Before I start talking about anything related to my new work, I prefer to dedicate some posts to talk about the era before Microsoft in general and my journey from Cairo to Washington specifically,. I will talk about the The Fellowship of Microsoft =D
To Microsoft or not to Microsoft ?
Whether you like Microsoft or not, or you are a geek Linux user who feels like you want to puke on seeing MS Windows. I will not try to make you like Microsoft, I don’t have to, I will just try to mention why MS is my starting point.
MS is not my destination, but rather it is a node in my plan graph, What a geeky sentence !!!
تراني تأثرت, لحظة أبكي
Part of my plan is to work in Game Industry, and applying for a game dev position an international game dev company in USA from Egypt is not guaranteed to be a successful trial for many reasons. Not being a USA resident is one of the biggest. Once you are in here, applying in any company is a piece of cake. All-star companies like (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Linkedin, EA games, etc..) are few minutes may be few hours from where you live.
Believe it or not, since I updated my profile info on www.linkedin.com with my new title at MS, city and state, In 1 week I have been contacted by Google, Amazon, Game Studio asking me if I am interested in their positions. Why this didn’t happen to me in Egypt? Simply because such companies don’t spend as much as MS in the recruiting process which is very expensive. They want to save efforts and money, and let MS do the hard work represented in filtering good engineers and bringing them to USA, and then once these quality engineers are in USA, the engineer hunting war begins. As an example, MS can simply:
- Make a recruitment event in Turkey, Dubai, Sharm-ElSheikh, or wherever and ticket flights and hotels for all their candidates around the world.
- Be responsible for all the fees and VISA paper work (which is the hardest part because it consists of dealing with the USA government) and assist you in getting your VISA in Egypt as much as possible.
- Ticket your flight and bring you to USA. Only few companies here can do this, and if they do they don’t do it a lot, because it is very expensive.
Each year, there is a quota of how many H1B visas (a temp worker visa valid for 3-years) can be given to all companies in USA. All companies share this quota, and each year all companies (like Microsoft and Facebook) who bring new employees from foreign countries’ apply for each candidate to get his H1B visa. Microsoft is known in USA to be a big eater of the H1B quota. There is a big army of engineers working in MS, more than 50K employee including the engineers!
MS can be your journey start-point. MS will help you put your feet in USA.
Whether you will be SDE or SDET working in Windows Automotive, XBOX, Bing, Office, or whatever team. You will learn a lot, regardless of the field you are working on. Working in the biggest software company on Earth is an experience itself, specially if you plan like me to make your own-startup in Egypt.
I will stay in MS as long as it servers my plan. If I find an opportunity in Microsoft Studios I may go for it. If I find another position inside or outside MS that gets me closer to game industry I will go for it, else I will stay in my current team Windows Embedded Automotive, it is a great team and very interesting and I am very excited to be part of a team changing the face of car-driving experience in the World.
وَعَسَى أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَعَسَى أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