Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 4 already?!

I just realized that I am literally starting my 4th week of my internship...didn't I just post about my first day not too long ago?? I guess time flies when you're having a good time :)

So far, though fast, my experience has been a great one here at Microsoft. Besides being in mild-tempered and beautiful Seattle, I am surrounded almost every day by some of the brightest research minds in the business...and most of them are super friendly!

I'm finally getting my hands dirty with the research I will be doing for the summer, which is the best part about where I am right now. When you send out a survey and start getting responses within the first 10 minutes, you know you're in the right place for what you're doing! I've never done a survey before, which was one of the things my mentor and I discussed, so I wanted to take the opportunity being around so many developers to learn about it. Yet again, another reason I am grateful for this opportunity. Even better, I won't just be working with one research master-mind...I'll be working with two (Christian Bird being the second)! All the more reason to take full and complete advantage of being where I am. Not just that, but I get to talk to developers...all professional..about their productivity and how it can be improved...the center of my research interests. It was fate.

Outside of research, which unfortunately I can't get into too much detail about, I've been enjoying my time in Seattle as well. There's always something going on, making it easy to fill weekends. Since I've been here, I've been to a carnival and farmer's market (at Microsoft!), on a Ride the Ducks tour and to a Sounders FC game (also courtesy of Microsoft)! I've also been to some of the parks and festivals, such as the Fremont Solstice Festival (which is AWESOME). This weekend I'll be going on a Falls and Farms Family Adventure with Anthony (again, courtesy of Microsoft) where I will get to see more of the beauty in nature around here. There is literally ALWAYS something going on and I plan to take FULL advantage :).

I hate writing long blogs posts (probably not as much as you hate reading them) so I shall wrap up for now...but expect updates and hopefully pictures as I continue my fun (and research) filled summer. Speaking of pictures...check out this bomb selfie (which was taken SANS a selfie stick)! #ESEMSR :D

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hello! I'm Brittany and I work at Microsoft :)

So things have been crazy hectic the past month or so, but I had to take some time to update my blog with some of the awesomeness/craziness that is my life right now (as a PhD student).

First, I'm in Seattle...well, Redmond to be exact. I've been here before, but not as a Microsoft Research (MSR) intern :). That's right...dreams do come true. This summer I will be working with one of the top names in empirical software engineering right now, Tom Zimmerman (Google him, he's pretty fantastic). I would like to note I probably would not be in this position right now if it weren't for my bomb ass advisor, Dr. E. Thanks to his connections, dedication to his students, and what I assume to also be belief in me, I was able to get my name, face, and research abilities out there on a more personal level. Note: Always take advantage of opportunities to travel and meet new people - you never know who you might meet!

Second, although I am starting my internship, the work of a PhD student is never done! A bit of sad news, I just got back 2 paper rejections...now, this wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that these two papers have been getting rejected for the past two years...no bueno. It's a bit discouraging, but this is why I love my advisors. Rather than giving me time to wallow in my sorrow, Dr. E says "let's do a NIER paper." Immediately my mind shifts from "oh woe is me" to "okay, what do I need to do to get this done"...one of the beauties I imagine of going through the PhD. Eventually you learn to just move on...time is too precious to waste.

Third, I FINALLY convinced my mom to get on a plane, so my parents, my sister and her boyfriend will be visiting me this summer in July. I am super excited! They've never been and I can't wait to show them around and let them try all the amazing food around here :D. They're only staying for a little less than a week but I think it will be a good refresher to get me through the rest of my internship.

I don't know exactly what I will be working on this summer, but I know it will involve a survey because I've never done one and desire oh so much to learn (with Tom Zimmerman :D). I have a couple of ideas floating around, as does Tom, so hopefully by the end of the day today I will know what I will be working on. Wish me luck!

Until next time...