IT Employment

Here I am Bill Gates - hire me!


There aren't enough good techs to go around.  Just ask Bill Gates.  He wants to bring more in from outside the US.  I'll tell you what.  I'm an American and I think I'm a pretty good tech.  Why don't I apply for a job at Microsoft?  I've got a couple of things going for me that Bill might like.  I'm already an MCSE - a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.  I've been using and supporting Microsoft products since 1978.  I buy lots of Microsoft products and licenses at work.

It was easy enough to find the web site for Microsoft careers.  Oh, they want me to register.  No problem.  I've already registered for so many Microsoft sites maybe it will already recognize me.  No luck.  I know I already have a Microsoft Passport but it wants me to sign up for a Windows Live ID.  I'll work with the system.  It only takes a minute.  There, that's done.  What's the next step?  Oh, they want me to upload a resume.  My resume is everywhere but why not?

Say, that was a fairly painless process.  They wanted the resume in text-only format.  No, it would not accept a MS Word file.  It looks good too.  It's a little different from other online job databases like Dice.  They only seem to want my most recent employment and will only accept one school in the education section.  Does this all sound familiar?  Have you gone through this process before?  I have - dozens of times.  Anybody who has been unemployed has done this.

Now they want to know what made me decide to apply for a job at Microsoft.  Hmmm...I don't see an entry for "Bill Gates said he needed me," so I click on "other" and submit.  Now they want to know my gender and race.  Yes, they allow "Decline to state" as an option but I have no problem with this so I click the buttons.  They send me a nice e-mail saying that my resume has been submitted and I will be contacted if there is a match to my background.  Great!

Anybody who has applied for a job before knows that submitting a resume is nothing.  I might as well have filed it in the big electronic trash can in the sky.  The real way to get a job is through networking.  OK, we've got the biggest tech network in the world right here.  I'm looking for some inside help.  Anybody out there work at Microsoft?  Give me some clues.  What would you suggest I do next?  My website is here and I am listed on Linked-In.  Let's connect!

52 comments
mail_gsaha
mail_gsaha

Well a couple of points ... you are an MCSE ... great. If you do take the urge to find out then you will come to know that in certain countries people get MCSE, SCJP, ... certified with ZERO years of experience. They get certified even before they complete their graduation. Don't believe that. Try to find out which country has the highest number of certified professionals each year? Who got into guniess book for doing an MCSE at the youngest age? That's talking about academics. Will you be able to put in 10+ hours of work each day including weekends? Will you be able to learn any new skill every 6 months and still deliver withing deadlines? No you can't. That Mr. Gates know. They are here to dod business not to do charity. I hope you understand that.

previso
previso

There is no "they". Mr. Gates is personally worth $58 Bn. Not the corporation. Personally. The Spanish conquistadors were there also to do business. They got all that silver and gold. Rather, their local "employess" did for them. Business. And when those were not "qualified" anymore, help was brought from across the seas. Business. Before you begin to howl about freedom to choose employment vs that other business practice, the pattern holds, regardless of your opinion. There is no shortage of personnel, there is a shortage of conscience.

dawgit
dawgit

If I ever find myself with a used car dealership you'd be my first choice. (like when there are icebergs on the Equator form all this Global Warming) -d

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I worked at the Evil Empire and you really don't want to work there trust me. It makes the Sinclair Lewis novel about Chicago packing plants look like a picnic, not in the working conditions sense, (not blood and guts) but otherwise it is worse. It comes with thought police rather than gang bosses and the working hours suck. You also can't trust anyone; you always have to count your fingers when ever you shake anyone's hand. I would try Google first. I became a consultant and only worked for small companies, which I felt was best.

