Leadership

Fired Microsoft employee is mad but at the wrong things

Lashing out at your former employer is not really helping the situation, whether that employer is Microsoft or not.

Sometimes it seems as if the tech press really goes out of its way to "dig up the dirt" on Microsoft. The "big story" this week - reported by Computerworld, the Seattle Times, and even our own CNET - is a TechCrunch blog post by an employee who was fired, blasting the company. This is breaking news? Aren't fired employees, more often than not, mad at the companies that fired them?

Some will point to the post as proof positive that Microsoft is (still) the Evil Empire that sucks in bright and promising young talent and then chews them up and spits them out into the cold, harsh world of the unemployed. But reading the rant made me wonder how even a staunch Microsoft-basher could see it as anything other than the commonplace efforts of a disgruntled ex-employee to shift the blame for his current situation from self to others.

I don't know Max Zografos (his pen name) but his description of the corporate culture that stifles all original thinking and isn't interested in creativity doesn't align with what I've personally observed for nine years as an MVP and over two years as the spouse of a Microsoft FTE.

Have those observations left me with biases of my own? Sure; our personal experiences with someone or something (such as a company) always influence our views of that entity. But I think it's useful, after reading a post like that, to hear from someone on "the other side" to lend some perspective to all the negativity. Besides, analyzing is what I do for a living, so I can't help but want to dig into and analyze the content of the blog post. In the end, I think it says more about its author than it says about Microsoft.

Corporate culture shock

Over my fifteen year career in the tech industry, I've seen many friends who were authors, consultants, or employees at other companies join the Microsoft family. Many (most) have stayed for the long term and love their jobs. Sure, as they climb the corporate ladder, they complain about too many meetings - but that's a complaint that's hardly unique to Microsoft. In a former life, I worked in government; if you really want to experience the meaningless meeting maelstrom, get promoted into a management job in the public sector.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org

I've also seen some folks wash out after a short time at Microsoft, and I know one or two who are still there but are not shy about sharing their "frustration, disappointment, and apathy" with anyone who wants to listen. Perhaps not coincidentally, those folks tend to be people I'd describe with the same words Zografos used to describe himself; they're mostly comfortable (stupefied, even) and yet at the same time, rebellious.

It's a bad combination. In any big organization, there are plenty of people who are slackers and yes, I know there are some of them at Microsoft. They "coast from meeting to meeting," and they're perfectly happy to do as little work as possible. They often coast right on through to retirement. There are also rebels with a legitimate cause, creative and knowledgeable folks who don't do things the way they've always been done, and who are not punished but rewarded for it. Contrary to what Zografos says, they get big bonuses and "1s" on their evaluations and fast-track promotions.

The difference is that these "rebels" aren't slackers. They're go-getters. They aren't complainers; they're persuaders. They work within the corporate culture, not against it.

I wasn't exactly surprised when I got to the "Getting Fired" section of Zografos' blog post, where he notes that his performance reviews said he "lacked respect for authority." That lack of respect was evident in everything he'd written up to that point.

Are there too many managers at Microsoft? Sure, probably. Every organization seems to get top-heavy as it grows. But to me, it seems ironic that Zografos seems to think Microsoft managers are heavy-handed. I've always thought that, if anything, there is way too much emphasis on the "team" approach and allowing lower level employees to make or influence decisions. That undoubtedly stems from my background in law enforcement, where chain of command is a sacred concept and you'd darn well better respect authority, regardless of your opinion about whether those in positions of authority deserved it.

The lesson in all this

My intent here isn't to argue that Mr. Zografos wasn't (or shouldn't have been) miserable at Microsoft. He obviously was. He also obviously made some bad decisions (to join the company in the first place when his personality clearly wasn't suited for the extant corporate culture, to - as he acknowledged - not leave on his initiative when he found himself unhappy there, to complain about senior executives to their superiors).

Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org

I believe the blog post was another bad decision. I don't think it makes Microsoft look bad; it makes the company look like a typical corporation. Similar charges were recently levied against Google by a former employee who now works for Microsoft. The post is not going to hurt Microsoft's ability to recruit new employees (although, if it scares off others who have problems with authority and are prone to slack off and coast through meetings when the opportunity to do so is present, it will actually be beneficial to the company). It's highly likely it will hurt the author's chances of getting a job elsewhere.

One of the top ten things that job search experts will tell you is to never criticize your former company or bosses. Potential employers figure that if you blast your past employer, you'll do the same to them. If you're an IT pro reading this, let Zografos' blog post serve as a blueprint for what not to do if you want to succeed in the tech industry.

