Fargo, N.D., despite it’s reputation as a cold, desolate and quirky place, is a actually happening hamlet. It’s got a great downtown, all the cool features of a college town, and boasts one of Microsoft’s largest campuses.
It’s sometimes a challenge to recruit people to Fargo, but Microsoft Fargo site leader Don Morton got his start as a former college football coach.
Click here to read my column on my visit to Microsoft Fargo, and scroll down to see the photos I snapped at the campus.
Morton says once people get to Fargo, they like it. Click here to see my photos of Fargo.
Microsoft’s Fargo campus features amazing achitechture, design and art …
… beginning with an amazing lobby.
The campus includes about 950 employees and nearly 500 contractors, said Microsoft spokeswoman Katie Hasbargen. People here work on software development, technical support, sales and financial operations, including payroll for Microsoft’s 91,000 empolyees. “When Bill Gates gets a check, it comes through here,” Hasbargen said.
The campus has room to expand to accomodate as many as 2,700 employees.
Mark Meadows, a senior support engineer, moved to Fargo in 2006 from Washington D.C., and has learned to love it here. The Microsoft campus provides a community of like-minded people.
“Everybody gets along,” he said. We pretty much hang out with each other after work. … People here focus on people rather than seeing them as an object they need to get around to get to their goal.”
The open work environment means people who work here get to know each other. But there’s plenty of space to be alone.
Sanjeev Srivastava, a team manager in customer service and support, moved to Fargo from Bangalore, India. He said the sizeable Indian community in Fargo has made it easy to adapt. “Ice fighing, that’s on my agena,” he said, “Ice fishing and skiing.”
Tameeka White, a technical account managers who recently moved to Fargo from Atlanta Ga., says she’s looking forward to winter – frigid as it may be – so that she can build a snow man. “My parents planning to come up for Christmas,” she said. “They want to experience a true White Christmas.”
Maybe by Christmas this fountain will be converted into a fireplace, as planned. It does get a little cold.