Monday, December 11, 2017

Take Two of Batsheva's Blog Post....

Hello Dear Readers,
I am doing the heretofore never-done and republishing a blog post, since Batsheva's photos didn't make it in the first time (the tech support elves here have worked hard to fix the problem and would like to take full responsibility for the techno-goof.  And the photo of her first day at Microsoft--the mix of excitement and nervousness in her eyes--is just too good to miss).  --Ellen

Hi everyone! Batsheva here with a special Seattle edition of We Made Aliyah

As many of you know, I moved to Seattle just over 2 weeks ago to work at Microsoft as a program manager (aka technical product manager). I'm working on their developer documentation, docs.microsoft.com, which recently underwent a huge transformation to become an awesome modern open-source platform backed by Github . (If none of that made sense to you, just replace it with "everything is shiny and nice now".) I'm specifically working on the user experience and user interface of the site, which is really exciting because it gives me a chance to use my visual creativity and design skills. 

Me on the first day of work. Orientation started at 7:30 AM! 

I've had a really busy 2 weeks since starting. After a half day orientation, I had a little bit of time to start setting up before jumping into a 2.5 day team training on how to use customer interviews to build and refine products. Then this past week was quarterly planning, which meant that the part of the team based in Shanghai flew in for a solid week of meetings trying to figure out what we're going to do for the next 3 months. 

In between all the meetings I have had some time to do "real work". I've written 2 small specs so far (detailed documents that specify how a feature should be built) and am gearing up to start work on some really big and cool things soon. :) 

I'm also still adjusting to working at such a big company (my previous company was about 300 people [which already felt "too big" to me], Microsoft is 124,000!). The Redmond campus right outside Seattle where I work is 500 acres. 


This was parked outside my building one morning. I asked the driver about it and he said he'd always wanted one, so he went out and bought one. :) Never let it be said that Microsoft doesn't pay well.

There's a ton of amenities on campus, including a makerspace with all sorts of tools and machines, a shopping mall, shuttles between buildings and to the city, arcade machines, restaurants, sports fields, and more. The coolest thing of all though, is…a treehouse! (3 of them, to be exact.) My team went and visited one this past week as a fun activity after our meetings. 





Outside of work, I'm still looking for a place to live along with my friend and future roommate. We're investigating the Lower Queen Anne and Capitol Hill areas and will probably wind up in Capitol Hill, which is an area very much like where I was living in Chicago. Hopefully we will find somewhere next week! Despite what "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" led me to believe, living in a hotel isn't that much fun.

I've also been repeatedly blown away by how beautiful the Pacific Northwest is. I had never visited before my interview in October, and the first thing I thought after landing at SeaTac was that I had never seen so many trees before. The city is on the small side, but there's plenty of cool things to see and do. And the rain isn't that bad. :) (It's actually been pretty sunny the last few days!)





So far, I really love my job and the Seattle area. I'm looking forward to getting settled here!

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