One line of code at a time: Inspired by Microsoft
How and why 'the do-more company' inspires me the most
5 min read
Captain Edward John Smith is best known for his role at the helm of the Titanic, the then largest moving object ever built. Talks about Captain Smith and his final hours usually revolves around the credence of blame. This is so because many blame him for sinking of the ship. There have been tales about how Captain Smith illogically kept the ship’s speed up, or some saying that he ignored warnings from other ships about the presence of icebergs. However, over the years, the prevailing story has become that the Titanic was traveling too fast and had Captain Smith slowed the ship down, the accident could have been averted. Quite saddening, isn't it? Per general consensus, this final act of leadership has become the most enduring image of Captain Smith. While we cannot know for sure how he spent his final moments, it is known that Captain Edward Smith perished in the North Atlantic along with 1517 others on April 15, 1912.
I admit that happenings from the Northern Atlantic Ocean dating as far back as a century ago would seem like an odd place to start the story about how much Microsoft inspires me, but this is no ordinary inspiration. I chose to hark back about Titanic because in 110 years, the facts has not changed - A ship, no matter how big is only as mighty as its captain. In essence, I believe that not only does a ship need to be mighty, but it also needs a great sailor to go with. Nothing justifies this school of thought as much as Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft and one of the most transformative leaders on the planet.
"The learn-it-all does better than the know-it-all"
These were the words of Satya Nadella when he came on as a guest on the Hello Monday with Jessi Hempel podcast in December 2019. Having spent 22 years at Microsoft, Satya took the reins at the firm in 2014. Since then, reports of him pushing those around him to think of themselves as students have been well-documented. A learn-it-all company as Satya Nadella envisions Microsoft as is one that makes decisions such that everyday will be a new day with learning, exploring and experimenting as the norm. These values are especially important to me because I place a premium on learning new concepts everyday and ending each day knowing more than I did the previous day. Also, similar to Satya, Microsoft's founder and former CEO, Bill Gates is also known for his thirst for knowledge. As a matter of fact, Bill once revealed he reads as many as 50 books each year, and even takes a tote bag of books with him on vacation. It should not come as a surprise that Microsoft values learning.
There is no doubt that the tech industry is an ever-evolving domain. It is one such that the learning process never ends. Understanding this, in September 2020, Microsoft set up a program where students get to serve as ambassadors for its free, online training platform called Microsoft Learn. Whilst the goal of the platform is to help everyone become proficient in Microsoft technologies specific to their roles and goals, the student ambassador program seeks to provide a means for student leaders who wish and love to help fellow students. These student ambassadors help other students build their coding skills online, organize virtual hackathons to solve real-world challenges, earn certification whilst building a digital community. As I hinted in my last article, I have always been one with a longing to make impact. I believe that the true measure of greatness is in the number of lives impacted more than how much money is accrued or how much knowledge one amasses. As such, having my application to be a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador accepted has been one of the highlights of the year for me. In my few months in this role, I have been able to amplify my impact, bring my peers together to learn new skills and solve real-world problems whilst building communities across the globe. So when I added the
Inspired by Microsoft tag on my LinkedIn profile's headline, boy did was I only speaking my truth!
It is worthy of note that Microsoft’s corporate mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. and its corporate vision is to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. While the mission statement shows that the business focuses on the empowerment of people and organizations through the company’s information technology goods and services, the vision statement shows that the company presents its computing products as tools that people and business organizations can use for their personal or organizational development. This is another testament to Microsoft's dedication to helping and inspiring others.
In all, Microsoft has inspired me to turn ideas into reality, inspire others, and change lives. Microsoft has inspired me to strive to build a strong technical community in my campus and share the knowledge I gain among the academic community. Microsoft inspires me to hope to be a Microsoft AI MVP someday. And most importantly, Microsoft inspires me to dare to dream. So when I shouted out loud disturbing my neighbors that cold evening in June after the Microsoft Nigeria twitter account replied my tweet, I hope you now understand why I could not hold my excitement. I hope you now understand why that was all I could think about for days.
Inspired by Microsoft.