digismarts
digismarts

Yes, I too worked at MS for several years. It was a frustrating place to work at times, but it was also very educational. First of all, Microsoft receives THOUSANDS of resumes a day. Each recruiter and hiring manager must sort through hundreds of possible "best hires." To get in to work at Microsoft, the best route is to be recommended by a friend. The second best route is to work as a contractor. The third best route is to be absolutely outstanding in your field (mostly for executive or very important development positions). Many of my friends working at Microsoft had H1-B visas. And most of them were not from Asian countries, no matter what the closed-minded individuals on this thread would have you believe. Some were from Scotland, some from Australia, some from South Africa, and yes some from India and some from Hong Kong. I may have quit my job at Microsoft 3 years ago, I may not use all Microsoft products, and I may not support every department in the company, but I have a lot of respect for Bill Gates. Unfortunately not everyone executive in the company has his vision or his belief in technology to HELP others. In a company with close to 70,000 regular employees and many thousands more contractors, finding a good fit for YOU is just as hard as finding a good fit for them. You may not become a gajillionnaire working there anymore, but you can be part of something really big, just as with Google, or any others on the leading edge... whether they are creating the technology, or implementing it in a broad way. And don't blame Microsoft if they don't follow up on your resume. What did YOU do to stand out from the crowd? How many hundreds of thousands of MCSEs are there? Design something new and different. Start your own company and be bought out. Why just be one of 70,000+? Be the guy that created or designed the new technology that Microsoft (or Google, or whomever) wants to be a part of. Just quit whining and do something.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

But was shut in a cupboard with 2 other contractors who had been brought in from India. My management was 4 floors above me. Not once did any manager I worked for (there was 4 of them) come down to my floor. 90% of the time I could not find a manager to talk to. I had to invite myself to meetings. When I arrived my first day, there was no equipment no desk, nothing prepared for my arrival. Very rarely was I given a task to do and if I was it would never be accompanied by a schedule. I went to work, sat in a cupboard all day, did what I perceived to be my job, and went home. Nobody bothered me. Finally the whole group I was working for was taken over by a different management group. All my managers disappeared and the first thing the new group did was to get rid of all contractors. I scheduled a hand-off meeting with my new manager the afternoon of my last day, in the hope that he would see what a useful job I was doing. He never showed up to the meeting .. I went home glad to put the whole episode behind me. It is the most internally messed up place I have worked at. As a contractor you are treated like a piece of equipment. The place just stressed you out .. I got almost no assistance in anything I tried to do for that group. Then you find roadblocks every time you tried to make progress. Oh well, when I got home that day I was to find lots of money in my bank account. Les. P.S. Just remembered one example - the week the new management took over, I went to work as normal and showed up to a meeting either weds or thurs. As usual I had not seen any colleagues Mon or Tues. When I walked into the meeting there was a surprised look on some peoples faces 'like what are you doing here?'. I was told that contractors were informed not to come to work this week until the new management had sorted out how to organise their employees (the idea being that they would re-assess the contracting needs). Nobody told me, or my hiring company.

adrianjoshua
adrianjoshua

Personally, I think that Mr. Gates may be looking for more people with a background in programming, but this is just a guess. As for Tim Malone, it sounds like he's crying to me, and to be honest hisresume looks pretty bad. Tim if you're reading this you may want to consider having someone assist you with your resume. Oh, and that MCSE you mentioned, well I don't really consider an MCSE on NT 4.0 really valuable, and if you want to be taken somewhat seriously for a job at MS you'll probably want to at least be current with 2003 certifications, and even better if you certify on 2008 products. Good luck, Adrian MCSE 2000 & 2003 MCSA: Security MCSA: Messaging Linux+, Network+, A+

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

Yeah, you're right. I knew that Mr. Gates is looking for programmers. I was just trying to make a point that I think his crying to congress over H1B visa limits is really just a ploy to get lower paid workers. Now I may be wrong in this area. I've been enjoying the discussion on this and several other threads about the issue. Some say there is no problem and have pointed to some YouTube videos of HR people demonstrating how they get around hiring American workers to back up their claims. Perhaps there really is a shortage of developers with the necessary skills. If that's the case then good developers should be making six figure incomes today, right? No crying going on here. I'm gainfully employed and very happy with my job. But you do make an excellent point about current certifications. If I were in the market then you can be assured that I would be taking exams over the next few weeks until I had the 2003 certification down. Frankly, I have been waiting for 2008 to come out so I could do some comparisons. Certs do look good and open a few doors but they are no substitute for experience. As far as the resume, I've had several people tell me it looks great. I guess it all depends on who you want to listen to. It got me lots of interviews a few years back. I'll bet I could have a resume makeover done and then send it to another resume company. I'm betting they would immediately tell me that it needs to be redone. Thanks for the feedback, Adrian - much appreciated.