There's nothing wrong with having a personality that's not suited to the corporate lifestyle. Many successful entrepreneurs are a bit rebellious, impatient with bureaucratic red tape, and unable to accept the snail's pace at which changes sometimes seem to come about in a large organization. Perhaps Mr. Zografos will go out and found a new company that will become the next Microsoft.

Meanwhile, indications are that there are a lot of exciting things going on at the company, and next week, in my last weekly Microsoft InSights column, I'll talk about some of the Microsoft initiatives that many people don't even know exist.

Also read:

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

44 comments
walldorff
walldorff

Somebody has a - for some people displeasing - story on Microsoft and immediately Shinder is flying to the rescue on behalf of her money grabbing colleagues, trying to portrait herself as Batman and the blogger as the Joker. Typical.

kordoniss
kordoniss

Are you ms Shinder stille getting paid (directly or indirectly) by Microsoft? Because if you do, then you are the last person in the world to comment about the quality of the fired, by Microsoft, employee's comments. You are simply a paid pen. Instead of having the Microsoft's PR dept make a statement they put you up to it, so people might think that the quarrel is not between the fired person and the Evil Empire, but between a "disgruntled ex-employee " and a more cool head (which reveals beforehand that she has been paid by Microsoft in the past), who tries to keep things under perspective.

khiatt
khiatt

Off topic, but next week will be the last time this column is published, or just the last time you will be writing it?

roleat
roleat

It is naive to expect a project to run without the beaucracy in a large and established company because those at the top enjoy the comfort of knowing what to expect next. Being respectful of this "power" in large environments mean you can coast without being thought of as liability, and questioning standard practices can make you seem like a negative team member - even if your ideas aimed to improve something. Wasting time and resources on beaucracy is not just an enterprise issue but since these companies maintain such a large hold in their industries the waste can continue on for years. I prefer working with smaller groups and individuals who have earned the level of authority they represent through their experience and insight versus those who get ranks through ass-kissing. It's easy to spot these different types of people.

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

I have not worked for MS but have experience with companies & people trying to work for them. What they found was that MS is so siloed and firewalled that there is no communication even among groups working on the same project. Dealing with the entire project (as they were supposed to) became one frustrating episode after another. Information was incomplete and often contradictory - one hand literally didn't know what the other was doing. More over, MS employees seemed to take this as normal and typical.

bwallan
bwallan

Burning your bridges is ALWAYS a very bad idea!!

-M-
-M-

Someone asked if we would hire a ranter. If it were a personal attack, no. If it is simply a rant about a business model, why not? I would not tend to hire people who think a post to a personal blog constitutes a resume however. They belong at Foxconn where their "The nail that sticks up needs to be hammered down" philosophy would fit right in.

CYBERSUN
CYBERSUN

It is obviously an issue of PERSONAL VS ENTERPRISE CULTURE. Any big Organization has its culture rooted in its history. One that joins an organization has to look at its culture first from the outside before joining and make a decision as to "his" adaptability to the Organization Culture. Now, one can make a mistake or think by mistake that he can change the world over, but generally that will not happen. Then there is only one option: manage a career change. Now, it is also true and universal: don't ever bite the hand that feeds you and I would dare extend it to: don't bite the hand that also fed you. If you do the latter anybody with two cents worth of brain will detect a bitter person and you start your search with one heck of a big handicap. My own experience with TEXACO and EXXON is a show case. Two big organizations with two completely different cultures: TEXACO a ???go get it??? attitude environment more individual, more results oriented and more authoritarian, while EXXON is a more TEAM oriented organization that foster "meetingitis" and ???let???s wait and see???, values team results vs individual (even if they are less) and has a more collegial approach to decision (I would say it looks like MS style or IBM style). But at the end in all organization: the BOSS is the BOSS and there is no way around this, he defines the paradigms of the organization and you have to kiss his ring and accept it. So being sour in public over that is not going to do any good for your employability and one may better seek entrepreneurship solutions in this case.

bob.klahn
bob.klahn

Just wondering, has Microsoft ever innovated anything?

