My first two months at Microsoft – a communication introspective

I started work at Microsoft on 9/8/2009.  So far, I’m thoroughly enjoying working with great colleagues on a great product, the web half of Windows Live (specifically the social networking part). Things are off to an exciting start — I’ve already survived a cougar invasion, my first release to production, and an onslaught of more than 10,000 e-mails.  Through it all, I’ve been able to keep my wits about me (mostly) and my Inbox hovering around 20 items.

To mark the end of my second month (way back on 11/8), I decided to examine my communication patterns and how they had shifted over my first several weeks at work.  As much as it was to be an exercise in reflection, it would also serve as an exercise in upkeep; after all, I need to keep those Illustrator skills sharp.  It took a bit longer to complete than planned (it’s been a busy month), but it’s finally done.   Without further ado, I present a look at my communication patterns over the first two months of work:

Any thoughts?  To other new grads starting work, how does it compare to your new jobs?

Got a website? Grade it.

websitegraderI’ve been getting a decent amount of traffic via search engines, which reminded me about a tool I used to use on website projects.  I’ve found it useful for the past few years, so figured I’d pass it along.

It’s called Website Grader and it helps you take care of some basic optimization for search engines.   Don’t worry, this isn’t the slimy, keyword-stuffing, link-whoring version of SEO.  This tool, made by the good people at HubSpot in Boston, just runs a bunch of tests on your site to see if how it fares in the eyes of a search engine.

When I was getting started looking at search engine performance, the advice on using the .htaccess file to unify the http://www. version of your site with the http:// one was particularly useful for me.  It also never hurts to have a tool remind you that you forgot to add meta tags to a page.

Anyway, give it a try and see how your sites fare.  You’ll either get a number to brag about or some insights in how to make your site easier on a search engine’s eyes.

I noticed today while perusing the site that HubSpot has set up a whole mess of graders on, anyone tried out any of the other graders?

The score for