Monthly Archives: September 2012

Microsoft Program Manager Interviews

So you want to be a program manager at Microsoft?

I have just been through the interview process, multiple time actually, so I can share some of the findings I made.

The typical interview process at Microsoft is based on 4 interviews (and a 5th one if you did well enough to the previous interviews). Each of the interviewer are going to focus on a particular aspect of the skill needed to be a good PM and also generally decide if they would like to work with you.
Continue reading

 
2 Kudos
Don't
move!

5 things you can do to avoid hurting your own cause.

Nice blog post from Dorie Clark, she share 5 tips to avoid hurting your cause when trying to persuade others in the workplace.

  1. Painting a black-and-white scenario: do not idealize your approach nor demonized the other’s point of view or ideas.
  2. Offering your opinion when it hasn’t been requested: try to engage positively with your listener.
  3. Assuming you already know other’s viewpoint: do not base your argument based on assumption on what other might think.
  4. Making it ad hominem: respect the people you are talking to, do not force them to be in a defensive mode.
  5. Launching into your script: control yourself, don’t over extend when selling your cause.

Quite a good reminder, eh?

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

Career switch from test to program management

After 4 years as a software development engineer in test I had the feeling that I needed a change. I was driven into testing because of my passion for customers and high quality software, time taught me that both can also be achieved from the program management perspective. My personal skills set and my preferences lead me to decide to give a try to program management, even if it is a risky move (I strongly believe that going out of your comfort zone is, more often than not, a good thing for your career and for your knowledge).

6 months ago, I decided to go “all in” in program management and started interviewing inside Microsoft to get a position. At the beginning, the interviews were quite epic… I quickly noticed that I had to change my perspectives on engineering. I was often told that I had the DNA of a PM but still I wasn’t offered any jobs L. Each interview I had was a great way for me to learn something and increase my awareness on the skills needed. If I recall correctly, I had more than 20 interviews setup during the last 6 month. I took me quite some personal work and lengthy night to gain all the skills necessary to be a PM.

Finally, I was able to find a good fit for me and I started this week. I joined the Bing Ads team (formerly known as AdCenter). This is an incredible opportunity for me and a business (ads) I am already familiar with.

I a future post, I will summarize tips and preparation steps to have a great interview loop (an interview loop is typically composed of 5 interviews) as a Program Manager at Microsoft.

 
2 Kudos
Don't
move!

How to make things happen – some tactics

This post is the last one of my series extracted from Scott Berkun’s book: How to make things happen. In this series, I have already shared my thought and diagrams about making decision, building trust, dealing with crisis, schedules, not to annoy people, specification, how to improve your communication and about the middle game strategy and the end game strategy. Today’s diagram are some tactics to make things happen. The most important notion I learned in this chapter was the critical path. If you visualize your project as a tree, that would be all the node leading to the completion of the project. Their path should be as short as possible and resourced enough. Another notion I found really interesting is the common ordered list, simply put it is a top-down linked list allowing to prioritize the right work items.

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

How to make Visual Studio 2012 stop yelling at you

If you are lucky enough to be using the new Visual Studio (VS2012), then you probably have noticed and disliked that the menu bar was yelling at you. In the net etiquette, writing in ALL CAPS is equivalent to be yelling. If you want to fix this, well it is possible! I just read on Scott Hanselman’s blog what regkey to create to change the default ALL CAPS setting in the menu bar:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\General\SuppressUppercaseConversion
REG_DWORD value: 1

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

End game strategy

This post is a continuation of my series extracted from Scott Berkun’s book: How to make things happen. In this series, I have already shared my thought and diagrams about making decision, building trust, dealing with crisis, schedules, not to annoy people, specification, how to improve your communication and about the middle game strategy. The obvious next step after the middle game strategy is to manage the end game strategy.

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

Middle game strategy – handling your project on the right direction

This post is a continuation of my series extracted from Scott Berkun’s book: How to make things happen. In this series, I have already shared my thought and diagrams about making decision, building trust, dealing with crisis, schedules, not to annoy people, specification and how to improve your communication.

The middle game strategy refer to the longest time of a project, so you probably don’t want to miss it :).

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

Improving communication

This post is a continuation of my series extracted from Scott Berkun’s book: How to make things happen. In this series, I have already shared my thought and diagrams about making decision, building trust, dealing with crisis, schedules, not to annoy people and about specification. Today’s diagram is about communication, its model, the problems you want to avoid, how you can manage it and how to get the best work from people.

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

How to change a service startup type with PowerShell

Changing a service startup type can be crucial after installing or configuring the service.

PowerShell comes with an easy way to do so:

Set-Service –Name theservice –Computer thecomputer –StartupType “selectedType”

Where selectedType value can be:

  • Automatic
  • Manual
  • Disabled

Unfortunately, there is no support for the automatic (delayed start). To support the automatic (delayed start), you need to create a REG_DWORD value called DelayedAutoStart under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\. A simple way to do so would be:

Set-ItemProperty -Path "Registry::HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\theservice" -Name "DelayedAutostart" -Value 1 -Type DWORD

 
6 Kudos
Don't
move!

How to start or stop a remote service with PowerShell

An easy trick but often helpful in need of automation. I recently noticed that it was not possible to do:

Start-Service –Name theservice –Computer thecomputer

Instead we have to follow this rather ugly way:

(Get-WmiObject -computerName thecomputer Win32_Service -Filter "Name='theservice'").StartService()

To stop the service, same idea:
(Get-WmiObject -computerName thecomputer Win32_Service -Filter "Name='theservice'").StopService()

 
0 Kudos
Don't
move!

Composition of a specification

This post is a continuation of my series extracted from Scott Berkun’s book: How to make things happen. In this series, I have already shared my thought and diagrams about making decision, building trust, dealing with crisis, schedules, and about not to annoy people. Today’s diagram is about the composition of a specification. A specification is an explicit set of requirements and scenarios to be satisfied it help making clear why we are building, what we are building, for who we are building it.


 
1 Kudos
Don't
move!