Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Fourth Day

We started off today with Mark Cleary. We worked on a Media Centre pc, just setting up Windows Media Center Edition. The machine itself was pretty cool, it was a small form factor case, so they had to innovate a bit to stop it over heating every five minutes. On of the features I liked was the CPU cooler, where they had a cooling block directly on the CPU, then heat pipes travelling up to another block with a fan at the back of the case. Anyway, at about 11, Nick Ward came and picked me up.

Nick is the SQL Server specialist here. SQL Server is database software for medium to large businesses. At the moment, I'm modifying the CodeSnippets website to read the snippets from an SQL database, which David was happy about. And I'm glad to say, I'm having much more luck with it than integrating authentication.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Third Day

Today, I'm continuing work on the CodeSnippet site. Nigel gave Dennis and I fully boxed copies of Visual Studio .Net 2003 Professional, which should come very useful at home when I want to code stuff. Now I'll be able to put some of the things I learnt during the user-group meeting into practice.

I've basically finished the CodeSnippet site, I only have to work out how to get the authentication working so people can log in with their usernames. Anyway, Dennis has gone to a meeting with Nigel now, and David just left so I'll update when I get home.

The Second Day

And what a day it was! I pretty much got the basics of the code snippets project
complete, and now it just needs the modification for it to meet the specifications.
We're using Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 to develop the solution, and it is interesting
to see how Microsoft products look pre-release. It's also a great introduction
in to .Net programming for me, as I haven't done any previous work with .Net.

Dennis and I went for a hot chocolate at a really nice chocolate store with Kevin
Rodrigo at about 3:00. We about the ICT Fellowship program, and our time at Microsoft. We gave some feedback about the program (there wasn't really much because it's been so great), so we basically just told him what they were doing right. It really has been a memorable experience so far, as Microsoft has been really good about the work experience. I originally thought I was to be a coffee boy for a week, but I was setup in a office with a laptop with actual work to do. Microsoft have really been supportive of us, everyone in the company has been very accepting and willing to teach us more about how the company works, and the industry in general. Anyway, Kevin was a top guy!

Nigel invited me to a .Net Developer user-group meeting after work. It was really
interesting for me to mix with professional programmers, and to learn of their
experiences. So after the wonders of free pizza, we listened to a 2 hour presentation on programming for the visually-impaired and the favourite programming tools they liked to use.

In conclusion, it was a great day :D

Monday, June 27, 2005

The First Day Pt. 2

Ok, so after we had the tour and everything and setup our
laptops, we watched a live feed of an address by Steve Ballmer
(CEO of Microsoft worldwide) in the Sydney office. He talked
about Microsoft's direction and approach to business, as well
as challenges they have faced etc. I've been asked to write
a solution for distributing snippets of code during my time there.
I'll update more about that tomorrow.

The First Day Pt. 1

It's 11:40 and I am in my new office at Microsoft Pty!
I'm sharing with the other work experience guy, Dennis.
My mentor's name is David. Dennis's mentor, Nigel, took
us for a tour of the site - two levels of Como Tower.
And we got decked out in Microsoft gear :D

We met all the other employees in the office. The company
is split up into Commercial, Enterprise, Services, and DPE.
Commercial and Enterprise are the sales sections, commercial
dealing with smaller customers, and enterprise dealing with
larger ones. Services deals with post-sales stuff like support.
DPE deals with "Mindshare", and is what our mentors work in.
It handles the organisation of MSDN and TechNet newsletters,
events like confernces and usergroups etc.

Before we could do anything, we had to sign a NDA - as
expected, so I have to be careful about what I tell you
about the cool stuff I learn. Right now we are setting up
the laptops we are going to be using during our time here.
We are using Windows Server 2003, and some beta versions
of development tools we are going to have a muck around
with. I'll post more when I get home.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"The Day Before"

Well I've worked out the train route, and am currently contemplating the fact that I'll need to get up before 8 to get to Microsoft Australia before 9:00.