Outside of work, Nitish Kumar Meena (a UX Designer in Visual Studio), and Noah Dyvadheenam, (a Software Development Engineer in Test on the Windows team), are avid photographers.
Last year, they became acquainted at a special event, an art exhibition at Microsoft India. What made this art show particularly special? At this debut “Arty Party,” the first of its kind, all the art showcased was made by Microsoft employees.
Noah and Nitish showed their photos at the event. Both passionate about photography, they became friends. They began going on photo-walks, where they shared their interest and learned from each other.
On their first outing, Noah took Nitish to do some street photography. “While I was busy clicking a watch repairman,” Noah says, “Nitish took a picture of the two subjects engrossed in their work.” Having snapped the image of his friend at work, and the craftsperson, Nitish submitted the shot for National Geographic Traveller India’s monthly photography competition, “Big Shot” — and won first prize.
As we’re told, a picture is worth a thousand words. But Nitish and Noah offered a few more to tell how and why they carve out time for images that make an impact:
How do you make time to pursue your passion for photography?
“It might not be easy to dedicate enough time for your passion, especially for something like photography. However, it is extremely important for us to follow this passion, as it replenishes our creative energies. Thankfully, with photography, one can learn at one’s own pace. It’s always okay to take baby steps rather than a huge leap of faith. At Microsoft, we get enough time to strike a work-life balance. Weekends always offer an opportunity to learn and explore. We get enough days off in a year to plan some great trips with plenty of photo opportunities.”
Why is Microsoft a great place for creative people to work?
“Microsoft appreciates and encourages employees’ diversity — in the true sense of the word. Only when one gets to work here, he or she can see that there are people from varied backgrounds, cultures and interests. It’s a great environment, not only to work on great technologies and incredible products with some of the most talented people from the industry, but also to communicate outside of formal meetings, which makes conversations more enriching and personal. At Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC) art, creativity and passion in various forms are encouraged: art exhibitions, musical band performances, soccer and cricket tournaments – just to name a few. It’s a place where you don’t need to ignore your passion, but you can proudly flaunt it and nurture it.”
How does a side interest in the art of photography fit into your life at Microsoft?
Nitish: “As a UX designer, a number of things excite me creatively and motivate me to make great work, and photography is one of them. It makes me more observant and artistically confident. I love being at Microsoft, for I have always believed the path to success is through curiosity, by embracing the open-endedness of our careers. Microsoft’s work environment shares this ideal with me. Here, ‘Going our own way’ isn’t just nice, it’s required. Being a photographer and a designer makes me a well-rounded person.”
Noah: “I have had great experiences in my life at Microsoft because of my interest in photography. It is not only encouraged but also well utilized. Every year, some brilliant photographers at Microsoft come together to publish a photo book as part of the Microsoft Giving Campaign, and we donate thousands of dollars of profit to charity. My pictures got selected and published in the 2012 and 2013 photo books. The sense of satisfaction I get by giving back to society through this art is something I cannot express in words. One time, a photographer was needed to shoot the cover of Microsoft’s global career page for IDC, and I was asked to do it. I often shoot various events at Microsoft when asked, and it feels great to put my passion to a good use. Photography often requires a lot of patience and pushes you to think out of the box, and these qualities definitely help me in my work at Microsoft.”
Microsoft has important history in India. New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a native of Hyderabad, has been at Microsoft for 22 years. Who is Satya Nadella? In this video interview, he says, “Being able to watch people do great things, learn new concepts, is something that truly excites me.”
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