Tuesday, June 27, 2006

As most of you probably have figured out from my last blog post, I’m at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond. I have a summer internship here this summer, and will be working here until the end of August.

The whole story started in early March this spring. I applied for the internship through Microsoft Norway and sent in my resume. In end of March I went to Paris and was interviewed by three people from Microsoft in Redmond, one recruiter, one PM and one tester.

I was asked to solve a programming problem about finding the lowest common parent of two nodes in a binary tree, and then to write the code to solve it on paper. I was also asked a brainteaser and to give examples on how I would test different things, like a table.

Right before Easter I received a job offer as a Software Design Engineer in Test (SDET) on the WinFS team, so here I am.

My first impression of Microsoft is that it is a huge company, and the main campus here in Redmond is quite large. The work environment here is very nice – everybody is nice and you don’t need to wear a suit at work – you can wear whatever you want. The campus is nice – nice buildings and lots of trees and vegetation – almost like a large park.

As some of you may have noticed, WinFS has been cancelled as its own launch vehicle. What that means is that WinFS will not ship as a separate software component, but the technologies developed will be integrated into the next version of SQL Server and ADO. More information can be found on the WinFS Team Blog. I think is it a little sad that we won’t see WinFS shipped, but the vision of a richer storage in Windows is very much alive, as Quentin says.

As WinFS will not be shipped, I will be put on another team, but more on that later.

posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:57:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Saturday, June 10, 2006

...inside an Airbus A-340 300 with it's nose pointing towards south-west.

I have to say that SAS' WiFi internet access on their intercontinental flights is a cool thing. Could have been faster response times (currently around 800 ms), but I guess that's how it is when you're surfing via satelite.

As you may have figured out, I'm on my way to Seattle. I will tell you why soon :-)

posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:38:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Friday, May 26, 2006

"Office 12" BETA2 was released for public download earlier this week. I installed it earlier today, and haven't had any problems with it. I have to say that the user interface looks smooth! I especially liked the "SmartArt"-feature which enables you to create good-looking illustrations quickly.

Download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx

2007 Microsoft Office system preview site: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/default.mspx

posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 2:15:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Saturday, May 13, 2006

Last friday my team participated in the Nordic Imagine Cup Software Design final in Oslo. We competed againts a Finish and a Danish team. And we won! The Danish team got second place and the Finish team third place. The first price was a Qtek SmartPhone. Both the first and second place go to the worldwide finals in India, and all teams got a nice SQL Server 2005-jacket :-)

The days before the final were quite busy. We worked quite a bit on our presentation and on the demo we were going to show. The last night before the final we got some serious issues with a reluctant SmartPhone, so we stayed up almost all night, until 7 to get it working. Then it was a coulpe of hours of sleep and then straigt out to IT-Fornebu and Accenture's offices for the final.

Our team, "Team NTNU", consists of:
Jan-Kristian Markiewicz (http://thespoke.net/blogs/prismejon/default.aspx)
Gøran Hansen (http://goeran.greit.no)
Jonas Follesø (http://jonas.follesoe.no)
Hans Olav Norheim (me)

Check out the pictures from the final at J-K's Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/j-k/sets/72057594125728297/

We have also got some publicity:
Teknisk Ukeblad - http://www.tu.no/nyheter/ikt/article53247.ece
Teknisk Ukeblad, PDF - http://www.tu.no/multimedia/archive/00030/Teknisk_Ukeblad_1606_30379a.pdf
Digi.no - http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=302349
msstudent.no - http://www.msstudent.no
Grunder.no: http://grunder.imaker.no/cgi-bin/grunder/imaker?id=1971

From the left: Gøran, Me, Jonas and Jan-Kristian
In front: Frode Kristensen from Microsoft Norway

posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 4:13:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Coding too much and sleeping too little is a setting I'm not too unfamiliar with. You know you should sleep a bit more and code a bit less when you have nightmares about debugging and are wondering what method of which class to call to shut off the wakeup alarm in the morning. I'm coding on a project with a few friends these days and came over some interesting code, probably caused by the setting above:

public string MyProp
   set {value = value; }

Hmm... useful property...

if (valueQueues[queueId].Count != null)
   return valueQueues[queueId].Dequeue();
   return null;

Hmmm.. Nullable types is an interesting thing, but I don't think this is the right setting to use them...

posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2006 2:16:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1]
 Friday, April 28, 2006

Microsoft Student Community NTNU, where I'm a member, will arrange a NUNit and NDoc Workshop soon. The exact date hasn't been decided yet, but it will probably be next week. I will be leading the workshop and we are going to focus on how to write good unit tests with NUnit, and actually write them. We are also going to take a look at code documentation with NDoc.

The agenda will probably be something like this:

  • Presentation about unit testing in general, how to write good tests, and how to use NUnit
  • Workshop where you will be given code to test
  • Short presentation on code documentation with NDoc
  • Workshop on NDoc

So look for the date announcement here and on http://www.msstudent.no. Hope to see you there!

By the way, I became a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) after taking exam 70-290 today!

Update: It looks like week 18 (1/5 - 7/5) is too busy for us. We will try to hold it next week (week 19).

posted on Friday, April 28, 2006 2:56:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [3]
 Tuesday, April 25, 2006

All kinds of IRC bots has existed for quite some time, everything from quiz bots to channel admin bots. You can't connect to IRC without seeing them. In the later years MSN Messenger has become increasingly popular, and now bots are beginning to appear here too.

I friend of mine, Frank Robert Kvam, has written one such bot, MSN-Hjelper (MSN Helper in English). MSN Helper can help you with some different things:

  • Searching with google
  • Looking up a number in the Norwegian telephone catalog
  • Remind you of TV programs
  • Calculator
  • Wikipedia lookup

His wrote his bot using the free open-source class library DotMSN (http://www.xihsolutions.net/dotmsn/), which is a .NET wrapper around the MSN Messenger protocol. It is quite straight-forward to use, and only your own fantasy sets limitations for what kinds of messenger robots you can create :-)

Add his bot to your contact list: msn-hjelper@hotmail.com 
Below is a screen shot of a conversation with it.


posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 6:38:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [2]
 Friday, April 21, 2006

I went to "The Gathering" this Easter, as I have done the last 5 years. "The Gathering" is one of the world's largest computer parties with around 5000 attendees, held in the Olympic arena "The Vikingship" in Hamar, Norway every Easter. There are a lot of things going on there these 5 days from Wednesday to Sunday; scene shows, lectures, gaming competitions and other cool things.

This year things seem to have gone quite smoothly for the organizers. There were almost no queue to get in when we got there, and the network worked perfectly. In fact the Tech:Net-crew stated that they were bored and that we weren't even close to max out the internal network capacity. The internet line, though, was easily maxed out, with it's 1,5 GBit.

I have attached some pictures so you can see how big this party really is...

By the way, those of you who thinks that all big Microsoft projects are written i C/C++, check out Jonas' line count trivia.

DSC00611.JPG DSC00627.jpg

posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 2:04:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]