Microsoft culture encourages career growth

An Israeli UX program manager goes home


Noaa Avital is an Israeli native who as a child, moved to California.  She attended UC Berkeley to study electrical engineering and computer science. After a series of internships as a developer, she realized that role wasn’t for her. After graduating in 2006, Noaa moved to Seattle to be a Program Manager (PM) on the team.

In the summer of 2010, Noaa decided to follow her dream and pursue a career in Israel. Of her move back to Israel, she says, “It was one of the best decisions of my life!”

Noaa shares with us more about her return to Israel in the story below.

As a kid, every time I visited Israel, despite not having grown up there, it just felt like home. It became important to me to experience living there as an adult.

One of the great things about working for Microsoft is the transparent approach that is taken toward employees’ career paths. My manager in Redmond was very supportive of my decision to relocate. After several interviews, I was paired with a fellow PM in Israel who helped me transition.

I highly recommend a career at one of Microsoft’s Research and Development Centres in Israel! There’s a startup type of feeling in Israel, because of the small size of the site and the fact that many employees come from startups. I’ve found there can frequently be a “let’s make it happen” attitude and a focus on innovation.

Microsoft Israel is a very tight-knit community and we often have team events, many of which are family-oriented. We celebrate and recognize weddings, births and holidays together. It feels like everyone knows each other. This creates an atmosphere that I very much enjoy.

I was given the opportunity to take on the position of Group Designer for the Israeli Microsoft SQL design team. I am currently leading the design efforts around Power BI Sites for Office 365, which means that my team is tasked with deeply understanding our customers, their needs and wants, and defining harmonious and beautiful experiences for them.

I love getting to work on what I’m passionate about! The entire process of designing experiences is what I love to do and I get to work on various parts of that process every day.

I’ve always been drawn to UX work and with all my career moves, pushed myself into the most UX-heavy features. In Israel I was beginning to be known as “that PM who does UX.” This role was a very natural fit for me and I’m enjoying it immensely.

It’s been a challenge starting a team from scratch in Israel. For this team, this is the first time design as a discipline has been part of the development process, so changing the way people work to account for design has been an exercise in openness and patience in the process. My counterparts in the PM, development, and test teams have been great to work with and we’re learning how to improve every day.

We’re hiring! It’s tough to find someone who has that elusive balance of design know-how, creativity, customer-focused thinking, and technical acumen. We do indeed plan to grow the team, but it is all about finding the right people.

See yourself as a fit?

Learn more about international opportunities at Microsoft:

Working at Microsoft is all about realizing your potential, setting your career aspirations and following your dreams. Learn more about Microsoft’s Research and Development Centres in Israel or our other development centres in Europe.


Inside JobsBlog:

On the JobsBlog, read about Microsoft’s on-the-rise startup vibe: Microsoft employees talk about innovation, collaboration, and making an impact.

In the media:

Microsoft employees were featured in a Seattle Times story about our emerging startup culture.

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