Monthly Archives: November 2012

Two of our own recruiters, Cindy and Heather take you behind the scenes to share their thoughts on the best/worst things about working at Microsoft:


cindy - blog pic2


Microsoft was once labeled the “Evil Empire.” Not surprisingly, our readers often ask us for the good, bad and possibly ugly reality of working for one of the world’s largest technology companies. But let’s begin with a disclaimer: Every employee would add or delete something from this list. So consider this post a subjective take from two recruiters with 18 years of combined Microsoft experience.

The Good

Microsoft products and technology have shaped and continue to create the modern world. In the very recent words of Oprah: “The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!”

Even TechCrunch recently said Microsoft has become “kind of cool.” We’re well-established of course, but we still offer exciting tech jobs that bring success and a desirable lifestyle to people all over the world. For the right road warrior, a job as a field engineer for Windows might mean it’s time to dust off an underused passport and get ready to travel in support of corporate customers.

For someone who loves to combine tech and business, there are many tech jobs that might be a good fit. Consider this SDET job, which would give the right person a new opportunity to gain experience with the latest Microsoft Cloud and enterprise-level technology.

As for our work ethic: We celebrate success but we don’t get complacent. We work autonomously on collaborative teams with smart, hardworking colleagues who push us to grow and think strategically. But at the same time, we genuinely care about each other’s interests outside of our 9-5 work.

The Not So Good, but not entirely ugly…

We love our gadgets. We show off our Windows Phones at soccer games, cocktail parties and even to people we just see on the street. Although these “sweet smartphones” allow us to work anytime, anywhere and any place, sometimes it’s hard to unplug. Your colleagues know they can find you even if it’s on a beach in Hawaii. But here’s the flip side: It’s a choice. People here want to succeed.

Today, Microsoft is perceived as the underdog. It’s likely that we will always be compared to other leading tech companies, but those comparisons fire us up. When friends and family need to do a quick bit of research and get ready to search their keyword, we politely encourage them to “Bing it!” We are inspired to build new, stronger, ever more reliable and COOL products. We’re making news with Surface and Xbox, with lots of fun underway. In fact, an envelope-pushing tech job listing has been posted on the Microsoft Careers website: We’re looking for software development engineers to work on Cloud TV .

For the two of us personally, a point of pride is working for the company Bill Gates co-founded in 1975. Whatever your take on Darth Vader, Bill Gates was one of the premier geeks who sparked the personal computing revolution. Not to mention: He is a generous humanitarian and philanthropic visionary.

If you ask us, Microsoft’s 15 minutes of fame are not up yet. The so-called empire in Redmond gives students, interns, people already in tech jobs, program managers, software developers, SDETs, and geeks just about everywhere an opportunity to succeed.

Let us know if you want updates on the new tech jobs. And in the meantime, we’re still thinking about your question. The answer: Depends on who you ask. Since you’re asking us, we say the seesaw is leaning in our direction. To go back to where we started: Oprah is all about how to “live your best life.” In our view, that’s for sure happening at Microsoft.

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Microsoft Certifications. 20 years of helping people realize their dreams. This is the story of Goodwill Khuzwayo.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Microsoft certification program. At the beginning of the year we announced we would donate 5,000 Microsoft Technology Associate certification exams through organizations like NetHope Academy and Microsoft IT Academy . Goodwill’s story and success initiated this campaign and his story will inspire thousands of others.

Read Goodwill’s letter:

Dear Microsoft

My name is Goodwill Kwenza Khuzwayo and this is my success story. From a young age, I was always fascinated by technology. Unfortunately, I was born in to poverty and earning an income became priority over education. For this exact reason, my passion and interest in technology had to take a back foot and earning an income to support myself and my family became priority.