tony
tony

Someone I know used to work as a lab technician and was actually better qualified than the people they worked for. They went off, got another qualification, worked somewhere else and was then headhunted to become head of the same department they were the technician in. You are in charge of your own destiny - you probably will not fit in some places, and all jobs have aspects (see Video Arts "Meetings, Bl**dy Meetings") you don't like. Not will you like every boss you have - the bosses job is not to be your friend but to do their job to the best of their ability. Good bosses are respected, and work hard to earn that respect. But there will always be personality clashes - I have had them in the past. I recognised that, and moved on before the relationship got to breaking point. I don't expect I was the easiest employee to manage either. But public bad mouthing will not achieve anything useful. In a few years down the line, you may well find that person has moved on and is now the interviewer when you go somewhere else. As someone who bad mouthed me publicly also found out to their embarrassment.

l_creech
l_creech

I blast the boss all the time, he's an arse. Then I remember I am the boss, puts it all in perspective. I ride myself hard to give my client base the best possible service at all times. Most of my customers will tell you I do a good job for them all the time, a few will tell you about the time I blew it (it happens, not often thankfully since I like to get paid generally) and how long it took me to undo the major screw up. Those few still actually use me, which in itself says a lot I think. I could never ever work in a normal corporate environment, not that I mind the idea; I just hate the politics of the corporate environment. As I say that I have to laugh at myself simply because a couple of my clients will see this post and give me crap for it later when I'm in their corporate office for the next meeting.

bigjude
bigjude

Back in the early 60s, I worked for the expanding Murdoch Empire and was once described by a senior executive as having " a complete lack of respect for all forms of established authority." I did a little inhouse moaning and quickly learnt that Mirror Newspapers belonged to Rupert Murdoch, not to me. I then went on to do very well in more personally entrepreneurial ventures. We all know where Rupert's Empire is heading these days and the signs of what has caused it were there even in those early days. But after they booted me out, I never bad mouthed them and would never employ anyone who did so about a previous employer. Not fitting into corporate culture is a sensible reason for moving on becaue not all combinations work. Getting fired because of it is also permissible. I wouldn't penalise someone for getting fired although I would check up on them. But bad mouthing indicates an idiotic disregard for self protection on the part of the bad mouther, also complete disrespect for the other people with whom he/she worked and who still remain with the company. I agree wich Debra. There are always two sides to the story when an employer and employee part company on bad terms and for the tech press to make news out of a blogger's rant is ridiculous. I'd consider it news if he lived in Bahrein and was tortured for trying to change the government's surveillance network but I doubt that Microsoft does that (or even the Murdoch Empire.)

jayanu
jayanu

The employee is misguided. Yes, every corporation - small, medium, large (or even one person corporation) have their own culture. You may not like the culture; you have two choices. Leave and go where you are happy or figure out a way to contribute and be recognized and the culture will accommodate you. I will give two out of many examples in my life. I never was a morning person or punch the clock guy. I joined Illinois Bell and the first day my manager and his boss were not around and I sat down and started reading a manual. A person comes in says, " You must be Jay Shah. I am Herb Zuegal. I give my new employees a sermon - come in time and leave in time...." Later I found out that he was 3 levels higher than me. I Rarely followed his advise. Everyone were in the office at 7:30 AM for 8:00 AM starting time and I would walk in at 9:00 AM. I even started flex time movement which was approved. Then I got promoted to Bell Labs and went to see Herb for his departing sermon. He laughed and said you have have a mentor - be noticed by someone 2 level above you. Then he asked did I know who was my mentor. When I did not have an answer he asked me to repeat his first sermon. Then he asked - did you come in time? Did you start the flex time movement? Was the Flex time approved for the Division? And yet were you called on a Red Carpet? Dummy, I was your mentor. You performed very well to be promoted to Bell Labs. Sure you were a rebel but you found ways to help us and we accommodated you. 2) At Bell Labs it was Publish or Perish culture. I was asked to write a memo on Network charging. I saw that two folks had already published their memo on the topic. So instead of writing another memo I just went around trying to find a solution, got the buy-in from all stake holders (and that is not bad words!) and got it implemented. I never published any memo and yet I got promoted twice to a Department Head level. What counted was the results and not just rebellion to find faults with the culture. Sure, with my nature, I have had my difficulties and challenges in my career and have made mistakes. But one thing remained constant. Except my first job in 1970 I never looked for a job, jobs came to me. The image of a problem solver preceded me. It is simple - Produce or Perish. Jay Shah

Gisabun
Gisabun

You have to worder if the guy had some other motives that he hasn't mentioned. Meanwhile, I'm sure in his job interviews, they will ask "Oh you worked at Microsoft" and I'm sure he's NOT going to say how much he despised working there. With all this huff and puff he will say positive things [well except why he's not there now] and to his advantage in getting a future job. Saying anything negative hurts future job prospects.

kenmullins1
kenmullins1

Would you hire someone who just ranted on-line about his previous employer? I wouldn't.

