Accepted at Microsoft

August 31, 2006 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Personal | 10 Comments

Some of my friends know about this already, but some of them still don’t. So I figured I would announce it here so everyone knows.

I have accepted a job offer at Microsoft (in Redmond, Washington). I will be leaving Canada on September 21st to attend there. My official position will be Software Design Engineer in Test (SDET) in the Windows Serviceability Group. This group is responsible for the Service Packs and fixes for the latest release of Windows. I am very excited at the opportunity to be working at Microsoft. I will be officially starting my first day on October 2nd.

This might come as a bit of a shock to some people I know since I have worked in the past on Open Source/Free Software projects and I was very into it (mainly in my Freshman year at University though). I worked for a while on the GNOME Project. Anyway, I will talk about my experience with it some other time, and will focus on this post with Microsoft.

There are some great benefits with working at Microsoft:

  • Working with a great group of people. Microsoft has some of the best minds in the software industry. I hope to learn a lot while there. Some of the most important programming lessons I have learned is from more experienced people.
  • Respect and Authority. Some jobs people will marginalize your opinion if you are young (as they think you are inexperienced). At Microsoft they highly value your opinion and consider you a member of a team. High level managers will be more than happy to listen to your opinions and take them into account.
  • Working on widely distributed products. This is a very exciting factor for me. I will be working on Windows and learning a lot about it. It is fun to be working on a produce that millions of people use on a daily basis.
  • Employee Benefits and Perks. They have some of the best employee benefit packages and perks. Here are some off the top of my head:
    • Great health benefits. Microsoft is one of the best companies in regard as there are no co-payments, deductibles, or contributions.
    • Relocation Package. They pay for shipping everything and insuring it. You also get temporary accommodation, a rental car, and assistance for all other relocation tasks (e.g. opening a bank account, getting social security number, etc.)
    • 401(k) Saving Plan. Microsoft matches 50% on every dollar up to 6% of your salary.
    • Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You get to buy MS Stock at a discount.
    • Free Gym Membership. To make sure you are healthy 🙂
    • Tuition Assistance. If I decide to go for an Masters in CS, or if I take courses related to my work, Microsoft will reimburse me.
    • PRIME Program. A special card for Microsoft employees in order to get discounts at many participating places.
    • Matching Charitable Contributions. For each dollar I spend, Microsoft will contribute the same amount to a charity of my choosing.
    • Excellent facilities. Lots of greenery and play yards. You get offices not cubicles (although you maybe sharing an office with one or two people – but they are currently expanding the facilities).
    • Free Drinks. One of the best perks. You get free beverages on campus. They even now have Starbucks machines in some areas 🙂

Plus one other benefit I love is actually being in Washington. I’ve looked at pictures of Redmond and Washington and it looks beautiful. Lots of greenery. Although some people have commented on it raining a lot 🙂 An Egyptian who is already at Microsoft has a blog entry that talks about a lot of the benefits of working at Microsoft here.

I know of a couple other people who will be joining the same team as I am from Egypt. One of them has a blog at

For people interesting in applying to Microsoft from Egypt, they will be going there to conduct interviews in December. See the following post to learn how to apply. You need to email your resume and the instructions are located there. This post also has instructions on Microsoft’s international recruiting schedule and how to apply, so it is applicable to everyone, not just Egyptians.

I will later write about my interviewing experience with Microsoft as this post is very long now.


Changing Blogging Service

August 30, 2006 at 1:23 am | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Changing Blogging Service

I’ve tried using Windows Live Spaces. It was good for a start, but then after reading the following post I decided to switch to WordPress.

I thought Windows Live Spaces was a good choice, but I feel that WordPress seems to have a lot more features and is a lot more powerful. One thing that really bugged me about Windows Live Spaces is the ad at the top of my blog. I don’t know of any other blogging service currently that forces you to have ads when you don’t want them.

So hopefully this will be a good choice for me.

I used Windows Live Writer to write my blog entries and it seems to be a very well done app. It automatically detects my blog and allows me to post in a WYSIWYG fashion which is great. Not only that but it can be extended using many plugins (such as an Insert Flickr Image). A good site for plugins can be found at

I haven’t been writing much on my blog because I haven’t been doing much that is interesting. I’ve been going out and exploring Montreal . I am loving the greenery that is here. I will try to write some more, as I have time, about things from my past, and my future plans. So stay tuned and enjoy 🙂

There are two ways you can subscribe to my RSS feed. The more permanent way is through my FeedBurner feed at I will keep this URL always pointing to my blog. Another way is through WordPress (which obviously can change if I switch blogging services, which I don’t plan to do at the moment). The URL for this would be at

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