Years passed by and I moved in to a shack in Johannesburg (Diepsloot) in hope of reaching my dream which was to become educated and skilled professional in the IT industry. This dream was crushed after I got involved in a Motor (Taxi) accident, rendering me permanently disabled and reliant on crutches the rest of my life. As I am always positive and had to be for the sake of my new family, I did not give up. After recovering I found a job as an admin clerk for a swimming pool company in the Northern Suburbs. This is where I met the woman who is now my best friend and comrade, Nikki Barnard. Over the years, Nikki stood by me through thick and thin and was always there when I needed advice or motivation. I was stuck at the pool company with a very poor salary and no room for advancement. Nikki noticed this and out the goodness of her heart, did something for me which would change my life forever.

In 2009, Nikki contacted a local radio station, 94.7 Highveld Stereo to enter me in to their Christmas wish list Competition. Through her constant persistence and motivation, Highveld Stereo granted me a wish. The wish was to study Information’s Technology, staying true to my wish growing up. Putco (transport company) quickly came on board to sponsor my studies with a Microsoft Training Company called Dynamix Learning Solutions. I was finally living my dream, but more complications were on the horizon. Putco paid for me to study my MCITP Server Administrator course but did not take in to account that i had no experience in IT what so ever and needed introductory courses such as basic applications/Operating systems training, CompTIA Strata, A+ Etc. I fell behind jumping straight in to the first MCTS Module and had to drop out. Dynamix approached Putco on my behalf to query the possibility of paying for my pre-requisite training, but with no luck. My dream once again seemed untouchable.

To my and Nikki’s surprise, Dynamix approached us to offer me not only the pre-requisite courses required, but an addition to my Server Administrator certification, the MCITP Enterprise Administrator Modules, at no additional cost to me or Putco. My interest and passion for IT grew and grew throughout my Microsoft studies and my knowledge/understanding of IT increased dramatically in a matter of months. I studied Monday to Friday day and night as I knew my future now lay in my hands and my hands only. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and never let go! I am extremely proud to tell people that I am now a Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Enterprise Administrator and passed all of my exams with no less than 90% on each exam!

Not even 1 month after completing my Microsoft Certification, I got hired by the South African Electronic Toll Gates Agency and was placed in their IT Department. My dream and goal is to gain some much needed work place experience and work my way up to become an Enterprise Administrator. My new salary has also allowed for me and my family to move out of our shack and in to a new house.

Thank you my dearest friend Nikki Barnard, Microsoft and Dynamix for making my dream come true.

With warm regards,

Goodwill Kwenza Khuzwayo

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Join us in Chicago to learn more about careers at Microsoft! (1 week left to register) – Microsoft’s Chicago Career Invitational

Cut and paste the link below in your browser to view details and register:

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Microsoft Employees Raise $1 Billion For Charity In 30 Years Of Employee Giving Campaign

In the three decades since Microsoft launched a program encouraging employees to give to charity, the software company’s workers have raised $1 billion.

Back in 1983, Microsoft started its Employee Giving Campaign, an initiative that donates $17 for every hour an employee volunteers and also matches every employee contribution to charity, dollar-for-dollar.

The company says 65 percent of employees have gotten involved, accounting for more than 35,000 participants, and Microsoft announced Thursday that the program has generated $1 billion for 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations around the world.

“The company and its employees have much to be proud of at this remarkable milestone and, I know, will continue to make a positive impact in the years ahead,” Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said in a release.

To celebrate, Microsoft announced a $25,000 grant to the top four organizations that have received the most funding from Microsoft employees: United Way of King County, World Vision International, Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation and the American National Red Cross.

But Gates isn’t just working on getting those toiling away at Microsoft to part with their money for worthy causes. As the richest person in the United States, he is continuing to urge other billionaires to donate significant chunks of their fortunes, too.

The Giving Pledge, launched two years ago by Warren Buffett and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, asks billionaires to pledge half of their wealth. The campaign (which includes the likes of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg) recruited 11 new billionaires just last month, bringing the total number of members to 92.

“This new group brings extensive business and philanthropic experience that will enrich the conversation about how to make philanthropy as impactful as possible,” Gates said in a statement when the new members joined in September. “Their thoughtfulness and deep commitment to philanthropy are an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to many others as well.”

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