Justin James
Justin James

... then why did he work there? I see this all the time, it makes no sense to me. When I worked for a company that I didn't like, that I thought was not using my talents well and lacked the innovative spirit, I did the mature thing... and left... and when I discuss my experiences there in public, I do not mention the company's name either, and I always talk about it from the view of, "this is what I saw, this is what I experienced". J.Ja

dcolbert
dcolbert

I think the rants are worth reading from a critical perspective. They may tell you what the culture is like, what the relationship is like between the department you will be in and the company might be like. It is more about matching your personality and work ethic to that of your employer. Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Google - there have been enough rants about these organizations, enough disgruntled former employees who banded together to form groups, that no one should go into a position at any of them uninformed about the expectations and what to expect. They're aggressive companies full of super-achieving A-type personalities with little tolerance for excuses. They're results oriented. They're confrontational atmospheres. They're jealous in the sense that they want to be the center of your focus. If you're not the kind of person that can commit like that to a company - seek out somewhere else. Honestly - I had a chance to go back to Intel. I didn't. It wasn't Intel, it was me. I just can't give Intel the kind of attention it wants from its employees. It was a hard decision. There were a lot of things I really loved about working at Intel. But Intel wanted to be the center of my life in a way that I wasn't ever going to be willing to provide. It just wouldn't have worked out for us. But I still want to be friends. :)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you take ex-employee rants, like the one about Microsoft, which Deb is talking about or the one several weeks ago about Google, seriously? Personally, I dismiss them sight unseen (or unread). Do you think such rants actually provide insight to the company/employer in question?

Gisabun
Gisabun

Unless you worked there, how can you call it a "suppressive culture"? Takling this idiots ranting at face value doesn't say much. I could call Apple a bunch of cheap skates who force users to work long hours for low wages untrue - well excedpt those working at plants [on Apple's behalf] like Foxconn.

Dyalect
Dyalect

This person sounds like he was not cut out or prepared for corporate culture. He had a vision of Microsoft and it did not live up to his fantasy. Insted of leaving in the manner he did, common sense would have told him to leave in a more professional manner. I'm pretty sure a public dismissal from a company as big as Microsoft would kill any chances for getting another good job with a large company. Bashing your previous employer is never a good thing. You want innovation and forward thinking you had better get a job with a small private company or start your own. Corporate culture is the land of endless meetings, no decisions being made, good decisions being stone walled and slow moving progress. Meeting adjourned.

kevin
kevin

Nothing, but that is another topic. As far as this one goes I believe and have for quite sometime that one major problem is related to a systemic lack of respect for authority in our society as a whole. We have far too many people in the US that have never served time in the military. No draft for three generations now. Which means that even a lot of our politicians have never served in a military organization or on a police force. Several things are gained by an individual during military service. Most importantly is an increase in self-respect which cannot happen without improving respect for other people and those on authority. I wonder what sort of levels of respect for authority 'Max' had prior to the experience with Microsoft. Chances are this lack of respect started early in his life and is now a huge personal liability for him. In 6 years of military service I can say that sure there were many others there that I did not like but I really had no choice than to work within the system. People who are really creative and innovative tend to be very emotional about thier ideas. Steve Jobs is a good example. Jobs had the authority to do as he pleased...to a point. That works (somewhat) when you are the CEO but not for anyone else. Is there anybody left in our society that is really willing to take responsibility for thier own actions? Police? Neighborhood WATCH Captains? Congressmen? Secret Service Agents? Presidential Candidates with women on the side? GOP Candidate 'dropouts' who leave with millions of debt? I guess they didn't see that coming yet they promised they could be fiscally responsible. Yeh, right. How about the guy who posted his level of disrespect on Facebook. Now he claims he is still a Marine. He doesn't get it...never did! Perhaps a term in Levenworth instead a discharge would reset his brain cells. During the Vietnam war objectors ran off to Canada to avoid the draft. Today just volunteer, if you don't like it once you are there, signup with Facebook! How to avoid responsibility in one easy lesson! How about some respect? Or, maybe just some self-respect? How about some personal responsibility?

Kevin917
Kevin917

May be connected to the @ss you have to kiss tomorrow. The world is way too small these days to be leaving trails like this one.

tbmay
tbmay

...that he was unprofessional. The old "don't burn bridges" line is always appropriate. But your last sentence makes you look petty. Unfortunately, too many managers are managers because they like the power it gives them over people. And too many of them are exactly the kind who don't need the power. Not saying that's you, but if you really want to be grown-up about things, you'll let the past go and focus on the future.

kalmirza
kalmirza

and Live in Truth. i like it. can i make you my mentor?

-M-
-M-

If it were a personal attack, no. If it is simply a rant about a business model, why not? I would not tend to hire people who think a post to a personal blog constitutes a resume however. They belong at Foxconn where their "The nail that sticks up needs to be hammered down" philosophy would fit right in.

jgm
jgm

Why wouldn't I? The only reason I wouldn't was if I realized I was a poor manager or organization and was worried that someone would shine a light on my poor performance. If you're a great company that treats its employees right, then you have nothing to worry about. I'd be hesitant about hiring anyone who DIDN'T talk smack about their last employer, especially if they quit. That would mean I'd be potentially hiring a liar (who quits or gets divorced because everything is fine?) who tells me things I want to hear? I don't care what the position is, I want someone with honesty and guts and conviction of beliefs.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

The first time I didn't quit was due to youth and being stubborn (to the point of stupidity). I was determined to outlast a bad manager and I succeeded. My last two years were great with that employer. The last time was sheer bone sucking, cancerous lack of energy. They worked us so hard and promised so much; I couldn't refuse the poison apple. Thus I had little energy left over to plot an escape. Needless to say I???m not with them any longer, but I was not fired! :)

kalmirza
kalmirza

well said. looking back at my (almost 20 yr career) this resonates with me too. especially now that I'm older (and hopefully wiser) and have a growing family, I really don't want to work at a company where they want all of my attention all the time... I need a work-life balance, and that would mean outside of the company with people who don't work there.

QAonCall
QAonCall

What if the drive of these companies top to bottom is focused on exactly what IT folks in general are, 'the next best, leanest, meanest gotta have it to save my IT department thing'? If that is the case, as I suspect it is at the mentioned and hundreds more, then surely one can understand that mentality when one slip for MS in the phone market and they may never make it back, or google losing ground to a new search algorithm to yahoo etc etc. The tech world moves fast, even for behemoths like these companies and they are driven, as proven by their successes and failures, to win at any costs, and really, shouldn't one know that walking in the door, and should expectations about striving for excellence be the norm in other areas, say government? Just a thought.

tbmay
tbmay

...it seems he's complaining about just the opposite. Not a type A culture....but a bureaucratic, political, get nothing done culture. I don't find that hard to believe either, given the size of Microsoft. It can be frustrating if you want to get things done, but you find a bureaucratic process completely cripples your ability. If you don't move on soon, you will likely take a "there's no point resisting....I'll just get on board" attitude, and you might get too comfortable. That is a big danger of joining a bureaucracy when you work in technology. But hey, it's Microsoft's money to waste. What's the Government's excuse.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

about the ranter than the rantee... I've worked for great, mediocre and terrible organizations. When I reflect on my experiences they are just that [b]my experiences[/b]. I think that the signal to noise is terrible with these types of communications but I wouldn't dismiss them sight unseen. Always an interesting nugget of information, even if viewed through someone's personal filter.

kevin
kevin

Please tell me what company other than Apple does not have a cell phone/smartphone, tablet or PC that is NOT built at Foxconn? Name one, please.

sboverie
sboverie

I am a veteran and I have mixed feelings about the military. On one hand it was a great experience and it took me to a lot of places I would not have gotten to go; on the other hand it was the mindless bureauracracy that made decisions for you if it did not like your choices. There was a lack of freedom to do some things and there was also a rigid hierarchy. The military will push you into doing things you do not want to do, but afterwards realize that you were perfectly capable of doing those things no matter how unpleasant. Civilian jobs can't just push people the same way. I am proud to have served, but I would not want to go through it again. The one thing that is different between the military and civilian jobs is that being in the military is a contract that you have to finish regardless of your comfort and fit. Having a civilian job after being in the military helps you put up with a lot of crap, but if things don't work out you can quit and move on without waiting for your time to expire.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

So we don't even have personal lives anymore, and how we act off the clock shows how we act on the clock? Are there any other loose associations we should know? And most shrinks usually look at "loose associations" and associate people who engage with "loose associations" with a certain disorder. The first 6 letters of the diagnosis they hand out is "S", "c", "h", "i", "z", and "o"... especially if other perceived symptoms exist...