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

I think this is a link to one of the discussions during Big Bill's tour of duty ... http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9892046-7.html?tag=tb I'm not saying if he is right or wrong, but I am suggesting that simply using the normal nationalistic rhetoric may not, in the long term, solve the problem that seems to be looming on your (and our) horizon. [i]The American worker gives the most value for the work anywhere in the world.[/i] If this is as good as your argument gets, well, rest easy then. Clearly there is no problem whatsoever!! Speaking from the heart is great, but I'd suggest a strategy from the brain is what is required. IMHO of course.

cubeslave
cubeslave

The American Auto industry started going downhill the moment that Detroit felt it knew best and refused to offer well designed and fuel efficient cars. They created the market vacuum that foreign car makers are taking advantage of even today. The American auto worker didn't give away the car market, the CEOs did.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I bet they helped at various times though, UK auto workers certainly did in our case. For one reason or another the business is really struggling say management, so can we cut you to six tea breaks a day? Strike ! The only thing wore than one set of idiots running something, is two. To be honest I don't think many thought the US market would go for one of those dinky foreign cars.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

They treat us VERY well, they do not treat us with anything but the utmost respect. The German culture is performance oriented, with high standards come high rewards. It's a work-hard, play-hard mentality that I enjoy being part of.

Kjell_Andorsen
Kjell_Andorsen

If you're trying to claim that German companies "own" their workers or demand they work more hours than US companies do, you are sadly mistaken. According to OECD statistics the average US worker works over 400 hours a year more than the Average German worker. That's 10 full 40-hour work weeks. If you were referencing Japan, the Japanese work about 50 hours a year more than the US worker, or about 1 hour extra a week. Not a huuuge difference. It's also interesting that while the trend in Europe is for people to work less hours, the opposite is true in the US.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

You aren't allowed to have a family or free time! The company OWNS you and you OWE the company your life because they give YOU a pittance!!

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I work for a german company, and they just took huge losses that they will not see recovered for five years or more. But they know that they are investing in something that will be worth it in the long run. Oh, and they also think that employees should have these little things called families. Vacations are manditory and you will get called on the carpet for sacrificing your family for work. You don't look good in this company if you do that, in fact you look very bad.

paul
paul

I work for a large Japanese owned company and we hold our breath every time a top level exec is replaced that the position will go to a Japanese person. Customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, the environment, etc. I have worked at MS and no way does that shoddy run place compare to this. Bunch of kids over worked over partied and actually underpaid. Its about the long haul and the Japanese management style knows it.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Toyota, Nissan, Honda, et al have manufacturing companies in the US and are doing very very well. They are only missing 2 things that the American companies have. The united Auto Workers union, and feckless management. hmmmmmm........

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Start your own company and see who moves in downstairs.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Excellence in innuendo is always appreciated.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

That's close to Cuba, isn't it? Enjoy the sunshine. Thanks for adding your two cents.

curtis
curtis

Yeah, I ran into the "rice ceiling" that mandated a college degree. After pounding my head against the wall for about a year and a half I went back to college. I am about 6 months away from graduation (BSc in IT with a specialization in software engineering) Bill Gates and others who tout the "desperate need for IT/Software talent," are blatant liars. Case in point. A law firm in Boston (or somewhere in New England) was recently highlighted as a firm who specialized in consulting with firms on how to AVOID hiring American-based talent so that they can dip into the H1B work force. Simple fact is that corporate MBA-types hire outsourced workers because they are cheap. Yet they are the same folks who decry the lack of a trained workforce and move out of an area citing that as a core reason for leaving. Hypocrites. People who believe them are silly.

stod73
stod73

Why would you want to work at Microsoft???

Selltekk
Selltekk

I know someone who works at MS. He is a developer for Sharepoint. Their benefits packages are second to none, much akin to google. The pay is top notch as well. They get lots of vacation. However, thing that many people may consider a downside: They are expected to perform.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

I love Bill Gates. He's my hero! Why wouldn't I want to associate myself with one of the most successful companies in the world? They must be doing something right. I want to be on a winning team. Bill Gates said he needs good techs and their jobs go begging. I'm just trying to help him out. :D

aekblade
aekblade

you should really read up on bill gates and see how he earned his money...not the best guy in the world.

bkoury
bkoury

Back in the 90's IBM was contracted by the State of Nevada to bring in a transfer system from Rhode Island for the federally mandated welfare system. They used their wholly owned subsidiary ISSC to do the job. Their theory was stated that "you can teach any monkey to program" (their words). They hired 200 "monkeys" in Madras India, taught them to program, installed the new system and NOTHING worked. They had to throw the whole first cut into the trash and start over. They brought the brightest "monkeys" to the US and started all over again. 10 years and $130 mil. later the system finally went live.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

