I still remember when I was around 7 or 8 years old and we managed to get our first PC back in Egypt. It was a used computer running on an Intel Pentium 3 700Mhz, but when the PC eventually booted and I saw the Windows logo for Windows 95 and heard the famous start-up tune, I knew right there and then what career path I wanted to take and where I needed to get.
I still say this to anyone who is willing to listen, that I believe Microsoft revolutionized this century with their push to get a Windows desktop into every household. Technology would not be the central theme of our lives as it is today if it was not for those earlier versions of windows that were quickly adopted all across the world.
Before this PC came to our house, whenever someone asked what do you want to become when you grow up, my answer used to be a scientist/inventor. Even back then, I wanted to create and design solutions to make people’s lives easier and for a 7-year-old it seems like an inventor could do all of that. But when the PC came into our house and I started using it and connecting to the internet through our dial-up connection, I realized the potential of how much can be done through this platform and since then my goal was to become an Engineer that would one day work for Microsoft.
As my sister and young cousin recently started university (They are also doing Software Engineering at my alma mater) and looking back at their decision-making process to join that program and the little bit of uncertainty they had, I realized that for me there was no doubt about what I wanted to do and why, Computers and Software for me were the new platforms to be an inventor.
I cannot say in all honesty that it was an easy journey to get to Microsoft. Ever since I joined University and started my program, I applied to Microsoft for every co-op, every internship position I could find. this theme continued until very recently. The Microsoft Careers page must be in my top 10 most visited pages all-time.
Aside from that, my passion for Microsoft grew day by day, their mission statement aligned perfectly with mine. Was always an advocate for Microsoft through the years, My first smartphone was the Microsoft Lumia 920 and then the Lumia 1520 and argued with everyone that would listen on how the Windows Phone OS is way superior then anything out there, how Cortana was way ahead of its competition during that time.
One might think that this passion for Microsoft made me a one platform person but on the other hand, this passion helped me develop my skills and career. To prove Microsoft had better solutions, I trained myself and worked on other platforms to be able to give proper comparisons. Back at university, taught myself Linux, also in our Advanced Operating Systems class, we were to make an OS from scratch, while most took the route to do that on Unix, I attempted to do Unix and a COSMOS C# based OS. Then a few years later, I got certified and worked with AWS before I did with Azure.
All that you have read above is from a perspective of a technologist, but as a new father and a much older person (the non-existent hairline speaks to that), there are additional things that now call out to me at Microsoft. During my first Ignite at Orlando in 2018, I had the honor of hearing a talk by Jeffery Snover (inventor of Powershell) about how Microsoft always talked about diversity but when they sat down and did an internal analysis of that, they realized that they are not fully living up to their expectation of diversity and inclusion and talked about the measures they are taking to work on improving that. That level of accountability really resonated with me. Along with now Microsoft’s mission to be Carbon Negative by 2030 and their AI for Good program, it makes me proud to be working for such a company
Even as I am writing this, I am in disbelief that on Monday, I will be logging in as a Microsoft employee.
I was very lucky along the way to work at great companies and under and along great people that taught me everything I know today and acted as Mentors for me, without that none of this would have been possible.
Now it’s time to work on empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.