A recent graduate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Kanade joined Microsoft in July 2004 after completing his masters in Computer Science and Application. He is working at a Program Manager for the Rights Management Services (RMS) project for Microsoft. He has had experience working as a summer intern for Ernst & Young as well as a full time employee for Cognizant Technology Solutions prior to joining Microsoft. Throughout the interview, he gave some great insights on the quality of work at MS as well as the work environment.
Kanade joined the Microsoft Corporation in the spring of 2004 after graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He currently works as a Program Manager for the Rights Management Services project under the Windows Security Umbrella.
Kanade explains that rather than being an administrative position as the name might suggest, Program Manager is a more of a technical position involving product management. Similar to a managerial position, where the person in charge manages the inputs and outputs of workers under him, the Program Manger’s job requires Kanade to analyze behavior of products, their requirements, their outputs and much more. His position involves writing function specifications of products being designed and developed. With a Master’s in Computer Science and Application, Kanade uses the knowledge and experience gained over the years in his current position.
According to Kanade, working at Microsoft Corporation is an accomplishment since the company hires only elite candidates. The recruits are the most efficient and the most diligent of the total workforce of communication and information technology. Kanade enjoys working with Microsoft because he can learn from co-workers and use some of the most advanced equipment in the computer industry. Furthermore, Kanade finds that there are other benefits of working in a big corporation, including better pay-packages and excellent opportunities outside of work.
Position: Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Field: Information Technology
Image courtesy Abhijat Kanade.
Aside from materialistic advantages, Kanade explains that there is mental satisfaction and contentment in knowing that you are working on a product that will be used worldwide by millions of people.
“It is really cool to know that you will affect a lot of people using the products,” says Kanade.
However, Kanade elucidates that the most important thing to note is the immense experience and exposure that comes with working with other professionals in your field as a team. Kanade emphasizes that “the Organizational Heath Index (OHI) of Microsoft is very high.” The Organizational Health Index, used by Microsoft Corporation, is a measure of how well employees perform towards their goals. High OHI represents great organization and communication within the company.
However, along with these benefits, there are some disadvantages as well. For one, there are high expectations to complete tasks correctly and on time.
“The competitiveness of work here is intimidating at times,” explains Kanade. “We cannot act on impulse and are bound by the rules and regulations of the job.” These rules contrast working for a small firm, where tasks are more negotiable and employees enjoy more freedom.
Kanade further describes the corporation as “a collection of small companies”, each defining its own set of commitments and then achievements for the development of the final product. Each company is comprised of a small group of people working on a specific aspect of the product. This division into smaller sectors provides a more comfortable working environment, according to Kanade. The system also allows engineers to sometimes participate in “one-on-ones with the manager”, which keep the engineers aware of latest technology developments.
“The work environment at Microsoft is very informal compared to other big companies,” says Kanade.
Prior to joining Microsoft last year, Kanade worked for other small-firms, as well as large corporations: as a summer intern working for Ernst and Young and also as a full-time employee for Cognizant Technology Solutions, India Ltd., a New Jersey based SEI-CMMI Level V Software Consultancy Firm.
For further information, visit Mr. Abhijat Kanade’s website: