Software Developers Journey Podcast

#20 Ivo Vutov on growing into Microsoft as a student partner


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Tim Bourguignon 0:00

Tim Bourguignon 0:00
is developer's journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon. Thanks for joining. Good evening, everyone. We're here for a new episode of dev journey. And tonight, we have a new guest. His name is evil Rudolph, and coming from Germany, Munich, I think and working for Microsoft. Hi, Eva. Welcome to the program.

Ivo Vutov 0:23
Attorney. Thanks for the invitation.

Tim Bourguignon 0:25
Oh, you. You're very welcome. I'm doing great. I'm doing great. How about you?

Ivo Vutov 0:29
Yeah, awesome. Thanks. Um, like we met a few weeks ago, as I visited your new offices in Munich. Yeah, I was invited to to check all this. You have new shiny offices in swimming in the north of Munich. And that was a very interesting tour. I'm really looking forward to all that you say about this. So I got I got to see it from outside. But then we got introduced. And you could explain me from the inside what it looks like. But I guess we should start from the from the first step. And maybe you should tell us a bit about yourself what you actually do at Microsoft and how you came to be there. Okay. Yeah. Thanks for question. I think it will take quite some time to answer this. Because Microsoft itself is a journey that like, is going through my whole life already. Like, it feels like it. Because I never like thought that I would work at Microsoft. But somehow it always came back to me. So yeah, I can share a lot of insights on this. So for my background, what I'm doing at Microsoft, I'm a consultant for modern applications. You can describe this further as traveling developer. So I'm going to companies trying to find ways to implement solutions on site, develop on site, and help developers on site. So I thought that my focus, let's say, 70%, on my encoding and decoding, I'm not just like giving advices so if a customer has a question for me, like, Can you solve this, I'm doing it. That's a big challenge at Microsoft, because everybody who works at Microsoft knows that. From the moment where you sign your contract, your parents, your relatives, or your friends are going to ask you, Oh, do you know this technology? Can you help me? and Microsoft portfolios is quite huge. So at some point, you just say, Yeah, I can see you're fixing your parents computer now? Yeah, awesome. Yeah. So it's pretty much the same as the customer. So sometimes, discussions of customer insights also go into different directions that it wasn't supposed to be before. And that that's me making it like interesting. And he always I create new ideas, new approaches, and it's really creative way of developing. So yeah, from my personal background, it's not the the usual background that developer has. And I can come to it later. How, how came like this, that I'm at Microsoft, actually. So I studied economics at the University of Munich, and chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. So something that has nothing to do with development, and people may ask you, okay, how come that you work now with Microsoft, as a developer? how close you are to Microsoft. So that that's like, maybe a key question. So as I said, before, Microsoft always came back to me. And I was like, choosing it in some way, like in first place. So I think it started when I was like, eight, or nine, and my, my dad had a Computer Club, actually. And it was like in the late 90s, and we had still PCs that were like, brand new back in the 80s. Because there was no budget and this Computer Club was especially made for refugees from the Balkan War that was going on back then. And the refugees that were coming to Germany to just start a new life, and my dad was teaching them informatics systems, how to code how to like use these old systems. And since he he had to give lessons and that he always like, said, okay, evil, you can just like stay here. Here's some old PCs. You can work with them, like Do whatever you want. And yeah, so then use PC I had was like running Windows 3.1. And it was like my, my master machine. And this was like in 98 or so. So it had like, beautiful graphical interfaces and stuff, and like MS DOS and 3.1 and Commodore and stuff like this. This was my jam back then. So yeah, and that's how the whole developing thing started. I was always like doing stuff for my fellow students. coding for them doing like experimenting here stuff that like a normal normal like teenager would do that has some free time for stuff like that. And yeah, then when I was 18, I had to go to the army. And at this point, I was questioning myself. How should my life go? What should I do? And I decided of becoming a chef, like cooking and stuff. So I applied for for a cook place in Berlin to work there. And some point my mom said, hey, maybe you should study. I mean, you've done your A Levels now. And I know you didn't like it evil. But study something. I said, Okay, let's make a deal. I'm going to sign up for any university in Germany, I'm applying for all the universities that will never take me because my grades were not good enough. And if they don't take me, I just become a cook. And somehow, long story short, I ended up getting to the University of Munich, because this was the only university that took me. And so I come back to Munich. And that's when Microsoft starts, actually, because after three semesters of economics, I was super bored. And I was thinking, Oh, god, this cannot be my life. I don't want to be a consultant that is just doing audits and stuff like this. And then we have something like a scholarship program at Microsoft. It's called