February 1993 – January 1996
In 1993 I moved from Italy to Dublin, Ireland, to start working for the Microsoft Worldwide Product Group Ireland (WPGI) as an Italian localizer.
I worked as a localizer for about a year on Microsoft Mouse and Windows for Workgroup 3.10 and 3.11.
After that, I became a Technical Specialist for Windows NT 4.0 and Systems Management Server 1.0.
In that role, I provided support to other localizers and the products building team by answering questions about the inner workings of the products, or solving localization specific build errors.
Together with other Technical Specialists, I developed custom tools to support translation using Excel, Perl, and C/C++.
Most of the tools were Excel macros simplifying the auto-translation of resource files for every new build of a product. Other tools were used to prepare files for the building process and for quality control.
Often, ad-hoc tools were necessary to solve specific issues, and our team provided extremely quick turnaround to avoid any delay in the release process.
Anybody Remember These?
During the 3 years I spent in Microsoft, I had access to a lot of extremely useful resource. I took advantage of it by studying Windows development, networks, and developing small applications to automate email management and communication between machines using sockets.
The creative environment and the enthusiasm of the team was great. Those were the boom years for Microsoft, and the mood was both relaxed and excited as we were working on very successful products.
On a couple of occasions I visited the Redmond campus for training and to meet the people I worked with remotely for so long.
On my second trip to Redmond, I ended up going through a series of unexpected interviews as I casually expressed my interested in a new position.
The interviews went quite well, and after my return to Dublin I had a couple of follow-ups with high level managers.
Unfortunately, human resources couldn’t promise a U.S. working visa because I was a permanent employee for less than the minimum required time.
That disappointment led to a quick search for other opportunities and my move to the USA with Autodesk just a few months later.
Three years in Ireland were also a good time for me to enjoy the country. I dusted off my camera and took tons of pictures.
Microsoft had a darkroom for employees and a photography club. I spent many late-night hours developing films and pictures.
I also took life drawing classes and tried to get my drawing skills up to a decent level. I never became a pro, but the sketching skills I gained did help a lot later in my career.
Some Pictures of Ireland