The journey continues…

My “Visiting MS” post signified a turn into how I had been treating my exploration of job opportunities with regards to blog posting. That post attempted to capture the great time I had while being interviewed by Don, Oliver, Chris, et al. at building 42. I also suggested in the post that I was considering other opportunities.

Yesterday I had my second and final interview (there are a couple more opportunities for which I don’t have to go through an interview). Yesterday’s interview just happened to be with Microsoft again. This time, however, it was in the UK and more specifically Microsoft Research Cambridge. I actually applied for this post, in Steven Emmott’s External Research Office group, rather than being invited; this was a few months ago.

The day started very late and it was brief compared to the long but extremely enjoyable and interesting day at Redmond. I was scheduled to give a presentation at 16.30. I think it went ok. There were only 4 people in the room. I talked about e-Science, WS-GAF, White Dwarfs, and briefly mentioned MEST and SSDL. I wanted to get across the motivation, approach to, and experience from designing and building the ‘Search for White Dwarfs’ application and its relation to the WS-GAF ideas (btw, I ported it to the latest version of .NET Beta 2 while travelling to Cambridge). I think the demo also went well.

Apparently, I was the only short-listed (I heard they had >300 applications) candidate without a tie and a suit :-) Well, as I told them, if they wanted me for my taste in fashion, they were for a big surprise :-) (Note…to avoid misunderstandings: this was mentioned to me as a joke and that’s how I treated it as well)

Then I had 30 mins chats with Steven Emmott, Alex (sorry, I forgot the last name), and Fabien Petitcolas who was my university relations contact within MSR for a couple of years now. I got a positive vibe from the chats. We’ll see what happens with the feedback. I was honest to them about my other opportunities so I hope this won’t affect the outcome.

I am very close to making a decision now. I hope within the week to have all the details for all the different jobs (4 in all, perhaps 5 with a late arrival :-). And yes, I have a favourite! I am looking for a good combination of interesting/challenging technical work, opportunity to learn, good compensation, opportunity for community interactions/building, the chance to work with the best people in distributed/service-oriented computing, and freedom to investigate/explore/realise ideas and then write about them. I know that I can’t have all of these in one job. I’ll have to compromise or perhaps aim for a reasonable balance. In anyway, it’s very good to be in a situation where I can choose; I consider myself very lucky.

I am so excited about starting something new! Very interesting times ahead!

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