the Microsoft student partners. And they found me they were my dormitory back then. Having small events, showing off Xbox Kinect stuff that was new. And windows 8.1 was no windows eight was upcoming back then this was in 2011. And yeah, like I was super hungry on this evening. And one of the guys was asking me if I want to get something because he's also hungry. And then we like talked and he was like, Oh, you're the right person for us. Let like you can join Microsoft. Come on, I was like, I don't know. Like, I'm, like economics guy. If I can do this, like it's, it's so far off of what I'm just doing. And yeah, then I applied for a full scholarship program. And through all the questions and interviews back then it was a little bit harder than now. Since like, they had no budget behind it. And, yeah, so after six months of application time, because it also took pretty long. I don't know what happened. Also, like, I guess, just three managers just changed the team it was going. So yeah, I ended up there. And yeah, my first task was going to universities and make something like evangelism for Windows eight applications. So like the grandfather of the you, WP framework that is now like, still going around on our platform, was exciting, because I was going there. And I felt overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that we should evangelize there. And like, I had no clue that it's so complicated and seemed so hard and awkward. And that's how I started like developing more and more and more. And yeah, this finally that to my working students job at Microsoft, and then that led to the position I have now. That's a whole story. And somewhere in between, there was also chemistry. So okay, you were not completely sure about Microsoft. So you say, Well, I should try something else. And then economics. Yeah, I mean, there was this face, perhaps the two years of student partner ship, I've reached already the top of the career ladder there, we have something like a system of first year Junior student partner, then you get a student partner, then expert, student, partners, certified trainer for Microsoft. And once you reach this top, and if you don't have a job at Microsoft sounds like a working student internship or something that is like opening the door for you. You just don't know how your future is going to go. Because in 2014, Microsoft was still in the in the place to say okay, professionals come to us. We don't need students. Not that many. Just to give you some numbers when I started as an intern in 2014, we were eight in transfer. Whoa, Germany. So that's it. Eight interns. That's nothing that we were always addressing it but like people were not applying us for Microsoft not asking because they were always like, okay, people need to be at least 30 or 40 do apply for Microsoft as a professional. And in this year, luckily, Microsoft Germany like in the US and all other subsidiaries was already like this or some France, for example, but in Germany that they saw Okay, now we have a lack of young people that need to come into a company we need awesome women, because, like in some teams, we have 90% of males and we need to fix this Let's get the people in just share some insights. And I think that HR did a really good job on this. So they started with us eight and now they're like always 70 working students all over Germany, and that's for for the German sub, which is not that big, huge number, like 77 070. Yeah. Wow. Okay. I think that's great. And they like doing also better thesis master thesis work there. And they also do a lot of for people that have disabilities. Try to work with people that affect, for example, blind and give them internships. proactively, so people not just applying like also, if Microsoft sees somebody who's like, interested in technology, they just go there and ask, Hey, like, I've seen your work on DNI. DNI stands for diversity inclusion, we want to do something at Microsoft, you want to experience that, like, help us to, to understand how we can like make a workplace that for you, for example, like if you cannot see, we have no experience with people like this is all building good enough for this. Our colleagues working on systems that are good enough for you, for example. So yeah, this this change completely over the past two and a half years. So I'm amazed about it. Because back in 2014, like for the people that were there, we didn't thought this would happen. Like not anytime soon, but yeah. Things do work out. Yeah. Impressive. And since you, you you launch this topic of, of disabilities and offices. How has things changed in Munich for the past the past month? or so? I'm like an untouched lifetime. The old office? I think it was they moved in in 89 or 90, something like this. And this office was clearly not made for for people with disabilities like it's super small, tiny, the architectures not state of the art. And but you could see it still feel like the ghosts of the gates and Steve Ballmer and they're like, it's just you just like go in there. You still in some like area, Cisco had like this old pictures where you have like, grinning. Steve Ballmer say saying, like, save time, save time, make money, money, money and stuff. Some relic that that, like reminds you of the past? And yeah, now with the new office, many things changed. Like, I see that there's a big awareness for people coming from that, like, like somehow concern the DNI. So DNI doesn't mean just like people with disabilities, for example, you can also have only one arm if you're like, a woman that has a child on one hand, like carrying it or men. Same situation. So how do we make building accessible for this? And I think they they're trying hard, like, especially