Category Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Internship days 41 to 47

At the beginning of the internship my mentor and manager created a set of commitments. If I think standard process is for interns to write the commitments with assistance from their mentors and managers. In my case the suggested commitments were feasible and interesting so I did not ask for any changes. We did meet with the Windows Printing group to consider other projects but nothing came of that.

My commitments include two projects and various tasks related to Windows and Sustained Engineering. Then half way through the internship my manager and me do a mid point review where we evaluate my progress towards the commitments.

This Tuesday was my mid point review. As hoped it was uneventful, and I am progressing at full pace toward meeting my commitments. The fun portion of the review is knowing I am on track for a job offer. I skyped my parents that night and my mother had fun teasing me about life plans. Or guilt tripping.

Last week’s post lacked proper photos so one sunny day walking to work I got this:


Sun, in Seattle.

Update 2013-10: If you are still interested please consider reading through the overview of my internship.

Microsoft Internship days 34 to 40

Progress on both of my intern projects has slowed waiting on feedback and approval so productivity-wise this week was a slowdown compared to last.

E3 2013 occurred on Monday (day 35) and it was fun to watch the xbox one fail yet even schadenfreude can get boring. Fallout 4 did not get announced nor did valve give details on the streambox. I expect to buy a PS4 and I am impressed at Sony’s engineer’s squeezing the console’s guts into such a tight box.

Even my personal projects did not receive much labour. PPSSPP is no closer to working key mapping and other projects have been on the back burner for months now.  Of life’s chores only next year’s courses got completed. My last school year will have some interesting courses matching my preference for coding over essays. So this week’s achievement is perhaps setting up next year for awesomeness.

Looking back on this uneventful week makes me want to aceive more, for that I need to focus. As always I am writing this on a Saturday (day 40) so this weekend may or may not result in productivity.

Update 2013-10: If you are still interested please consider reading through the overview of my internship.

Microsoft Internship days 20 to 33

I am much happier about my productivity over the past two weeks. My first intern project is waiting on another developer to come back from holidays and my second project is letting me program up a storm.

I have no confidence in the day counts now. Not being zero based and combining with variable month lengths I am not even attempting for accuracy. Day 24 if my math is correct denotes the fourth Friday of my internship.

Day 24

Every developer in Windows Sustained Engineering went curling!


No one had curled before! We except me and some others since Microsoft has held morale events at the curling rink before. My curling experience dates back to childhood when my parents attempted to have me participate with some friends in after school curling. The rink was cold and I remember hating it.

It turns out curling is a fun game. We split up into four groups and each group split into two teams apiece. Before we started a staff member took 40 minutes and introduced us to the game’s basics.

A full curling game consists of 8 ends. After each end all the curling rocks have migrated to the other rink end so things reset. The most interesting and confusing aspect of curling is the scoring. The target is bull’s eye shaped but the scoring is all relative unlike darts. The team with the rock closest to the centre will get a point for every one of their rocks between the centre and the closest opposing team rock. Thus getting a rock in the perfect centre can turn an end from 4 points in the opposing team’s favour to one point in your favour.


Our first of only two scores =(

In the end my team lost 2 points against 5! We had won the first two ends by one point apiece but then the other team flipped the entire game with 3 points in the third end. The fourth end almost gave them an extra 4 points until Ramesh landed one rock and invalidated three of their rocks! It does not sound like much but the curling scoring rules create a dramatic dynamic.

Despite the physical sores a sport like curling inflicts on my lazy physic I went to intern apphack event that night. I intended to work with someone else but as I sat down in the back of the crowded food court all I cared to do was play Pikmin with my new xbox controller. Ten minutes into the presentation and half a pikmin day later someone pulled the fire alarm. I thus not only got to go home early but also got to take photos of cool fire engines!


The rear cap houses the rear wheal’s driver. It is not attached to the ladder.


Apple sells the clip in their company store which is accessible without a company badge. This makes it accessible to freed geeks’ odd sense of humour.  Photo of a co-worker’s badge after a trip to Silicon Valley.

Day 25

My mother came to visit! For atleast half a year after I got the internship my mother has been plotting to visit Seattle while attending a linguistic’s conference in Victoria. We spent the day visiting Seatle’s downtown’s sights. Beyond anything it was nice to see my mother again. I still have two more months so I better make a note to video chat again before much time passes. It is amazing how long a month is. I remember arriving but it feels like a distant past.


We took a monorail to the Seattle Needle. I paid full price but my mentor later mentioned that there are discounts from Microsoft employees which I forgot to use.


Top of the Seattle Needle viewing south over the downtown.

Day 27 to 32

Lots of work! Lots of fun work! I wrote parser and interpreter, gave a presentation on printing, got a new bug assigned to me, watched my first bug getting marked fixed. A full week and good representation of what I hope my next two months will be filled with.

Update 2013-10: If you are still interested please consider reading through the overview of my internship.

Microsoft Internship days 13 to 19

Three weeks down and one fourth of the internship is complete. This week was less production than I hoped, it feels like everyday I had something to distract me. Still coding wise the week ended on a high point.

Day 13

Church was nice and only a 15 minute walk. Later in the day I went shopping. So far it appears one trip a week can last a good week with some surplus.

Day 14

Monday morning I double checked my bag for my paper work and bussed over to the Social Security Office. At the Social Security Office you have to take a ticket and wait. The wait took less than an hour and I was back on Mirosoft campus in time for the weekly Devices and Networking Team(DNT) lunch. It was nice to get the last of my immigration paper work done.

