Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hyderabad - Old & New - Part II

RECAP: As we entered the building (building # 3 I suppose it was) there were around a 100 other MSPs from all over India. I naturally received much attention as I was from Kashmir. The MSPs were very friendly and all as nervous as I was- that gave us a feeling of solidarity rather than rivalry! As the test was behind schedule, we proceeded towards the cafeteria where we had FREE coffee. We were like, WOW! Microsoft employees can have free coffee and coke all day! But it turns out  that there is much more that makes Microsoft employees loyal to MS- it is the RESPECT & TRUST that they receive that makes them hang on to Microsoft for such a long time.


There was this guy wearing shorts and a cool T with a notebook in his hand & coding! As we were waiting, a girl in a skinny red top and capri entered the building. The interiors were state-of-the-art and the colors were very cool for a corporate office. The whole place had the ambience of a church- huge, clean and quiet. It was then that I got to know what Microsoft is not!

We finally sat for the test. For the first ten minutes, everyone turned the paper- back & forth (I cannot say anything about the nature of questions as I have signed the non-disclosure agreement). After a while, we relaxed and started writing. I badly screwed the paper- so, no, I wasn't selected. Later, I got to know that only four people got the job!

While the evaluation process was in progress, Mr RajivK (that's his IM name) gave us what we could call, in a normal campus placement, PPT (pre-placement talk)- an overview of Microsoft. He told us what it is like to be a part of Microsoft- especially the influence you have on billions of people, the flexibility in timing and in work area, the perks, etc. I'll describe more of that later. 

The striped black&grey scarf at the back is my head!
When he said, "Its a great feeling when you have billions of people using a product, a part of which you developed. And by the way Visual Studio 2010 was developed 2 floors above you in this building" and that, "If anyone of you has used Visual Studio 2005, most of the code in there was mine" we were awe-struck. At the beginning of his lecture, he expressed his delight at the presence of MSPs from all over India and asked if there was anyone from around Jammu & Kashmir. As I raised my hand, all heads turned back. That's the kind of attention you get as a Kashmiri!

This was followed by some expert sessions on Windows Azure and Windows Phone wherein queries submitted by us beforehand were answered. As the day proceeded, it was getting more interesting. Lunch was served. It goes without saying that the food was great! It had to be- it was Microsoft. As we finished lunch, a bunch of us looked out through a massive glass pane to find a beautiful utopic sight- a small spring surrounded by low hills and naturally growing greenery. We were later told that while building the campus, little or no alteration was done to the natural terrain; which is why the building slants over the natural landscape!

There was a presentation by the Yuva MSP team followed by one on SECURITY- no, not network security- actual security systems used and practices followed by Microsoft on their campuses - GSOC. The presentation was very impressive. You can view it at the given link. Following this, the results were declared- some 8-10 guys (all guys) were short-listed for the interview rounds. And those of us who weren't shortlisted were taken for a tour of the Gachibowli campus.

The three twin buildings spread across a 54 acres lush green campus comprise the MSIDC. The building we were in - building no. 3- is regarded as Asia's most eco-friendly building. We were told that every drop of water leaving the building is recyled. Next, we visited the other two twin buildings. There was plantation all around and yet another building had an ampitheatre sort of thing at the entrance- with graduated stairs leading down to the entrance. I guess they use it as a cultural hub.

Next we were taken to the medical centre, gym and other facilities available to Microsoft employees. I and my friend Aishwarya, excited as we were, checked out our weight and it showed an error (E) sign- at which everyone laughed & said that our weights were beyond the scale :)


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