now that we have a team that is just concerned with like making things like this, or working on the workplace, I think what is most amazing is that we have something like an internal Facebook, it's called Yammer. And it's great to see that our facility team is posting every week or every month, like updates, what they're changing, replying to feedback, people can address it directly. And I think that's how modern workplace should be like a constantly changing and also transparent process of improving things now. And the feeling I got when I when I visited the offices is that the new the new way, or the the way of thinking was, let's go remote. First, let's make the people that are working at the company as if they were working remote, so that people working from home won't feel any different. Is this is this my interpretation? Or is this? Are you do you see it as well. First of all, it really depends on the role you're having. For example, like my job requires a lot of remote work, like if I need to code for the customer. So I go on site, or I just work at home, because sometimes you just need like the euro zone, like your comfort zone for this to be really productive on this like for some people it helps for others not. And if you decide to code for example, at the company, then you just go there and you can call them and people just like give you space for this. But like there are roads that are not like allowing to to leave the company for example, if you work at legal or finance or if you're like in a management position. It's sometimes really hard to work remotely like if especially if you go into the higher management you need to be like visible and stuff. So it's really dependent on the on the role. Yeah, like, I cannot give you like the perfect answer on this. And because there's so many people that just live it like they want, I would say it really depends, like, first of all on your role. And the second one depends really on how you live it how you want to live it. And Microsoft just given gives you the offer for this. So I think also manager in the high position can try to work in, in, in his remote office and just come like one or two times per week to the office, I think this works. But then they need to communicate this. And I think it's more convenient for them to just stay at the office, if they don't want to communicate that much. So yeah, it's how you live it. I think I think you gave the answer already. If anybody can choose how they want to work, and that's pretty much possible for anyone with the obvious examples, you gave them a legal finances, management, etc. Then that's already a great great place to be I mean, you can be at home you can have kids and take care of them and just work when their idea the kindergarten or school etc. Just find some time in between and just not have to commute too much. I mean, that's that's a huge separate. Yeah. That was very impressive. Um, can you briefly describe how the how the offices are set up all these, this all organize itself, like the Munich office, just just just from the concept informing, yet difficult to explain. So the original concept was that we have different areas that are color coded. So like, the first step was just like, make for areas that have the colors of the Microsoft emblem. And so every color stands for another area. So that's helping a little bit with the orientation. If you are a little bit long at Microsoft at the beginning, it's just confusing, but that's always with new systems like it, I've never seen a system in any building website from from beginning like perfect. And in. And these color areas, we also have like zones, and these are like zones where you can like communicate, like they call it Chen discuss, like, these are like open workspaces, where you have like, a lounge player that, like invites you already to just talk and just chill there. I also have seen colleagues just working there, because they just like how other people pass by sit next to them want to communicate, I think, especially for people that had issues before meeting others, this great opportunity, like your colleagues, then we have something like a focus area where like to lecture communication stuff is not allowed. Depends on the area. For example, if you go to services, I mean, all the people that work at services really can communicate and communicative and talkative people. Like, focus areas are not working there, for example, but if you go, for example, to the support, these areas are really quiet. And you can focus on your technical stuff, or preparation. And then you have zones that are like super mixed, where you have like communication, and you can discuss and share and you can like see your best friend's in your eyes in the eyes or just like, do projects together. So yeah, I think that's a big step forward. Because in the old office, it was like every, like every other office, you had your designated workplace, or at least the shadow shadow work desk. And they were all like somehow the same. And it didn't feel like a life like it's now. So I think it's like a big leap forward. And also the opportunity to just go into a conference room now. That is available. I mean, just been at the office, you've seen like every conference room has no panel that you can just like book times, directly if you want. I think that's like a lot of lot more flexibility before we had a system that was totally organized by people. So we had the room dispatcher and an office that was checking if you have like a free room or not, and stuff like this. And now you just got to tablet and you just type in or have a look at something is free. And I think it's working way better than before. Like really great improvement.

Tim Bourguignon 19:20
Looks very futuristic as well.

Ivo Vutov 19:22
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's the nice side. Yes, it is. Yeah. Yeah. And you just touched on communication. You said you were you are mostly remote. I mean, consulting companies right and left. Yeah. How's communication going? Are you were part of a team. Are you working mostly alone? How did that go? Oh, yeah. Now you just open Pandora's box. So yes. So yeah, we have something like a restructuring going on currently. So we have regional teams. These are like most Mainly the count teams that want to be like close to our German customers to, to just give them somebody who's like to talk in the native language, who understands better, what are like the regional conflicts and stuff like this. And then we have something like global domains, teams that are like acting across countries. And so services, for example, splitting down to these two teams, for example, support side still stays, mainly for Germany, and the MCs side, the consulting side where I'm, it's going to be for me, so for Europe, Middle East and Africa. This, I know, this sounds like huge, huge distance to just like travel and just like see how we can work there. But I think technology like solves most of the issues here, like I've been out in the time where I've been at Microsoft, as a consultant in teams that are like always consisting of mainly Germans, yes, in Germany. But we always have people that come from Ukraine, for example, or Lebanon, or Nigeria, or Tunisia, or Dubai, the UAE, S, meaning friends, Ireland, it's amazing to see that it works. And like usually you have something like one or two weeks where the team just like, like gets together talks, sees who has like, which competencies, how we can help each other. And after this remote work works perfectly, like it's more like a travel on demand, then the rest is done perfectly remote them. So Skype for Business helps them. And also since we like all developers, I mean, we're using always Scrum, or at least try to live Scrum. I know like, if developers listen now, they will say okay, yes, Chrome can be lived in a million different ways. really depends on the customer, the project, how it's done. So yeah, but it helps a lot and organization and orchestrating this whole, like, amount of punch and people that are like around. Yeah. Have you had experience with remote setup that didn't work? Yeah, of course, I think remote setups never work at the beginning. Because always, when you come into a project, you have two infrastructures that need to get together, you have the Microsoft infrastructure that's surprisingly open. For like, if you want to start projects, like they are, like, really not many barriers that need to be taken. But the customer infrastructures are super strict. Sometimes in order to like I understand it also, because you need to defend somehow your intellectual property, you want to put a lot of efforts into security spent a lot of money into it. And this money is also well spent. But like for initiating projects, this always takes at least two or three weeks until like the it configures, all, all the stuff in order to make everything accessible for you. So yeah, that's normal. But in this time, it's not not not a big issue. Because we are like, not saying, Okay, if you cannot exit the system, you're not working at all. That's not what's going to happen, like we stopped working. And as soon as we have like access to all the stuff, we just start transmitting the data and beiping everything from from our local PCs, for example, to just like, get the customer going as fast as he can. And also like, it's, it's a big part of satisfaction. And this part. Um, any project where it wasn't technical, the problem were where it was more interpersonal, or on the on the, I don't know, the communication with a client or something. Until now, like, I think, I can't imagine like, from what I've heard from before, is that Microsoft was different, like, people had different expectations when Microsoft people came in, because you always thought, okay, that's this old company already, like I know, invitation, Max. I mean, we're just celebrating birthday of Microsoft currently. So yeah, it's an old company somehow for the IT industry. And people also get older and they have different expectations, they lift through time. So Microsoft also was like, skyrocketing in some parts, spending money into consulting stuff like this. And people just changed a lot. And now during the past years, that's also what I mentioned. In the beginning, Microsoft started to change and bring it more to human personal level again. And I think until now, like an older project, I've seen customers, we're always surprised that we're like, so human like that, we go to a customer and we also share our thoughts and our feelings and that we are all for the tea, tea, and to that during every project. I've always seen that The customer site and the Microsoft site just gets super close. And no relationship of working like feedback is always in exchange transparent. And I think that's the way to go. If you want to have long time relationships, a lot of building on trust, and trust is what you want to have from this place. I know it sounds like a cheesy advertisement on this part. Because that's like what every company just like promises, but in this case, like I'm, I'm amazed that it's currently really working. And that's way how I wanted to live it. And that's also what I'm like showing my customers that I'm like, always available for something like this, like transparent work, and solving issues as as good as I can for not then like, Microsoft has a big network of people that can help you also ought if you have an issue. And that's also an advice that I can give to any developer on this planet, that if you have a network just make use of it. Like as people, it's not always like the developer by itself wants to solve all the issues. I know that this is like something like illness that everybody has here in this industry that problems need to be solved first, by by its own, and then we ask people, but sometimes it's really good to just ask other people first, and just like, see, because they also need sometimes help, or just look for job or just for task for for two or three days. And then it's convenient to have somebody who's asking them, and also it shows that you appreciate other people, and they would just recommend you later. For something else. I'll just think of you. So it's always good to to make use of your network.

Tim Bourguignon 26:39
We're leaning on the mentoring topic now.

Tim Bourguignon 26:41

Ivo Vutov 26:44
Is it something that you leave as well? So mentoring is for me, something that's really crucial. So I'm gonna started with Microsoft, as they always say you need at least two mentors. So somebody who's the IQ, peer who has done venac through all the same things in your like, Grandpa face, when you need somebody who's like a little bit more above you, who's going to give you a career mentoring? And I mean, these are like, how do you say it like common rules, how you how you, like, can live mentoring, but for me, mentoring is something else since I'm a problem solver. And I really like to discover like things on my own at first, and Korea is not the most important part for me. I choose my mentors mainly because of their special skills. So I have, for example, a mentor who's just concerned DNI because I think it's always good to have somehow one eye on, on inclusion and also like how we can like, make things better for other people. And sometimes if I'm just coding, like for two or three weeks straight, I'm totally losing my focus on this. And then it's good that I have like these meetings with my mentor. And he's just telling me what is going on in this world that has topics and then I just have sometimes ideas that can make things better there. And also, he helps me getting back back to, to normal on this part. And I also have two mentees and the student partner program, for example, so that I always see, okay, what is going on on the student side, so they are helping me it's like a bit of reverse mentoring. And on the other hand side, I just helped them getting along in their lives, like, helping them if they have questions for the Korea for university topics. It's like a fluid change. And yeah, then I have two more mentors, one of the technical sides decided, like, I think he's a great inspiration for me, because he has been also developer for many, many years. He also started in the young age. And he's really like, trying to transport us idea word of software architecture. And that's something that I want to get better. So that's my chosen. And then from management sites, somebody have, I'm just curious to see how this person develops. And what can I learn from this? Maybe in the future for career path? I don't know like, because, as I said, for me, the most important part is knowledge and not career currently. And I think we live in exciting times. So knowledge should be key currently.

Tim Bourguignon 29:26
Are you living the mental life?

