Microsoft Research Ireland
– Work Placement Summary
Date: 02/04/2011 – 02/04/2012
Location: South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.
Microsoft is an American multinational corporation based in Redmond, Washington.
Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker measured by revenues, with revenue of
$73.72 billion in 2012. The company was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
Microsoft now has 94,000 employees worldwide. Microsoft is dominant in the PC operating
system (Microsoft Windows) and office suite markets (Microsoft Office and Office 365) but
is also active in server software (Windows Server, SQL Server), developer tools (Visual
Studio), internet search (Bing), digital services (MSN, Windows Live, Skype), video games
(Xbox), mobile phones (Windows Phone OS) and tablet computers (Microsoft Surface).
Microsoft set up in Ireland in 1985. Microsoft employs 1200 people in Ireland as well as 400
full time contractors. There are three main groups in Microsoft Ireland: the EDC (European
Development Center), the EOC (European Operations Center) and the Sales, Marketing and
The work placement was carried out as a software development engineer (SDE) in the EDC
as part of the Office Marketplace Experience (OMEX) Team, a relatively new team. The next
version of Microsoft Office will allow for extensions written by developers to enhance Office
with custom functionality and this team was tasked with the job of creating the
“Marketplace” for users to acquire these extensions.
Multiple projects were worked on as part of this team. There were a number of projects
which aimed at improving the quality of the code base using automatic code generation as
well as creating rules for code analysis software (which are used to highlight areas where
code can be improved.) Another project focused on monitoring the information on a cluster
of servers and displaying this information in real-time in an easy to comprehend way. Yet
another project worked on involved creating a web-based user interface which connected to
an Azure backend and allowed certain workflow queues to be monitored and updated.
Skills Learned & Knowledge Gained
A number of technical skills were gained during day to day work at Microsoft, these included
in depth knowledge of Visual Studio, C#, ASP.net, IIS Server and SQL Server. A level of
and web-based services was also gained through day to day work.
In addition to skills acquired on the job, Microsoft also provided ample opportunities to
participate in courses and training in other Microsoft products(even if not necessary for the
day job.) A number of these were attended; including Windows Phone 7 training, Kinect
SDK training, Azure training, Office, Windows 8 and numerous other tech talks.
While on placement a number of “soft skills” were also learned. Skills like time management
were crucial if projects were to be delivered on time. Technical document writing (design
documents, specifications and test plans) as well as presentation were very important to
present project proposals to superiors and get them approved. For team projects with a feature
crew (a software developer, a tester and a project manager) interpersonal and communication
skills were of the utmost importance, in order to execute a feature correctly and on time.
Overall the experience of working at Microsoft was an excellent one. The managers and
workmates were always helpful, supportive and understanding. And the work, though
challenging, was also extremely rewarding. In addition to the technical and non-technical
knowledge gained, a great deal was learned about how large companies work and the
business world. This internship was an excellent experience and would be recommended to