Thursday, March 23, 2006
'Tis a pretty place
The Microsoft campus is both impressive and, at the same time, unassuming. On the one hand, the buildings are very pretty. They don't build their buildings any taller than the treeline. So most buildings are no more than 4 floors high. An interesting cultural thing that dictates a lot about how they construct their campus of buildings is that every employee gets a real office - no cubes (unless you're a contractor). They're running short on room for all of their employees. So they recently lifted the 4 floors rule, though they haven't built any really tall buildings yet.
Here's a picture of the building across the street from where I was at today:
The buildings are also quite impressive, especially on the inside. They're all very nicely appointed. Most of the employees have 2 or even 3 PCs, if they're developers. Almost every building has one or more nice snack and drink areas with fully stocked deli-style refridgerators full of sodas, juices, milk, and chocolate milk. They also are equiped with very nice coffee (it's Seattle after all!), teas, cocoa, etc.
Another things that's really neat about the bigger buildings is that the bottom floor always has a really nicely furnished game rool. The one in Building 35, the SQL Server building, has pool tables, dart boards, ping pong tables, old arcade game consoles, pinball machines, the works! If you're interested, you can watch a video of my buddy, Euan Garden, giving a tour and talking to some of the SQL Server team members.
You also sometimes see funny or unusual things in the various buildings that were put there in support of some product launch or another. The picture below is of a complete driving console that was shipped out with the release of the XBox 360 launch:
Well, I've been gone for three nights and I really miss my kids - A LOT! I can't wait to get on that plane and see them tomorrow.