Ivo Vutov 29:30
They get that right here for mentors and mentees. Yeah, exactly. Molly. And how often do you meet each other? Um, depends on the person you've chosen. Like, for example, my technical mentor, it's always like every three or four weeks, because we have often projects and then we just have a big session that goes like for an hour, two hours. We just exchange what happened. He just tells me what is new like, Is there any resources I can look at stuff like that. This, the DNI mentor every second week, because I think that's something that is like always changing. And in the past, I've seen that this is something that it's really crucial to, to always have a look on it. I mean, and beginning in the briefing, you were talking about politics and what's happened in us, especially when it comes to travel bans, etc. I think then three good to have somebody who's in DNI, and you can talk to him and see how we can make things better if we can, like, support somebody or so. So yeah, it's more like a political question. For the management side, it's always every two months, because if you work with management people, it's always hard to, to get a grip on them. And they also don't have time. So if you say two months, it's going to be always like one month or two months, because they always decide, okay, now I have time. Can we talk? So yeah, but there's not much changing. So it's like, two months is pretty good to have enough room for, for discussions. And then like, the fourth man is like, I just call him when, whenever time is, like, suiting, or I haven't concerned that it's like, related not to work. But like over to the situation at work if something's not working out, just like exchange. So it's like, I just ping him on all instant messenger. So yeah, mentees, they like I always leave it like this. If they have concerns, they can always reach me. But for my experience, it's always like, every two or three weeks, they just like Call me if I want to go out for beer or something. And we just talk. And this is pretty good. Actually. So yeah. Is there some kind of tacit rule that the mentees organizing things in the mentor follows, or both ways are the ideal either. So but my mentees, sometimes I also, like, approach them and ask them practically, as something happens, but since I know them now for four years, and the other one for two years. It's something that, like, I know, it just, it just grows like this. But if I have a new mentee, for example, I get somebody assigned, for example, from from the management side, could happen in the future, especially if there's a new mock or trainee, I don't know, can always happen. And then I'm going to, like, at first, provide them a little bit more feedback, like say, Okay, let's meet every two weeks, or maybe at the beginning a little bit more frequently, because they're going to have a lot of questions, less experience, and they're going to be afraid of many, many things. And, and that's the point where we should like make it more frequently. And often this you can make it less because that's also a normal friendships of humans or go like in the beginning, you always like startup, being curious, just trying to get every second of the other person to live there. And then when Time flies by you just like change it to more routine, but more interesting. exchange that is like not that frequent, but with more how to say it quality. So yeah, so there's no real rule. I think, like I just live it more natural, that's a good way to do a good way to go with it. And do you just talk? Or is it mostly mostly kind of advising each other? Or are you doing something else? depends really on the on the person. So sometimes it's helping or some next project or for specific tasks? Sometimes it's just like, the first question already raises the topic of the whole evening, what we're going to talk about, so it's not like that. Like there's no rule to it really depends on the situation and I'm like more the person that like adapt, or applies to the front to change to see what the other person is thinking and this point just we're trying to understand or try to support as much as I can in this part. So yeah, there's no real advice I can give on this reading off. Okay. Um, Did I get that right that um, somehow your department or so could assign a new student to you? Yeah, yeah, yeah, it could happen like not a student but like the trainee and quotation marks since we have no trainees it's it's the math program. My stands for like originally stand for math for the speed but then some HR guy or girl or PR person I don't know. I thought of Okay, we need to rename it just give some more meaning. So now it's Microsoft for academic college chiles. So yeah. Also fitting okay. happens. So yeah, and like these people are always like, directly coming from the university, and sometimes also from the internship program that's way better or from the student partner program. But I would say in 60%, or 7% of the cases, it's external. And these people are not talking the Microsoft language. And also not like, they don't know how this whole like this big company works and what people like expect from you. So yeah, you get always assigned as a formula, like me, and a couple of years, people like this, because you you're like, you've been living this also, you know where the issues are. And that's how Microsoft thinks. It's a good way to, like, solve this issue of like, for new people to feel more confident, and comfortable. And I've seen it also the others that not started the knee recently. I see that helps. Because the biggest concern the beginning of these people is always, Oh, God, can I do it? can I solve this issue? Can I like, I don't know, if I'm a good developer, like they're like, because you always see like these people that are like, for 10 or 15 years in the company. And they just go to the customers coding, and they're just Gods for you. And you don't know if you can live up to this like, like, you just feel God, I'm gonna die here. And when you actually see somebody who who's been there, too, and he tells you, it's it's not an issue, like just just be brave. Beginning, it's a little bit harder and rough, but you need to learn it now. But everybody's forgiving. Like, you can try and ask data for forgiveness, for example, it's okay. We have enough space for trying and I think that's like also something that I tell my mentees that in your life, it's always important that you leave some some room for failure. Life's not made of success stories never, like the best slides are not made of success stories. And I think if you if you like, tell this your mentee, many, many times, it's not going to work on the first time, but they need to experience it. Also, at some point, they will realize that this this is a good approach. And it takes off a lot of pressure on your shoulders. So yeah. If you were to, to hire someone for not the job that you're doing right now, but something similar, what would you be looking for? You said you said in experimenting mindsets, and and and not being afraid of failure? Is there something else you would be looking for? Yeah. For me, it's really hard to find somebody who's meeting like all my expectations, to be fair, that's something I realized in the past years.

Tim Bourguignon 37:45
What would be your expectations?