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

I just love it when threats are handed out via metaphor... I mean, the "produce" section of the store and all... I love followers of Ayn Rand. It must be nice living simple ideals... produce for someone else until they deem you perishable... but that must be the definition of "freedom", to work to make somebody else rich? Ditto for "life" and "liberty", yes? Granted, she was good at producing - she even produced someone else's credentials to grab social security, despite her lambasting it as being a refuge for leeches and all that... http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/149721/ayn_rand_railed_against_government_benefits,_but_grabbed_social_security_and_medicare_when_she_needed_them/?page=1

andrew232006
andrew232006

No manager is perfect. Anyone can find something to rant about on any manager. If they did it with their last manager, there's an increased chance they'll do it with their next one. I don't see how not ranting about your last employer can reasonably be labeled lying. If you're asked why you left, go ahead and tell them. But attacking the company online because the job didn't suit you is just petty.

SKDTech
SKDTech

There is quite a bit of difference between a reasoned discussion about how a former employer was not a good fit for you when asked and going out into a public square with a bullhorn to scream about how management was a bunch of incompetent morons. No one with a brain wants to hire the latter for fear of a repeat performance.

dcolbert
dcolbert

They call it the Golden Handcuffs at Intel - the base salary was competitive, but not extraordinary - but the benefits, bonuses and other compensation and perks put the total gross well into six-figures. I was making boatloads of money there - and that was at a time when stocks were tanked for Intel. The guys who were there during rapid growth in stock value and frequent splits were making a killing. A lot of Intel employees were basically part-time day-traders who financed their market investments by working at Intel. But I didn't have any time to enjoy all that income, other than driving excessively fast on my way to and from work with a group of engineers who all had expensive European sports sedans. Our M3s and S4s were the only way we could enjoy the fruits of our labors, and only when going to and from work. Otherwise I was too tired or trying to catch some downtime to recharge for the next onslaught of back-to-back 18 hour days and 3 AM pages. But I wonder if that sounds like a disgruntled former employee complaining, or simply an admission that I couldn't commit to the level they wanted me to. Intel tells you up front they expect this, and they reward you through bonuses and other opportunities - and require a sabbatical because they know you're going to need it eventually. I couldn't make it that long. Intel is the perfect place for a young, driven, single person who is more focused on opportunity that social life. But it didn't work as well for me as a family man.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Intel often has a incredibly bureaucratic approach - possibly no better experienced than in standardized IT at Intel, where "Intelized" IT workers worry that they've become so caught up in Intel's IT deployment processes that their skill set is not applicable outside of the corporation. Ask any Intel IT worker about the P-100 approval process for landing a new server in an Intel DC. I'm pretty sure that Microsoft, like Intel, also has many "black-ops" groups that work in a sandbox and are exempt from many of the more exasperating red-tape processes in the corporation. That is where I worked. My servers were P-100 exempt and went into a caged and isolated DC within the main DC floor. I worked on projects where Intel wanted to aggressively pursue road-maps in emerging opportunities to give it a competitive corporate advantage - so they let us operate more or less like a start-up. Intel and Microsoft are both really good at this, I hear. But that can be one of the stresses - being in a group where the A-types innovate in a larger culture that is huge and slow moving and full of red tape. There is no doubt, when I had to deal with the bureaucracy of regular P-100 DC implementations it drove me NUTS and overwhelmed me with the silly steps required to make progress. I couldn't have cut it as a P-100 engineer. But that was why I never sought out any engineering opportunities in those groups. They were mature, stable, static and unexciting - but *necessary*. Also, a company that big is more like a department store. There are hundreds or thousands of different departments, all under one roof, all focusing on their own core business goals. The overall company culture may set the tone, but each department has a different and unique tone set by the leadership in that group. A blanket statement that Microsoft or Intel have a monolithic culture just doesn't match my experience. Apple may be small enough and Steve Jobs might have been a strong enough leader that they were something of an exception - but I even doubt that.

Skruis
Skruis

You're getting one side of the story. I'm sure there is a lot of bureaucracy but what makes this guy so sure that his ideas were the right ideas, that the meetings aren't there to protect the product from random additions by rogue employees? Microsoft takes a fair amount of heat for having dissimilar services and products. I don't really blame them for promoting mechanisms that promote conformity across departments and if that pisses off a single Engineer who thinks he knows better, well, then its better for both to part ways.

bob.klahn
bob.klahn

Amen! Discharged 40 years ago last November.

tbmay
tbmay

I don't know the fellow and it's certainly one side of a story. I was basically saying my take on his perceived problem and Donovan's were a bit different. We don't disagree though.