Oh I have no expectations that working at Microsoft would be problem free and certaintly not politics free. Bill Gates is pretty much out of the picture now anyway. I think his retirement is final in July. I'm just trying to let Microsoft know that there are qualfied techs available in the US that are willing to work for MS. They don't have to go outside the US to get employees.

amazonv
amazonv

I work in a large company and we are having an awful time hiring right now, and yes we have been using dice, monster, alumni job boards, anything we can think of. I agree, bring in more workers so we aren't short staffed mr. gates.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Offer 50,000 for Jesus in a 3-piece suit and you'll not find him.

previso
previso

Why pay American wages when you can hire foreign temps at half price? Farm, chicken processing, textile, fill-in-the blank. Is there any reason IT would be different? A profitable corporation maximizes returns on labor. Here or over THERE. Mr. Gates did not express his objectives clearly before Congress. The American worker does not see the employer as a godsend. The American worker knows their relationship is one of convenience, and the employer WILL get rid of labor first. The American worker has nowhere else to go. The foreign temp will be grateful to go back wherever with a pocketful of dollars, to live at foreign cost of living. That is what Mr. Gates counts on.

AV .
AV .

The truth is American workers are just not cheap enough to compete with H1-B's or any other visa programs, it has nothing to do with worker availability or aptitude. Throw in a little ageism for good measure. There are lots of older IT workers to hire with great experience that have been tossed aside in favor of younger, foreign workers. In the end, its still all about the money. I actually worked at Schering in the early '90s. They were always sticklers for a degree and I didn't have one, so I enrolled in a college course and said I was working on one. I still didn't get a degree, but it was enough to fulfill their HR requirement. Working at Schering was very tough and political. You're lucky you didn't work there. I was there for about 3 years. I learned alot, but it was just very clique-ish. In the end, they outsourced our department and I was escorted out the door, box in hand, one Friday afternoon. When they told me I could work for them again one day if a job comes up, I said, in essence, fugeddaboutit! :^0 One day, maybe, the American worker will become cheaper labor than the visa workers. Then, Bill Gates will be looking for a few good people in this country. He will say that the foreign workers don't have the skill set or availability of American workers. It could happen. AV

previso
previso

Moving is not easy UNLESS you'll make more over there. Ever relocated for a better job? Now, those Tech visas are temporary, right? Why would anyone hire temps, with all the lost training that will ensue? Because they are...cheaper. No retirement, long term health benefits, et other costs. Truth is, the American Corp. does not want U.S. workers. Word I get is we should be O.K. with those terms of employment, yes? To bring Mr. Gates back to #1? Farm labor sends billions back home every year. Want to chance a guess how much Tech labor does?

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Have you not seen the glut of resumes that flood in when a job is posted? A buddy of mine works for a government contractor and if they post an IT position on Dice, within minutes they have more applicants than time to go through the resumes. The IT market is pretty upside down right now and because of our fast and loose attitudes with various countries, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. On a side not, I know a guy from South Africa who is having a tough time getting an H1-B. Want to know why? Because he is from South Africa and not China or India...

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Try the New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, California, etc markets. A buddy of mine over at Aetna had his boss hiding in his cubicle because he had 7 job openings and over 700 applications within the first six hours of the posting.

Kjell_Andorsen
Kjell_Andorsen

I keep hearing about these pavent-pounding IT people who can't get a job, and I can't help, but wonder why? I'm mostly self-taught, worked my way up from doing End-user tech support through the IT helpdesk and into Systems and Network administration. I have never had any problem finding a job and have been making a rapid career progression. To me the market at least here in Utah seems just fine. If techs can't get a job here it would seem that it's because they either have crappy looking resumes or interview poorly.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

...and the cost of Indian man hours was at .4 American as of 2003 when I worked in the offshore dpt of a New York City based financial company. The numbers and formulas were what I was given to work with and not my own. Note that I said *COST* not salary. Now, if you care to challange my numbers on anything other than snarkiness....

vicki.tomich
vicki.tomich

I think the problem is precisely that- the American worker to a degree has stopped trying so hard to really ace and land the job. The emphasis placed by foreign workers on preparation, studying, and certifications is so much higher outside of the US out of sheer necessity- it's the only way for these guys to move up. American workers are too comfortable where they are and need less paper behind them to get jobs. Not so for the foreigners. There's been a decrease in people following IT in the US, so I kind of see where the "shortage" could be perceived. Maybe people aren't seeking employment with Microsoft so much as they used to, and Bill needs to look outside? But I wouldn't say that the foreign temp will be grateful to return with a pocketful of dollars.... just like that- any move to a foreign country for work purposes is not easy. And the gap in pay isn't as deep as it used to be in all countries. Lots of intl's are starting to look at similar salaries as US in their own countries. Labor- especially skilled labor, is never "cheap".

