Namanh
namanh kapur I am a rising junior at Rice University studying computer science, who for a long time has wanted to get into blogging. I'll be interning at Microsoft this summer and hope to write weekly. Stay tuned as I discuss good food, friends, and the outdoors! 6 mins read

sixth week in Seattle @ Microsoft.

My sixth week at Microsoft was a mix of everything. In terms of our project, I made some major moves — working through comments on my first official pull request (PR). One of the perks of working at a large company like Microsoft is being exposed to well written and documented code.

Generally, the harder it is to tell you’ve made a change, the better.

Not knowing the intricacies of Microsoft code-style, when I first tried to rebuild code with my new changes, the compiler screamed “A single-line comment must be preceded by a blank line or another single-line comment, or must be the first item in its scope.” I’m glad I’m learning how to write good code. It’s a valuable skill that will serve me well as I continue to explore the technology industry for internships and full-time opportunities. Eventually, I fixed all the comments on my PR and checked in my code. I can now say I’ve contributed to the Microsoft 0365 codebase!

All the IP interns (left to right): Keyan, Eleanor, Cameron, Nathan, Ethan, me, Heath, Andrew, and Shweta.

On Monday, for lunch, all the IP interns and Heath, our intern coordinator who everyone really thinks is an intern, ate at in.gredients. The restaurant is run by acclaimed chef John Howie and is conveniently located at Café 34, where we usually eat anyway. It was $15 for a 3-course meal and the food was really good, so I’d definitely recommend trying it out at least once. Be warned, at least for a group our size, we had to book about a week in advance.

On Tuesday, a few of the IP interns and I went to see Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, speak. He talked about the early days of the company, as well as the importance of culture and branding. He even threw some shade on other companies like Puma and Adidas and Under Armour, so that was interesting.

Phil Knight said “It’s not a science, it’s an art to choose partnerships with athletes.”
I saw Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, speak and even got an autograph after!

I was especially intrigued when he talked about starting an endorsement deal with controversial tennis player, John McEnroe. When Knight visited Wimbledon one year, someone told him to stay away from McEnroe who had a hot head, but Phil went straight to that court and signed the rising star to a lifetime contract.

After the talk, I asked Knight to autograph my copy of “Shoe Dog” and he scribbled his name on the first page before leaving.

Sitting where Phil Knight sat with his bestselling memoir “Shoe Dog.”

Later that day, there was the next iteration of the Intern Spotlight Speaker Series, with Jim Kleewein, a technical fellow in O365. Technical Fellow is the highest position possible at Microsoft without entering management and the pay grade is equal to that of a Corporate Vice President (CVP).

Kleewein’s anecdotes were super entertaining. He urged all of us to seek spectacular failures in our lives and to inspire us, he gave some personal examples. I’ll recount my two favorites.

  1. Kleewein once brought down the entire Japanese ATM system because he forgot the difference between & and &&.
  2. After a hellish night of 18+ hours of debugging, his team had fixed all but one of the buggy servers. With only about 500 emails remaining affected, Kleewein gave the go ahead to call it a night. The next day, Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, angrily called Satya asking why one of his emails to his pilot hadn’t been delivered. Iger needed to fly out an hour earlier because a meeting had gotten rescheduled but his email to his pilot never sent. It turns out the email in question was one of the 500 emails still sitting in the malfunctioning server.

These were both spectacular failures indeed.

Jim Kleewein, one of only a handful of technical fellows at Microsoft.

On Wednesday, my team continued our streak of watching World Cup games during lunch. I also personally accomplished my goal of going to a free group fitness class by doing a 45 minute session of spin with Neha and Edward in the evening. We were running late, so I ran the mile from my apartment to the gym and honestly think I was more tired after running than I was after biking.

On Thursday, my entire team went out for WhirlyBall — a fusion of bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball. Essentially, you drive a bumper car and have a short lacrosse-like scooper. To score, you shoot the ball into the hoop. Passing was easier than I expected and scoring was much harder. It was a lot of fun and took most of the day, so no work after! In the evening, I attended another spin class. My apartment complex was having an event with a lot of locally catered food, so that took care of dinner and lunch for the next day.

An action shot of WhirlyBall in play.

On Sunday, I attended my first ever Pride parade. It was so awesome. The happiness and energy in the air was truly contagious and the weather couldn't have been better: clear, blue sky with sun and a light breeze. I got to the designated Microsoft area around 10:30 AM and marched with everyone until the end. The parade finished at the Seattle Center, really close to the Space Needle - over which there was a real rainbow shining! In all, it was a great day and I'm so happy I participated as an ally. I also made a lot of new friends so shout out to Alberto, Ayushi, Rutu, Simran, and the entire University of Michigan gang!

My first Pride Parade with old and new friends (from the left): Prachi, Jacob, Alexa, Hanisha, Daniel, and me!

I’ve been spending some time on our roof lately. The sunsets are beautiful and there’s a fireplace to stay cozy when it gets a little cooler. When Jacob visited, he took some beautiful shots of the view and it seems fitting to post one of my favorite ones here. You can see the mountains, the pinkish purple sky, and even the Space Needle peeping out from behind some buildings.

The view from our apartment complex’s roof in Capital Hill. (PC: Jacob)

This week has been really chill and it’s crazy that I’m halfway done with my internship. I’m glad I’ve been blogging and videoing my days because otherwise it’s easy to think time flies. I’ve been keeping busy and hope to continue being active in the coming weeks. Cheers!

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