Ivo Vutov 37:46
Oh, my, my expectation that the expectation I put on me and these are pretty high. That's like, but but then like, I try to find some, like a consensus with myself, like, trying to figure out what is important for me what what a person needs and, like, really, like, key is for me that this person who is applying for job, but I can hire him or her is something like that the personal smarts can talk is has a strong desire for knowledge. And also learning stuff, just by doing not always like reading books. So I would prefer somebody who's just like trying and being honest on something is not working. It's like 1000 times more vulgar for me than somebody who's saying, Okay, thank you for giving me this issue. I'm just going to read like 50 books now. And I'm going to come back to you like in two weeks or so. So I think also this transparent approach is good, because if somebody is there, who's having issues, and he's he or she is just going to tell me, okay, can you help me I have read through all the stuff and I've tried it, but it's not working. I just don't see the point, somebody who's giving me like on regular basis feedback on stuff that isn't working. There's somebody who's, who I'm going to hire. And, yeah, it turns out that these people are not always like, the, the best in their former career. So they're just doing like, this addressing of issues because they failed before. And that's what I'm looking for. Most of the time really intelligent people to be fair, so yeah. Were you in a position to to hire someone? Yeah, yeah. I was in the position to hire for the scholarship program people and also for the, for my interns that I had to supervise them half a year ago, had to hire three people. So you have seen many, many people like also applications and things that can go wrong, for example. Also, I made mistakes, like for example, in the scholarship program, sometimes people like something that that the person that hires needs to realize this, even if you find the perfect candidate that is like fitting and in 100% of everything you're looking for, sometimes it can just turn out that this person is overwhelmed by the pressure you can put on somebody, just by like, telling him how how good feeling he is, or she in this position. And this can also lead to that this person is not going to last long in the position. So what I've learned is also to like, set expectations straight to say, from the beginning, what is expected, and that there's not much pressure to it. And this, like this makes things way easier. And hear from from the student, like from the insurance site. I've seen many, many application videos and stuff like this. What I can say about this is that people need to choose their words more carefully. When they do applications. For example, if you if you want to apply for a job that that you really want. Never never like, blow the whole story at the end of the saying, Yeah, I have to do it because somebody forces me For example, like, like, I've seen so many people just like doing great applications. But the simple things are most likely the ones that like no, decide if you're going to be taken or not. To give you some examples, like key as a few. If you make your application letter, your CV, for example, perfect, like just check it twice or three times that somebody else read it. Is there any spelling mistakes or something like this? Because that's what managers usually see they they just have a look at this and not on your whole application. They just see, okay, there's some spelling mistakes. And the first thing that they think is that Come on, that's like the only thing you could prepare and like two months or four months, and it's not correct. Like how come like, are you working always like this. So these are the questions that I've seen are going to be raised all the time. And then if you have video interviews, interviews, like the most key parts are always the parts where you can like, explain your motivation by you are the best, or the best fitting, how long are you available and what is like something that inspires you of the company. And I think that's also key for any other application on Microsoft, that you always put emphasis on these parts. All the other parts if you can speak English pretty well, if you can, like, if you have any site, hobbies or stuff that's just challenging stuff, that's not important. Like the important part is where you show your personality. And like in especially in these parts never lie or show that you're like, under pressure getting something or you're being desperate to speak cultural like, like you're talking to a best friend, for example. And this helps a lot like, I've seen that people that are like, super chill on this part. I having a way better chance to get into a job then people that like try to force themselves fools interview, it's really just like talking to somebody you like, and then it's easy. It is. Yeah, it is. Um, have you seen people really fight? Or having trouble with this? basic reading of their own story? Yeah, yeah, a lot. Like he like. I think the the biggest issue is that you always have to do like in many applications already, something like a video interview where you like recording yourself. And people have never done it before. And this makes it really, really hard for you to, to tell your own story, because you're basically just telling it to a machine and you're not talking to anyone in specific. And people always ask me also that, like, especially students that want to apply for a job at Google or Microsoft or IBM, how do I do this? How do I solve this issue. And what I can tell them is like, I mean, you're in your room, and you have your laptop in front of you that is recording you. And nobody's like seeing what is around the laptop, for example, you can just like invite your best friend, or like your mom or dad, whoever, who's sitting like in front of you, and you can talk to this person. And for the for the viewer, it makes no difference if you look into the camera and the face that is right behind the camera, because it's going to be always the same direction. And this makes it a lot easier for people to make applications because then you're just telling it to a real person. And people turn out to be like better in selling themselves than because they just like get it get them better feeling of what they're saying then like they're not saying something that is bad. But that's for especially for shy people. That's a good a good advice I can give on this part. It's it's mainly really not having experience in video interviews and standing in front of a camera, but makes like a little bit more difficult. And I think second point why people are struggling and this is because when they go into interviews, real interviews with HR, so they always think that the person On the other side is God like, not on your level way higher. You feel like inferior and stuff like this. But that's not true, the person on the other side has checked.

