Flights of Stairs
Well, I had some personal problems to take care of late last week, and the PM told me to go home, not worry about our internal release dates, and to take care of them (again, awesome company to work for--work/life balance isn't just a slogan. For most managers I've worked for). The project didn't sufer over my two day absence, and we only recieved a few more change requests. This week the system has been pretty stable, so it looks like we're good for a group-wide preview release Friday!
When we moved here last month, to the top (6th) floor of one of the tallest Microsoft buildings on campus, management (Steven?) put up a friendly competitive worksheet near both stairwells. The person that climbed the most flights in a month would win a minor prize. I've been climbing both stairwells, so as to minimize the visible impact of my numbers and reduce the percieved threat of my position. However, I did a quick tally, and I'm behind by 175 flights! I knocked off 50 today (I am SO out of shape), which means 60 flights Thu & Fri. Have I mentioned I'm competitive? I'm gunnin' for you, Mike L.! :)
In a week or two our team will be competing against 11 others in the DevDiv organization at the all-hands meeting. I haven't played on the original XBox in so long that I'm quite rusty. Add to that they're loosing a great player (Hi Hari!) to some sort of MIT degree program, and we're up against some of the best... well, I really hope we can pull it off.
[Edit: Hmm, looks like some of those guys haven't been playing either. Our odds have improved! Maybe!]
I just want to add a dose of reality to my happy-happy talk. Just like anywhere, your manager has an amazing amount of control over your work environment. When you interview, make sure you ask the tough questions to make sure the position is a good fit for both of you. Just because this isn't a great place to work doesn't mean that every manager or team will be a good fit for you. :)
Keep in mind, too: Reorganizations are frequent here. I've had 6 or so managers in 6 years. Some were better than others, and I've had managers at both ends of the extreme. But if you do come aboard, drop me a line. It's a great place to be, and I hope you and your team are a great match.
<All of this is in my opinion, of course.>