When Marvyn Leroy left the Windows Services Outlook.com team to go to Yammer, he wrote a farewell email to his coworkers. While the farewell email is standard operating procedure these days, there was nothing standard about this email.
The Belgium- and Montréal-raised Marvyn humbly recounts, “English isn’t my first language, so I don’t know that it was very good.” But the heart-felt (and hilarious) message covered his “California, Hotmail and Outlook.com adventure” since May 2009, starting with his second MS internship. It contained everything from close-up photos of “toxic” spicy chicken wings devoured with coworkers to a bullet list of career highlights accumulated while, as he says, “I made more close friends than I did during college. Friends to go to boot camp with, to the gym, skiing, drinking, partying, to organize raclette dinners with … You know who you are!”
The email made the rounds and touched a lot of people as to the sense of pride and community that we enjoy here at MSV.
Marvyn came to Microsoft after a chance encounter with a recruiter at a tech fair during his first year studying Computer Engineering at McGill University. After an internship in Redmond, he returned the next year for an MSV internship on the Hotmail Frontend/web team. He says, “It matched my interests perfectly and we had a good group of interns with lots of fun events planned.” The rest is history: Marvyn came back to stay in February 2010 and worked on features such as search, categories, performance and security improvements, as well as industry-leading web automation tools.
Marvyn wrote, “I left the best city in the world (Montréal!) because I thought Microsoft would give me more experience and faster than any other company in Canada (also, salaries are double). Working at Microsoft so far has exceeded all my expectations.” He considers his career highlights “being directly involved with the redesign of the inbox/read view for the beautiful Outlook.com. Many of my friends use it and I’m proud to tell them I worked on this and that.”
After the big design overhaul for Outlook.com in the summer 2012, Marvyn realized that it was time to move on and try something new. He found ample opportunity within Microsoft and is now at Yammer in San Francisco. Not only did Microsoft support him to change teams but also to transition from test (SDET) to becoming a dev (SDE), without having to take a step backward.
As for the decision to go to Yammer, he says, “I enjoy working on side projects targeting Windows 8 and Windows Phone in my free time, so a position working on those platforms was very appealing to me. The atmosphere feels like a startup with its open floor plan, lots of young people working late hours and dogs in the office. The best part is that I could completely change my work environment while keeping my level and benefits, as it was an internal transfer.”
Marvyn still stays in contact with his friends on the Outlook.com team. Looking forward he says, “An advantage I have today is that I recognize some challenges in the Yammer team that we solved already at Hotmail – I feel like I can bring some valuable experience and am excited for what comes next.”