Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hack the Classroom: Microsoft headquarters & Rehearsal

 I was fortunate to have some time to explore before heading to the Microsoft headquarters on Friday morning.  It was green and rainy and beautiful as I strolled around Redmond.   Near the end of my walk, I discovered the nearby Sammamish River trail. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see much of it as I had to get ready for my day at the Microsoft headquarters.  
The Microsoft “campus” is like a small city.  Along with the many offices and work areas, there are shops, services and restaurants.  The place is so vast that they run a company shuttle service for on-demand transportation.   Our shuttle got Jeff and I to our first stop very efficiently and we began our tour shortly after.  It was exciting to meet people from a variety of the Microsoft teams.  There seemed to be a really positive energy in each building we toured and it was fascinating to see the variety of workspaces and amenities available for employees.  We visited the Commons Mixer to eat some lunch before meeting with a member of the OneNote team. 

Next, we rehearsed in the studio so we knew where to sit, when to move and how the event would run.  It was pretty neat to see all of the people contributing to this webcast.  It was interesting to witness all of the details involved in a rehearsal for an event like this – I’m not even sure I can explain the process.  Speakers and production team members went over order of events, movements on and off the stage, polling questions, panel questions, microphone levels, camera angles, media to share and so much more.
 After rehearsal, I had enough daylight time left to further explore the river trail I discovered this morning.  The sunshine had even appeared, which made my evening hike even more beautiful! Hiking trail adventures plus walking all over Microsoft headquarters made for a big step day (yes, I’m a FitBit fanatic)… 22,000 steps wasn’t quite enough to win my workweek step challenge, but I suppose it was good for me anyways… 

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