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July 08, 2007

The WPA Remodel, Week 8

It's been four weeks since my last report, which means we should be about halfway there.

The team is doing okay, we got a little bit better at calling into our daily Scrum meeting but then have slipped back. With the EE/TwC Forum and then the July 4th week, it will take a couple more weeks until we see how the team is working now. Our manager is coming back from sabbatical in 4 weeks, which might change the dynamic a bit (although he will also have no office and will be wandering around campus as his meetings dictate, just like the rest of us).

I also got to don a hard hat and visit Building 21 to check out the construction progress. They had all the permanent walls framed and sheetrocked, but there were no lights on. The upshot was that the team areas, which are where the windows are, looked bright and large, and the interior places, where offices will be, looked dark and dingy. I almost felt sorry for those poor managers who will be constrained to the inside spaces (there are also more permanent walls than I thought there would be, which means less light getting to the interior, since the permanent walls are solid while the demountable ones are frosted glass). Construction is still right on schedule, targeting mid-September move in.

In my search for spaces to alight on main campus, I discovered Building 121. This is one of the old Spacelabs buildings. Building 121, first of all, has a cafeteria that is large enough to put Building 1 in--not the people, the whole building. And they serve pho every day. Then when you go upstairs, facilities did a nice job with the building (I'm not sure how much they remodeled it). It has interesting colors--when you hear that the third-floor hallway has one wall painted in dark brown you might think it looks funny, but it actually turned out well. They also put in several flexible spaces: there are "phone rooms" (small rooms with a desk/phone and a sliding door) and "phone booths" (even smaller, no door). Then they built a couple of "work suites" which have 10-15 desks in a common space. Snazzy wall graphics also. They are evidently for people on short-term visits from other Microsoft sites, but we were given cardkey access to one of them during the remodel. It's a nice place to work and there's been nobody else there when I dropped by. Say what you will about Microsoft, but they know how to make the trains run on time.

Posted by AdamBa at July 8, 2007 12:22 PM

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