform BI Team by Lisa...

    My name is Lisa, and I am the test manager for the Ad Platform Business Intelligence team. I have been with Microsoft for 7 years and have been with the Ad Platform BI team for the past three and half years. I worked in the Exchange Server team for 4 years since joining Microsoft. Prior to that, I worked in IBM as a Java JDK developer for 5 years in Austin, Texas. I currently manage the Ad Platform Business Intelligence Test team, which is a team of about 40 people at this time, and is accountable for the quality of the terabytes of data that is going through the Ad Platform on the daily basis. I love working in the Ad Platform team. What makes my job so satisfying? First of all, this is a very strategic investment area for Microsoft. Bing has done an awesome job gaining the Search market share, and became the second player in the Search arena. The Ad Platform team needs to innovate and execute so that we can take advantage of the search market share, monetize on the market share, and generate revenue for Microsoft. It is great to know that something I work on will directly impact the company's bottom-line and help Microsoft to be a more successful company. Secondly, we work with... Read More My name is Lisa, and I am the test manager for the Ad Platform Business Intelligence team. I have been with Microsoft for 7 years and have been with the Ad Platform BI team for the past three and half years. I worked in the Exchange Server team for 4 years since joining Microsoft. Prior to that, I worked in IBM as a Java JDK developer for 5 years in Austin, Texas. I currently manage the Ad Platform Business Intelligence Test team, which is a team of about 40 people at this time, and is accountable for the quality of the terabytes of data that is going through the Ad Platform on the daily basis. I love working in the Ad Platform team. What makes my job so satisfying? First of all, this is a very strategic investment area for Microsoft. Bing has done an awesome job gaining the Search market share, and became the second player in the Search arena. The Ad Platform team needs to innovate and execute so that we can take advantage of the search market share, monetize on the market share, and generate revenue for Microsoft. It is great to know that something I work on will directly impact the company's bottom-line and help Microsoft to be a more successful company. Secondly, we work with... Read More
  • August
    12

    Data Mining, Machine Learning, and Bing...

    We don't share everything about the internals of how Bing operates but we have publicly shared with the world that Bing has its own version of Hadoop (also similar to Map Reduce / Google File System ) that we call Cosmos and shared that we have multiple Petabytes of data on this data cloud. One of the interesting things to think about is what testers can do to improve quality when they have massive amounts of real world data. What we are doing is literally moving from traditional testing toward Data Mining and Machine Learning as our major tools for driving improvements to overall quality! The approach you simply have to do is come up with the question and then run the analysis to find the bugs. It's truly amazing. Let me give you two quick examples. Question: When people type in three consecutive queries and then leave Bing without clicking on a link how did we fail? That's a good question. I would argue that if you run any query on Bing and you don't find your answer in the top three blue links we've failed, but clearly if a Bing user tries to refine their query two or three times and they still don't get an answer that satisfies their need, it's a definite bug. We actually... Read More We don't share everything about the internals of how Bing operates but we have publicly shared with the world that Bing has its own version of Hadoop (also similar to Map Reduce / Google File System ) that we call Cosmos and shared that we have multiple Petabytes of data on this data cloud. One of the interesting things to think about is what testers can do to improve quality when they have massive amounts of real world data. What we are doing is literally moving from traditional testing toward Data Mining and Machine Learning as our major tools for driving improvements to overall quality! The approach you simply have to do is come up with the question and then run the analysis to find the bugs. It's truly amazing. Let me give you two quick examples. Question: When people type in three consecutive queries and then leave Bing without clicking on a link how did we fail? That's a good question. I would argue that if you run any query on Bing and you don't find your answer in the top three blue links we've failed, but clearly if a Bing user tries to refine their query two or three times and they still don't get an answer that satisfies their need, it's a definite bug. We actually... Read More
  • August
    04

    Search Ads is Hiring!

    The Creative Asset Management UI is working on re-architecting the front-end of our storage platform to support the fast changing nature of the advertising business. Our vision is to enable our users to rapidly innovate on new ad products, targeting multi-channel and multi-device, from web, mobile, all the way to the future such as Windows 8. Leveraging the latest ASP.NET MVC and jQuery technologies, our system will be able to accept new ad product definitions, constraints, and renderers, without any deployment or downtime. We want our advertisers to have ad products that work the most efficiently for them, and retire the ones that don’t. A new ad product every week, or day? Why not? We are looking for experienced Software Development Engineers (SDE) with great technical and interpersonal skills. Technical skills must include C#, SQL, ASP.NET, HTML, XML, and web services. Experience with ASP.NET MVC, AJAX, Silverlight, jQuery, multimedia, and online advertising industry will be highly valued. Excellent candidates will have 5-7 years of software development experience in either multi-tier systems or workflow development. The Creative Asset Management UI is working on re-architecting the front-end of our storage platform to support the fast changing nature of the advertising business. Our vision is to enable our users to rapidly innovate on new ad products, targeting multi-channel and multi-device, from web, mobile, all the way to the future such as Windows 8. Leveraging the latest ASP.NET MVC and jQuery technologies, our system will be able to accept new ad product definitions, constraints, and renderers, without any deployment or downtime. We want our advertisers to have ad products that work the most efficiently for them, and retire the ones that don’t. A new ad product every week, or day? Why not? We are looking for experienced Software Development Engineers (SDE) with great technical and interpersonal skills. Technical skills must include C#, SQL, ASP.NET, HTML, XML, and web services. Experience with ASP.NET MVC, AJAX, Silverlight, jQuery, multimedia, and online advertising industry will be highly valued. Excellent candidates will have 5-7 years of software development experience in either multi-tier systems or workflow development.
  • August
    03

    Diversity In Sourcing and Recruiting: The...

    Diversity is defined by a single word: variety - which basically means different. But very few people follow up with the question: "Different in what way?" The next question we all want to ask, and don't, is this: "How and why is diversity important in the workplace?" We can all agree that we really just need to find the right skill, the right talent for our companies and clients. But I really want to explore further on why we NEED "different" perspectives. Because... In my mind, "different" represents areas such as culture, ideas, values, lifestyles, classes, goals, and so forth. "Different" - and therefore "diverse" - is NOT just about gender and/or skin color. It is so much more than that. When asking a group of people what they think diversity means - recruiting professionals in particular - the perspective ranges all over the place. In our country alone we have a wide variety of different cultures, and when we discuss these differences from a recruiting perspective, they are all lumped into one common word, which is diversity. You see what I mean? To read more Diversity is defined by a single word: variety - which basically means different. But very few people follow up with the question: "Different in what way?" The next question we all want to ask, and don't, is this: "How and why is diversity important in the workplace?" We can all agree that we really just need to find the right skill, the right talent for our companies and clients. But I really want to explore further on why we NEED "different" perspectives. Because... In my mind, "different" represents areas such as culture, ideas, values, lifestyles, classes, goals, and so forth. "Different" - and therefore "diverse" - is NOT just about gender and/or skin color. It is so much more than that. When asking a group of people what they think diversity means - recruiting professionals in particular - the perspective ranges all over the place. In our country alone we have a wide variety of different cultures, and when we discuss these differences from a recruiting perspective, they are all lumped into one common word, which is diversity. You see what I mean? To read more