Omar is a new Senior Research Software Development Engineer (RSDE) on the Bing team in our Search Technology Center in Mountain View, CA. He’s working on super secret (my words, not Omar’s) features for Bing. Omar recently came to us from a high profile Internet company. I first met Omar at the SIGIR conference in 2006 and we have kept in touch ever since waiting for the right timing and the right role. Here’s a recap of our conversation on being a new employee of Bing:
When asked about the recruiting process he said it was very professional. He liked that Microsoft kept in touch with him for three years. He felt that the process was pretty quick compared to other large companies. The formal interviews were a very long, intensive day, but he felt very good with the group, there was never any awkwardness.
Before he came to Microsoft he thought we were “a large software company mostly known for Windows and Office,” but he thought we had “missed the web.” He didn’t feel like we were on the front line in web. Now that he works here, he sees that people inside the company DO get what the web is all about. They want to “change current perceptions on search and interaction, they want alternatives.” He said he’s met unbelievably smart people. He thinks our people are one of our greatest assets. He feels there is unbelievable talent contributing to Bing. He thinks “our different perspective on what we can do for the next round of search engines is a breath of fresh air.” He thinks the “innovation is great for consumers.” People thinking in innovative ways will improve search. That’s how Omar described our culture: everybody wanting to build better things.
I asked him what it is like to work for Bing and he said it is a very fast paced team. Everyone is open to opinions, there is a lot of collaboration. He said it was interesting that Microsoft doesn’t feel like a large company to him. He feels like he is in a start-up. But contrary to a start-up, he didn’t know all of the resources Microsoft offered to their employees – lots of internal tools and technologies, a top research center (MSR), libraries, collaboration with universities, etc. He currently has several books checked out from MS library that is open 24×7. He also thinks it is cool to play with all the previews of the next releases. He’s playing with the next generation of Pivot right now…
I asked Omar why he enjoys his work– He said he is doing some very cool stuff (remember the details are confidential for now), working on very interesting problems. He loves the impact – being part of a team that reaches millions of people.
Finally, I asked what he would say to people considering roles with Bing? He said, “Give it a shot now.”
Omar – thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and we are thrilled to have you!