Students: Want to work for Microsoft? Go to their hackathons!
I happened to stumble across the UW Big App on Campus Microsoft hackathon a couple of weeks ago (http://huskybigapponcampus.eventbrite.com/) and decided to go scout the event. The hackathon was held on Microsoft’s Redmond campus in one of their many large conference rooms with catering and plenty of caffine to go around. In total, the event drew out around 35 students that hacked away on a variety of applications from music apps to semi-augmented reality apps.
Microsoft has really done a good job with this specific series of events as was evidenced by the event’s Facebook page. There was some serious traction for the event with 53k in “likes” for the event posting: http://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftTechStudent?sk=wall. And if you read through all of the various comments on the wall, there are some interesting views about WP7 that reinforces why social media is good for customer engagement.
Interestingly enough, there were even students posting about interview tips with Microsoft. Here’s the link that was posted to the wall: http://microsoftjobsblog.com/blog/ace-that-phone-interview/. As a student, hackathons are a great way to get recruited by Microsoft as the event was staffed by numerous Microsoft software developers that were helping students debug their applications. Better yet, the recruiters were sitting at the back of the room watching the students interact and code the day away.
So don’t sit at home sending resumes, go out to hackthons to meet the employees from the companies that you are interested in and talk to these people. Because if you can’t stand talking to them during a hackathon, you can’t stand working with them until 3AM in the morning and that, my friends, is the real test.
Last but not least: how do you find these events? Search Google, twitter, meetup.com or eventbrite.com. Alternatively, you can always reach out to me and I can make introductions: @alex_donn
In case you’re curious about the Microsoft student recruiting event, here are some relevant links: