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Impressions of Seattle: Thoughts on Microsoft, Amazon and Adobe

Though I’m a tech geek, I haven’t truly labored for a tech firm but. My background is in finance, so I figured MIT Sloan’s current Know-how Trek to Seattle could be a great way for me to see how – and the place – I’d match into the tech world.

Our trek began out on a stereotypical Seattle day with tons of rain. Whereas the climate was anticipated, I used to be considerably shocked to see such a vibrant tech scene in Seattle. I’m unsure what I used to be anticipating, but it surely wasn’t the entrepreneurial vibe that was obvious at even the most important of the tech firms we visited: Microsoft.

Our Microsoft go to started with a tour of the “House of the Future.” We noticed how a contact panel would remind you of a houseguest’s imminent arrival and ask for those who wished the house programmed for his or her preferences. The house’s expertise additionally may assist you to determine what to put on, suggesting objects in your closet that will match and provide you with a warning to the supply of matching sneakers on sale at a close-by retailer. That was truly a little bit bizarre, however possibly individuals sooner or later are cooler with focused adverts than we’re right this moment.

Later, we had a dialog with MIT Sloan alumni at Microsoft. They have been refreshingly candid about what it’s wish to work there. Admitting that it may be bureaucratic as a result of it’s a big firm, additionally they emphasised how they’ve the assets to do progressive issues that will be value prohibitive at a startup – like design the House of the Future.

It’s a must to see Microsoft first-hand to get a way for a way massive the power actually is. It’s actually like a university campus with constructing after constructing. You are feeling like a university freshman if you arrive with no clue what goes on. Fortunately, we had a recruiter take us on a tour so we didn’t want a map.

In distinction, Amazon appeared lean and quirky. Whereas they’d a bunch of buildings, all the things was a lot nearer collectively and the desks have been made solely out of doorways. Why doorways? I nonetheless don’t have any clue, however possibly it’s one thing I’ll be taught if I get a job there.

It was additionally attention-grabbing to see how each floor is an precise whiteboard. Even within the elevators and hallways, you possibly can see the equations, enterprise plans, and provide and demand charts filling up the white areas. Whereas the parents at Microsoft appeared collaborative, the staff at Amazon took sharing to a brand new stage.

One other cool factor at Amazon was how they’re their very own Guinea pigs. They defined how they’re popping out with a brand new product quickly the place individuals who stay in house buildings in cities like New York will quickly have the ability to utilize a central locker in their neighborhood to securely obtain Amazon packages. To check this out, Amazon workers obtain their very own packages at related locker places on its campus.

Adobe was the ultimate of three firms we visited the place we took the standard tour, visiting locations like the load room, patio and kitchen. Not like the tech firms within the Silicon Valley the place they supply three free meals a day, it was attention-grabbing to see that the meals at Seattle firms wasn’t essentially free. Perhaps that’s as a result of the tech group in Seattle isn’t as free-wheeling as it’s within the Silicon Valley the place they may spend cash to make you cheerful and hold you within the workplace in any respect hours.

Then again, Seattle appears to have a leg up with regards to work-life stability. We didn’t hear any tales on the Seattle firms about individuals working till 2:00am writing code, which appears to be a standard incidence within the Silicon Valley.

Getting past Adobe’s kitchen, I observed that it was totally different from Microsoft and Amazon as a result of everybody had an workplace. There appeared to be a giant focus on ensuring the environments are gratifying – there’s loads of uncovered brick and wooden and they have been within the course of of constructing out extra frequent areas across the kitchens.

One factor that stood out was the enormous punching bag within the gross sales staff’s space. Whether or not it was a enjoyable diversion or stress launch, it positively caught my consideration.

Throughout our time in Seattle, we additionally visited the Boeing manufacturing unit the place we obtained to see the brand new Dreamliner plane. We additionally toured the Area Needle and downtown space the place we observed Amazon’s grocery supply vans in all places. It’s fairly cool how individuals in Seattle can order groceries from Amazon.

It seems that Seattle is a taking place metropolis the place individuals each stay and work downtown. Not like the Silicon Valley the place it’s suburbia with workplace parks, there’s a lot taking place on this metropolis and it has a surprisingly vibrant tech setting.

Kousha Bautista-Saeyan is a first-year MBA pupil at MIT Sloan College of Administration. 

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