Wednesday, December 21, 2005

MS Update

So, I haven't heard anything from Microsoft about my phone screen/interview. I'm guessing that isn't positive. Since I didn't really go through a MSFT recruiter, I don't have anyone to contact for feedback about the call. I guess I just have to wait until someone from there calls me, or accept that I won't get feedback.

It's interesting (to me) how I got the phone screen. Here's the unlikely chain of events: I read a blog called JobsBlog, written by a few people in the MS recruiting department. The woman who primarily posts there went to MS because her husband got a job there. I have contacted her a couple of times about Seattle life, and tips on convincing Courtney to move.

I read another blog, which is about aftermarket developer tools that MS creates.

When I read about this new team they were forming, to create dev tools, I contacted the lady in the recruiting department, and asked her who I should contact to get on this team. It just so happens that her husband is a PM on the team.

So, she forwarded my resume over to her husband, and he talked to the dev side, and I got a phone call from them.

Unlikely chain of events, right?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Game update

Been a while, right? So, now, the game is nearing v1. I only have a few major tasks to accomplish before the game is playable.

  • Make bullets and asteroids and ships hit things, instead of flowing through.

  • Make asteroids blow up.

  • Make the game generate more asteroids.

  • Make items wrap around the screen when they go off (so, you go off the right side, and come on the left).

Sounds like a lot, but the tasks are relatively simple. I would attach a screenshot, but the screen shot code stopped working for some reason, and I can't debug it right now.

Microsoft Report

Well, race fans, you can all calm down. I had my technical screen with Microsoft, and I don't think it went well enough to get me a job. I haven't heard anything from the DDCPX team, but I had to say 'I don't know' a lot during the call. That can't be a good thing. Well, it is and it isn't. It's good that I am willing to admit my lack of knowledge, rather than trying to BS my way in, but not good, because I should have more knowledge.

As to the actual questions asked, they were a different class of questions than I expected, based on technical screens with other companies. None of the questions dealt with the things I do on a daily basis; they were geared more towards the internals of the .Net framework. I guess that is to be expected, though, since the other companies I interviewed with (before getting my job at FNDS) were using the framework, and MS is building the framework.

Here are a couple of the questions (if you'd like to post a comment with your answers, I'll tell you if they differ from the answers I got during the call):

  • Types

    • Explain the difference between value and reference types.

    • What is boxing? What is unboxing?

  • Memory Management

    • What is the garbage collector?

    • How does generational garbage collection work?

  • Algorithm
    • There is a conveyor belt, with a camera positioned above it. Every time a piece of fruit passes under the camera, a picture is taken. The picture is pre-processed, and is converted into an array of booleans, with true everywhere there is fruit in the picture, and false everywhere there is background in the picture. Design an algorithm which, given the array of bools, can determine if the fruit is a banana or an orange. These are the only two fruits that will be on the belt.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Can you believe it?

I finally have a phone interview with Microsoft! After four years of applying, I got an interview by going through a couple of blogs. This totally rocks! Tuesday at 8pm, don't call the house, I'll be on the phone.

The call is with a member of a really excellent team. The team is the DDCPX (Developer Division Customer Product Experience) team. They build aftermarket add-ons for developer division products. These are the same tools and products that I use every day. Right now, they are working on a fairly substantial add on for Visual Studio 2005. I can't wait for this call. I am SO stoked.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


We sold the house! And, we got our asking price!

I was really starting to get worried, since our new house has to close in 19 days.

Bonus: We are selling the place to a really nice family, just getting started on the path to home ownership. That makes me happier.