Day 15

Tuesday the 21st was the new Xbox’s announcement. I can say the true surprise of the morning was the name. Of all the the name rumours none had come close “Xbox One”. My favourite of these rumours had been the “Xbox Infinity”. The abrupt flip from innumerable to 1 was the event’s only present twist. I never intended to buy an Xbox but I expected at least one feature to make me envious.  Instead the entire device looks like Microsoft leveraging a successful product to capture another market. It looks like the bluechip Microsoft is winning against the “cool” Microsoft by trading in Microsoft’s coolest product for a DVR.

In all the monring felt like a waste. Three months after Sony’s Playstation 4 reveal I expected to see much more infromation. Microsoft could have saved us all time and posted a simple press release.

Days 16 & 17

These two work days were consumed with a Windows bootcamp for Interns. Two days of lectures which I am not sure were worth the time. All of the talks were interesting in some respect. Most had no applicability to this summer’s work but I assume were intended to give everyone a taste for the Windows organization as a whole. On the plus side I won a copy of Windows Internals the sixth edition.  Between the two large tomes there are no sections on printing.


I am not sure I wanted these but I cannot give up a chance to win things. I waited until it was clear no one else was going to answer the question.

Afterwards I read Anandatech’s articles on AMD’s new CPUs. Since I will be investing again in a new PC after the internship I need to update my parts knowledge. A lot has changed since I built my workstation in 2009.

Day 18

Beyond a personal project and this blog post today will consist of catching up on anime. Between some shows from last season and this season’s best shows I have plenty to keep me entertained.

Update 2013-10: If you are still interested please consider reading through the overview of my internship.

Microsoft Internship days 2 to 12

Days 2 to 5

More computer setup and meetings. At one point I overwrote my main worksttion’s operating system with Hyper-v Server by mistake. I thought “Hyper-v Server” meant a server daemon or, in windows terms, a service, terms for programs which run forever. Instead it was a complete stand-alone operating system. This mistake meant reinstalling Windows 8 and every dev tool.

My commute consist of a 30 minute walk from the north west tip of microsoft campus to the south east corner. My japanese study fits perfect into this timeslot. Last semester there was no appropriate timeslot and study often got pushed so late that it delayed bedtime. Next year my university commute will require a 40 minute bus & train ride which will see similar use. So while I was annoyed at the prospect of losing 1,5 hours of the day this time should go to good use.

West side of Bellvue Meadows looking towards the pond

Starting my commute twenty steps outside my door. Bellevue Meadows is about a block long but exits across the street from Microsoft campus.

Bridge within microsoft campoous next to honeywell offices

Mid way through the commute I cross the highway along a bridge that looks nothing like a bridge. The bridge looks like a simple continuation of the other tree lined roads which make up Microsoft campus.


It is only when walking across the bridge that the highway flowing underneath becomes visible.

Microsoft building 27

I have to be thankful that Redmond is not always overcast or raining because when it is not the sun paints everything beautiful. These buildings also serve as the end of my morning commute.


Days 6 & 7: the first full weekend

I got almost nothing done on saturday beyond catching up on missed anime.

Sunday me and david took the B line bus to walmart. We stuffed both backpacks and two oversized grocery bags with household items and food. The MEC backpack my dad helped select saved my back for the second time. The first time I overloaded it being the first monday, also with groceries. This shopping trip the bag held every heavy item we bought and kept the weight off my shoulders.

Days 7 to 12

At some point this week it rained in Seattl. I do not remember which day but the rain was light. Compared to Calgary rain which either does not exist or comes as a downpour this week’s rain was a drizzle. A few days were overcast but nothing worth wearing my coat for.

Overcast view from my office

Overcast view from my office

On the 21st, the 15th day on my internship, Microsoft will announce the new Xbox. Even within Microsoft all developers who might know anything have been sealed off into special buildings. In preparation for the event Microsoft has built a tent over the main soccer field. The soccer field itself is in the middle of Microsoft’s new Studio buildings. It is within these buildings that Microsoft is developing the Xbox. While I do not plan to purchase an xbox I am exited at the prospect of a new hardware generation. Rumors also purport that my favorite game maker will announce the next version of my favorite game, Fallout 4. As time ticks down I am hoping Microsoft will provide an internal video stream or maybe even an employee event.

Microsoft xbox announcement tent

Future site of the xbox announcement. Photo taken 8 days before the announcement.

So far I am making an effort to attend every possible meeting but this does mean little besides meetings occurs on fridays. The meetings tend to end on time and stay on topic so they are at the least predictable. In every meeting there was a well defined goal and the meeting organizer always kept  discussion on topic. If you must have meetings then this is the way to do so.

The big event this summer is a contest sponsored by Microsoft’s Phone division  This contest, Apphack 2013, is about developing “innovative” applications for windows phone 8. Before the judging rules were post David and I were going to create a html5 platformed  We recruited another intern David met, Jay. The three of us were pretty excited until the judging rules got posted. While the rules do not forbid using html5 which was one of my worries, they do specify a scoring criteria which leaves our platformer no room for victory, Today, the 11th day, we are meeting to discuss our options  Either developing our platformer, switching to a more “innovative” idea, or working together on an unrelated idea.

This second week occured fast. I feel more comfortable with the software and my summer project has been decided on. On Friday, day 11, I borrowed a printer and started writing a simple stress testing program. All small steps towards my projects but it feels nice to be making measurable progress.

Microsoft intern 2013 office

My office as of Friday of second week.

Update 2013-10: If you are still interested please consider reading through the overview of my internship.