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 πŸ™‚
    • 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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.



  1. Hey Ali, thats great to hear about you. May Have more succes in your life. I dont know you but i am quite pleased such blog entry by you. Giving us insight on microsoft, and we are in line to join you hopefully.

    Best of luck for your future…


  2. Thanks a lot Rizwan πŸ™‚ I will probably be adding more posts (I already added one) that gives more insights on me being recruited at Microsoft.

    Good luck to you.

  3. Dear Ali,
    I was searching in Google about Egyptians in Microsoft, so I assume you are Egyptian. If you are thinking or considering to come back home to a very good job, please email me your resume. I guess you will see my email in my post. I hope I hear from you.

  4. I just (very recently) left Egypt to come work at Microsoft. In fact, I haven’t even started the job yet (I start in October). So at the moment, I would not really be interested.

    Plus, in general, I would need to know a lot more about a job before I consider applying with a resume to it (e.g. what company, what position, why I should consider you over my current opportunity).

    If you wish to email me by the way, you can at aliabdin at

  5. Congratulations on being hired. Great to have more people on board. Cheers..

  6. Hi,

    I have been selected into the WinSE group as a SDET. My location is Vancouver.

    I have a few questions, if you can take some minutes and ping me over logan04x_at the then I will be grateful!


    Best Regards,

  7. Congrats! πŸ™‚ Wish you all the best! .. and thanks for such an informative blog entry.

  8. Thnks for the post Ali,Have made my confidence to reach Microsoft Better Than I have,

    I m sure Oneday,i ll be like Your’s,

    Thnks Ali,Once-Again,

    Let Happiness be everyday Sunshine in URS……

  9. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. πŸ™‚ Cheers! Sandra. R.

  10. True words, some true words man. You rocked my day!

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