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heusserm (4461)

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Matt Heusser is JAPH and an XP-Er []. (The Methodology, not the Operating System.) Right now, he's doing a lot of Test Driven Development in Perl.

Journal of heusserm (4461)

Tuesday September 20, 2005
12:35 AM

BusinessWeek, PeopleWare, Microsoft ...

[ #26794 ]
Joel Spolsky wrote that when he went to the supply cabinet as an intern, there was a large stack of copies of PeopleWare right next to the pens and paper and staplers. The company was Microsoft. Criticize MS for it's monopolistic or anti-competitive or closed-source behavior all you want, they knew how to hire the best and keep them productive.

I picked up BusinessWeek because the cover story was on the brain drain at Microsoft. The article claims that Microsoft is becoming a big company - slow, process-heavy, hard to get anything done. Steve Ballmer recently cut health benefits, cut vacations for new employees, stopped the free towel service at the on-site fitness club, proposed seven-figure salaries to key VP's, mid-Six figure salaries to group managers, and pegged staffer's salaries to the industry average. Also, he had an interview with BusinessWeek where he talked like a press release and didn't answer pointed questions. His answers weren't completely evasive -- at least, not all of the time. I've seen worse, but it was disappointing.

Which tells me that senior brass at Microsoft is now behaving as if they never read PeopleWare. Maybe they never have. Who knows. The article said that Ballmer was trying to transform the company as described in Jim Collins "Good To Great." News Flash: Microsoft _WAS_ great. Collin's previous book was called "Built to last", and MS could have been a case study. So now they are experiencing record profits, sitting on $60 billion in cash, and they cut insurance so employees have a $40 copay.

What the heck am I missing? Seriously - what am I missing? Has the leadership at MS forgotten how to manage software development, or is the article just biased?
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