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

You said: [i]the fact that it would take 1.5 man/hours from country X to equal the output of 1 man/hour from an American worker for a plethora of reasons.[/i] Since their wage is somewhat less than half yours, in many cases less than 10% of yours, can you put that ratio through your pocket calculator again? Perhaps you may wish to revisit your claim: [i]The American worker gives the most value for the work anywhere in the world.[/i] All evidence to the contrary, I'm afraid !!! Pick an industry, any industry. ;)

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Oh, I've been through it all myself between 2001-2006 The job listings were ludicrous. At one job I applied for, they wanted someone who was a guru with both VB.net ***and*** Java. Like many folks my age and older, I'm mostly self-taught, and no college degree. I couldn't get into Schering-Plough despite haveing a relative in a VP position there because they would not compromise on a degree requirement. I also happen to know that many of these indian companies put their people through boot camp, not to be experts, but how to pass a technical interview for a given subject, once they land the job, they learn on the job. I know this because I have an Indian friend who runs a legitimate business and rails against those code monkey shops.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

I'll bet there are hundreds of TR subscribers who know someone who works at Microsoft. In fact, I'm betting that there are hundreds of MS employees in our ranks. Surely someone can hook me up with a hiring manager at MS who will say, "Yes, I would rather hire this highly skilled and experienced American worker. Get him in here for an interview." Do you mean to say that this will NOT happen? Say it isn't so! :0

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I know plenty of IT workers who have been pounding the pavement since 2001 who would love to go back to work.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

"The American worker knows their relationship is one of convenience, and the employer WILL get rid of labor first." Yeah, I hate "employed at will" just as much as the next guy, but I'm willing to take that risk to call his bluff.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

But don't let him import people because he doesn't want to pay wages. The American worker gives the most value for the work anywhere in the world. I was pushed into the outsourcing group of a previous employer and one factor in the formula for whether or not outsourcing was feasable was the fact that it would take 1.5 man/hours from country X to equal the output of 1 man/hour from an American worker for a plethora of reasons.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

Bill Gates said he needs more techs. I think I'm a pretty good one so I take him up on his offer and apply for a job at Microsoft. What do you think my chances are of getting a call? Read the post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/techofalltrades/?p=133 Yes, I'm serious. It's time for a career change. I'm even willing to relocate to Redmond. Anybody out there have any advice?

raycamara
raycamara

I really enjoyed your article Tim! I have felt the same way for years now. Especially when I live in North Dakota, and got hired on here in Seattle to work for the USACE, as a network Admin position. My contract expires in May, and I could work SysAdmin (AD) out of my home in North Dakota. Do you think Bill would hire and American Vietnam era veteran? We do not need more foreigners her. We are not stupid Americans. Just tell us what needs done and how to do it, and we get er done. So if Bill reads this, or anyone at Microsoft, then hire me, or I'll be fishing in the Dakota's all summer collecting unemployment. Oh Tim if you move here brings lots of money. Everything is over priced, and they dig into your pockets.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

I would think Mexico is overpriced. Ah, but the salaries have to be better. The biggest issue is the traffic. The infrastructure has not grown with the expansion of the city. Hence housing prices have gone through the roof. I agree with the poster. MS need to put more effort into hiring people that can fix their internal problems, not hire cheap labour that only adds to their problems. Les.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Read "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland. Its old now, but some things about corporate culture stick. I've interviewed several people who have worked at a company in Canada that MS uses as an outsourced 2nd/3rd level phone support. They certainly didn't enjoy their jobs. They may have been paid by someone else, but their cubes were at MS Canada HQ and MS set up the rules for their jobs. James

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I never did find that crazy playdo program they where working on after the great escape though.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Shridar Vishnubenakota or something like that.

gregmen83
gregmen83

You should change your name with an indian one...!! that way He'll hire you!...Good Luck!.