‘Softie in Question: Qudsiah Khan
Job title: Software Development Engineer, Windows Web Services
Tell me about the path that brought you to Microsoft.
I was born in Lahore, Pakistan. I studied Computer Science there and then came to the US in 2005 to attend grad school in computer engineering at Purdue.
While completing graduate school, I interned at Google in Mountain View. I worked on the Google Toolbar team.
Did you intend to work for Google after graduation?
I enjoyed interning at Google, but I decided that I wanted to explore other bases and find something different. I wanted to go somewhere that had a lot of great projects to choose from.
I found the best blend of opportunities here at Microsoft.
Could you elaborate on “the best blend of opportunities”?
When I was starting out, I wanted a project that would help me build expertise and breadth of knowledge. I wanted to work on a project that would be a stepping stone to even greater opportunities.
At Microsoft, I found the perfect project with Windows Intune. It was a new project, so I was able to have the perfect balance of start-up experience with the dependability of a world-class company. It was pretty exciting.
I was also attracted to the fact that it’s encouraged – and pretty easy – to move around from group to group at Microsoft.
What were the other elements of Microsoft that appealed to you?
Here at Microsoft, you have a manager who functions as an immediate lead. I’ve had a very good relationship with my lead who has helped with both my technical skills and overall career. I really appreciate the influence of my lead and really appreciate that Microsoft leads are technically proficient.
You don’t get the same kind of support at other companies.
So, let me see: you’ve lived in Pakistan, Indiana, California and, now, Washington State. Did you find Microsoft to be a welcoming new home?
It’s been great… not a difficult transition at all. I have a lot of friends here at Microsoft, which helped to make the transition pretty smooth. I had friends from both Purdue and even some friends from my university in Pakistan were here.
At Microsoft, people give you the time and space and understanding to get comfortable. There are also all sorts of organized campus groups. I’ve become involved with both the photography club and the wine tasting club.
I actually developed my interest in photography when I moved to the Pacific Northwest. It is so pretty here. I find the fall to be especially nice.
And Microsoft allows you the flexibility to really pursue outside interests like your photography?
It’s true that Microsoft values results over face-time and that you’re encouraged to design a work/life balance. We have regular morale events like going to the movies together, going on nature walks and more. I not only find time for my photography, but my husband is finishing his PhD at Purdue and the company has been very understanding and flexible about my need to travel back and forth.
It’s simple: if you’re satisfied and happy, you work better. It’s better for everyone.
Photographers@Microsoft Photo Book 2009 containing Qudsiah’s photo “Silence…” (as seen above)