6 months in Vancouver and with Microsoft

I moved to Vancouver and started working with Microsoft 6 months back. So far things have been pretty good in general both at work and otherwise.

I’ve been living in downtown since September. Vancouver is a nice city (was voted the world’s best city to live in, in a survey). So far I’ve lived in Muscat, various places in Kerala, Coimbatore, Kanpur, Bangalore, Sammamish and Redmond apart from Vancouver. Of these, if I leave aside the feel-good factor of living in India, Vancouver would definitely be the best to live in.

My apartment is a little over a kilometer from both Stanley Park and the beach so I usually end up going for a 3 hr walk every weekend by the coast/beach and the park. The smaller parks next to the beach especially are really nice to just sit and enjoy the view either listening to music or watching kids play around you (and maybe realizing you are one too and joining them). There are restaurants of all types within a 1km radius – Indian Chinese Japanese Mexican Thai, the usual KFC Subway McD Tim Horton fastfood places and of course Starbucks – there happen to be to Starbucks places on opposite sides of a particular road, both generally busy.

Work is good both in terms of the actual work and the workplace/people. The Vancouver centre opened in 2007 and currently has 300+ employees from 50+ countries. The diversity is something that shows up at various events and also in discussions.

My work has so far been going good with my first project being demoed to BillG in December. While my team (Live Search) has a significant presence in Vancouver, a large part of the team is in Redmond including most of the management. There are both positives and negatives of working in a location different from that of the management team – as of now though, I have been able to bypass a lot of the negatives largely because of supportive managers and team members. One plus of being in Vancouver is the monthly road trip to Redmond which is a free to gain driving experience as long as one does’t speed 🙂

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