Two weeks ago, I completed a year as a contractor at Microsoft. After the permatemps lawsuits, no contractor may work more than 12 months at Microsoft without taking a 100-day break. (Contractors are free to work elsewhere, of course, during the break.)
Emma quit her job at washington Mutual the same week in order to set up her own business. It will be months before she starts making money, so it seemed prudent for me to find a full-time job.
Last week, I interviewed with Amazon. This week, I interviewed with the group at Microsoft that I just left, Atlas DMT, and Google.
Microsoft and Atlas both made very attractive offers. This afternoon, I accepted the position of Senior Software Engineer at Atlas.
I had a very good year at Microsoft in Windows Emerging Markets. I did some really interesting work on an as-yet unannounced product (some day I hope to be able to talk about what I did) and I worked on a first-class team. I have two longtime friends on the team, Muhsin and Delf, and the three of us became very close to my officemate, Dipankar. Dipankar’s contract ends next week; he received two offers of fulltime jobs from Microsoft this week, and he’s accepted the position on the codec team.
While I very much liked the team and the product, I’m not nearly so keen on Microsoft the company. Between full-time employment and contracts, I’ve spent almost 10 out of the last 13 years at Microsoft, and that’s more than enough. (It seems mildly ironic to be writing this on the day of the annual Microsoft Company Meeting, celebrating Microsoft’s 30th anniversary.)
Atlas is a technology company, specializing in web advertising. I’m joining a team that’s working on advertising in video-on-demand. I was very impressed by the team when I interviewed there on Wednesday, and they liked me too. They were a sharp bunch of guys who conducted a well-balanced series of interview that was both testing and welcoming.
The team has been using Scrum for a while and they’ve migrated towards XP, which they speak highly of. I’ve wanted to get first-hand experience in Agile development for years. They’re also using C# and .NET. After 15 years of C and C++, I’m ready for managed code. They seem to be very committed to work/life balance. Not least, they’re in the International District of downtown Seattle, 3 miles from my house. Every job I’ve had in my 13 years of living here has required me to commute across Lake Washington.