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Bill Lincoln, Cassandra Young, Rebekah Hankins, Kurt Hughes, and Liz Friedman share a laugh in a photo taken outside.

Jun 26, 2018

Brain-friendly employee feedback turning the tide at Microsoft

As much as we might say we’re open to feedback from our peers, human nature can make it hard to have an open mind when it comes our way—it can feel too much like a threat. In fact, neuroscience shows our brain reacts to the term “feedback” in a way that often shuts down our...

Cory Delamarter poses for a portrait photo.

Jun 13, 2018

Meet the service engineer who can’t help but run toward fire

Cory Delamarter runs toward flames. He can’t help himself—he must be where the action is. He’ll help put the fire out, but really, he’s trying to figure out better ways to extinguish the flames. At Microsoft, Delamarter helps the company become better at responding to fires. “The pragmatist waits until the exact moment you have...

Britney O'Dell stands for a portrait photo.

May 10, 2018

When barbed wire, ammo cans, and dirt get you to Microsoft

Britney O’Dell came to Microsoft sprinkled with a fine layer of dirt. Call it grit. It first blew over her in the deserts of southern Arizona, where she could have easily lost her way as the lone person who believed she could climb out of her no-exit town. She collected more when, on her first...

All posts by Lukas Velush

Apr 25, 2018

Microsoft moves its Human Resources employee portal to SharePoint Online

Microsoft has migrated its internal Human Resources portal to the cloud, a key step in its ongoing companywide digital transformation. Called HRweb, the portal is the second busiest at Microsoft, and represents the last major internal employee portal to move to the cloud. The migration has transformed the experience the company’s employees have when they...

Mar 14, 2018

New hire empowers Microsoft to ‘do right’ by visa-dependent employees

Often foreign workers struggle to keep up with the many legal steps they must take to keep their work visas up to date, creating a simmering worry that never seems to go away. When Jessica Lee was offered the chance to ease that stress, the IT engineering program manager in Microsoft Core Services Engineering and...

Feb 20, 2018

Hello Azure: Unpacking how Microsoft moved its SAP workload to the cloud

Microsoft is heavily invested in SAP applications—it uses them extensively to run finance, human resources, global trade, supply chain, and other parts of its $89.5 billion global business. Doubling down on that investment, the company just finished moving its entire SAP landscape—an estimated 50 terabytes—to Microsoft Azure. The last, most important systems moved over the...

Jan 18, 2018

Solving a human resources puzzle with Dynamics 365

When the market doesn’t offer the tool you need, build it yourself. That’s the way Jay Clem views the world. He leads the Microsoft Human Resources IT team, and his team just helped the Dynamics 365 product team build a new feature that Microsoft Human Resources needed and will soon use. “We have a really...

Dec 11, 2017

The anatomy of shutting down a datacenter

The humming servers fizzled to stillness, the odor of warm, always-on circuits wafted away for the last time, and a datacenter was turned off for good. Effectively, it died. Marked by little fanfare, the end of an area came when Microsoft Core Services Engineering (CSE, formerly Microsoft IT) turned off its first datacenter in 2013....

Dec 6, 2017

Solving an onboarding dilemma at Microsoft with PowerApps

Your first day at Microsoft is supposed to inspire you to change the world. At headquarters in Redmond and at the company’s handful of large United States and international offices, new employees are warmly welcomed via New Employee Orientation (NEO), a day-long experience that greets them on their first day. The story unfolds differently at...

Oct 12, 2017

Using tech to ease the fear of unexpected US travel ban

When President Donald Trump announced that people from some countries would be banned from travelling to the United States, many Microsoft employees began to worry, even panic. The company has many thousands of visa-dependent employees working in the United States, and though only a few are from the six countries that Trump called out in...

Oct 5, 2017

Confronting an uncomfortable truth: ‘Why do you talk so much?’

Marisela Cerda sat down for her annual review, excited to learn how she had done for the year, hoping for a promotion and a big bonus. Her boss at her job in Microsoft sat down in front of her on a Friday in June, looked her in the eyes, and said something that would alter...

Sep 25, 2017

Is an agile development methodology the secret behind Gangnam Style?

Was the world-famous Gangnam Style song and the fun, funky dance moves that go with it inspired by an agile development methodology? Maybe not, but it’s fun to think about the connections when you look at how two distinctly different agile development techniques—Scrum and Kanban—are combined to create an entirely new dance move (OK, software...