Tim Bourguignon 45:12
They're not

Ivo Vutov 45:14
really checking just on like personal stuff. So just be yourself. And they will appreciate this really like people that are like, really chill, as I said before, and I'll be more welcome then because you can see that they can cope with situations like this. So HR interviews mainly about how do you like, cope with stress of this kind? Like, how do we cope with stress for people who don't know? Because if you fail in this interview, there's no like, no guarantee for you to not do the same in front of the customer, because it's going to be the same situation again. And that's the main test. It's not about somebody like just filling out the scorecard or so they're just testing Are you in front of people? You don't know. That's it. I've seen it even even further, not just on the forum, but also on the on what you're talking about. I've had a few occurrences where people didn't seem to find a way to explain their own story. Death didn't seem to be able to, to mix to mix all the debts into one timeline and explain how they came from one job to another. Yeah. Which is completely mind boggling. For me. It is it is like, I think it's also maybe just practice. I mean, I've studied economics and the people in economics, they're like, super good at selling themselves. Why are they good? Because they just do this all evenings, they go out and people just ask them, What are you studying, and they get really creative and telling what they're studying. Because the economics student like at first would never say he's studying economics. Because you just say I'm studying economics. And then like the whole shit wave, sorry for taking this word, but you can beep it out later. Like, it just keeps on rolling and coming out. So economics, you didn't know what you're studying stuff like this, blah, blah, blah. So they just like start being creative. And that's why these people are really good. And selling themselves. I've seen it an assessment centers, they're really good. And that's mainly because they were always been challenged like this, if you come from, from chemistry or engineering or informatics, it's way harder, because nobody's like asking you for a CV all the time. You just say what you're doing. And people know, okay, that's hard stuff. I know what you're doing. Please don't challenge me and He further. So I think that's like, where the practice is missing, where people have like, so hard on this part. And I think the fact that people that are really gifted in these topics always have like, also, I know, it's a stereotype. But sometimes these people are so focused on their topics that they're not doing these practices, like talking to other people about their job and stuff like this, because they're always being faced with the issue that nobody understands what they're talking about. So why should I do it. And in applications, this makes it really hard for them to, to get by. So and what helps them the most is to really like if they have a severe, so they should always write as much as they can about the current projects and what they've done. And like just just sell it on a more subtle way, like just like, try to sell it via paper, because then the interviewer can always ask you more questions about yourself. And this also helps, and sometimes people just open them. But like, that's what advice I can give us just give the interviewer a chance to like, get to know you better. Especially when you're showering. Amen to that. Amen to that. Um, well, it's been a lot. And yeah, many more questions. Is there something you wanted to talk about that we didn't touch yet? I mean, we can talk about many things. I mean, we haven't touched yet. How work is in different countries how mentalities change but I think like, I can set you up if you want to, like colleagues from other countries, and they can share a bit like that's like yeah, that's my Microsoft story. But I think like these people can like tell you also different story like maybe also other developers, how it goes for them and other countries because I think Germany and France and England very unfortunate position that the industry is really saturated, we have high standard of development. And markets are not like moving that much. I mean, we're just applying new technologies on on systems that we already have. But like for other countries, they have bigger challenges. They have to build up new infrastructures, have to like conquer new markets. society's vector friend and I think it's like more interesting to hear from somebody who's like this through it. So yeah, maybe we can, like, have a focus on this next time. Sounds like a plan Sounds like a plan. Um, as it's usually at the end of an episode, is there something on your plate something coming up in next week's a month that you would like to plug in? Just in terms of stuff I am not allowed to, sir. Okay. I say that it's just the two of us is compliance on this pocket? But I can I can tell you quoting one of the greatest presidents in the world, it's going to be great.

Tim Bourguignon 50:39
It's going to be great.

Ivo Vutov 50:41
Um, do you have a blog? Or where can we find you online? I'm currently just using Instagram, I used to blog. I'm planning on doing this after all this work is done in the next six months. So anybody who wants to see he can follow me on Instagram, then most of the time people can expect currently and for technology I'm working on. So just look for my name and then many evils on the planet. I will find you and add a link to the official notes. Okay, yeah, then was really nice talking to you. Thanks a lot for taking the time. And your work on definitely either sets up an interview with with another dev or maybe we can try to come together in a few months and see how that that evolves. Sure. Sure. Tim. Welcome.

Tim Bourguignon 51:28
Thank you very much. And then have a good evening.

Tim Bourguignon 51:30
Bye bye.