Saturday, August 14, 2004

Comments - process, bias, and rehiring

(You know, we truly do make wonderful software.  To be able to
sit down at a random computer in lovely BFE and be able to check email and
post to the Internet is the stuff of magic.  1990's magic, I
know.  Even in 2004 I'm not jaded in the least.)

Yet another
iteration of comment commenting because when good stuff happens, you should
at least point at it and say, "Oog! Good stuff!"

So three of
the recent href="
comments">comments in the last post are interesting for their own

The second notes:

Then, Gates stepped down,
Ballmer stepped up, and the bean counters took the reigns... Instead of
everything in PSS being all about customer satisfaction, it became how many
customers could you fly through in a day without pissing them off... Numbers
became everything, with customer satisfaction taking a back seat.

At that
point, it was far more adventageous to be an ass-kisser than somebody that
actually knew the technology. They started losing some of their best talent
at PSS-East becuase the best & brightest were just waiting for enough stock
options to vest, and they were out of that B.S.

And then, the witch
hunts began... M$ stock started tanking, and they decided to thin out the
head count to help lower their costs... If they laid people off, their stock
would sink even further, so they started coming up with any and every
bullshit reason to get rid of you. Once again, they lost some of their best
and brightest becuase they weren't playing the stupid political games like
the ass-kissers...

I don't think Microsoft product
development and other departments were all that broke, just probably not
engaged in high-risk taking visionary bleeding edge development and
such.  It's true, when Ballmer took over, broad things really started
changing on an increased process level.  Everyone has experienced this
thanks to the ever-changing review form and associated training (which I
think represents the embodiment of meandering leadership vs. streamlined
focusing on what's important to make money - Lord help me if I have to go
through something like that commitments training again [did you hear anyone
saying how super and great that was?]).  Even now you hear him calling
us to achieve "Process Excellence."  Must your quantify that
you don't inherently understand?  I get paid to ship money-making
software, not excel at a process.  I'm open to things that make my
product better which includes more stability, security, market-penetration,
and customer pleasing / money making features.  But if you give me
another freaking process form to fill out or compliance tool to run, I'm
going to start "comp-lie-ing" and focus on what it takes to get
the old-fashioned job done.

(Bad Drone!)

The third
comment duly takes me to task for being overly negative in characterization
and his/her original comments.  My bad, mea culpa - sorta.  Eh,
I'm biased.  Anyway, it's a well-written and thought-out
rebuttal.  Good for Microsoft for having such a person working for it
and for taking the time to share their thoughts.  I just believe that
strategic grass-roots transparency is more important at this

Finally, the first comment has an interesting

I've seen specific departments conducted layoffs, and
95% of the laid off folks get rehired within 2 months into other
departments. Talk about maintain a good place for the

I've seen this disconnect, too, between Microsoft
HR's "move them out" talk and then what happens later.  It's
odd to be walking through another building and pass by someone who had
"moved on" and is now in another group (odd moment of
"what-the?" surprise on my face, downward gaze on their's). 
Move them out, keep them out.

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