Working with my brother at Microsoft
Andre and Zacharie are two brothers working together as part of the same business group at Microsoft France. They share their story, passion for technology and unique experience of working together!
Tell me about your career path and the current relation you have?
Zacharie joined a major Telco company shortly after his graduation. He focused on X400 software development and after 5 years of experience in large software projects he applied to Microsoft for a X400 related role specially. He joined MS as a Support Specialist for the Microsoft X400 gateway for MS-mail. Twenty years later, he is now part of the EMEA Escalation Service Support Team, supporting a broader scope of technologies such as Exchange, Phones devices, Office 365, Cloud services, and managing critical situations at our largest EMEA Premier Enterprise customers.
Andre has been working for MS for the past 15 years following a 7-year experience in hardware and software development mainly on Unix. He joined MS as a Technical Account Manager (TAM) for Premier customers following Zacharie’s recommendation and referral. He developed his skillset on MS technologies while focusing on Messaging products. He eventually moved to the Exchange support team Zacharie was already part of to take part of the technical solving challenges.
Andre and Zacharie have been working as part of the same team for the past 13 years and are still enjoying it every day. As Escalations engineers they solve the most complex cases related to Exchange Server and Office 365, handle the most critical situations, dig into the source code, debug it and when needed raise bugs with code suggestions to the Exchange development team in the US.
When did you discover your passion for technology? Do you have other MS fan siblings?
Andre and Zacharie have always been enjoying technology and both studied Computer Engineering. Today they are still passionate for technology and proud to do “something big” while working for MS. They particularly enjoy contributing to something new, share new ideas, welcome constructive feedback and be heard. MS also offers a great possibility and company culture to interact at fairly high hierarchy levels – which is not the case in most other companies.
Zacharie particularly enjoys learning the broad scope of products and services MS offers to both customers and employees: “You can develop an expertise on one technology while at same time enlarge your scope of technologies”. He describes the proximity he has with the development teams and the ability to build long term relations with colleagues who are now close friends.
Andre is very pleased with his career path at MS. He explains many skills are transferrable and MS does its best to make the most of their people: “You can easily move from/to TAM, support and presales while other companies would promote vertically”. MS offers great possibilities to be promoted as an Individual Contributor, which is rare. Andre appreciates the Technical and Soft skills related training sessions he gets on a regular basis (four to five times a year). He is also excited by other opportunities abroad since you can do a similar role at MS Australia, US, Singapore or even Dubai among other worldwide locations!
What advice would you give other siblings who are keen working together?
Andre and Zacharie have a unique relationship at work. They both agree the role comes first and they define their work relationship as “team members” first while it is a nice “extra” to be working with your brother. On another hand they would tend to speak a lot about work in their private lives, which is a nice common point to have! More generally, willingness to learn is key to be successful. You need to keep up to date with the technology and Microsoft offers amazing training opportunities for that. Zacharie is proud to say Andre started his career on non-Microsoft platforms but they are now also part of the same technology family!