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Some Developers Leaving Google For Microsoft

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the turning-tide-or-momentary-reversal dept.

Google 685

recoiledsnake writes "We have heard about lots of talented developers jumping ship from Microsoft to Google, but is the trend beginning to turn? Dare Obasanjo (a Microsoft employee) writes about a few high-profile people picking Microsoft over Google — either making the jump directly, or choosing Microsoft after receiving offers at both. Sergey Solyanik is back to Microsoft and he primarily gripes about the culture and lack of career development at Google. He writes, 'Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] — PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. Google as an organization is not geared — culturally — to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.' Danny Thorpe, who was the key architect of Google Gears, is back at Microsoft for his second stint working on developer technologies related to Windows Live."

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Cost of Living? (1, Flamebait)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008669)

No, I didn't RTFA, but I'd guess the quality of life in Seattle is about, oh, one billion times better than the Bay Area.

Re:Cost of Living? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008767)

why do u think so? seattle has one of the most fuxxed up weather u can ever get.

Re:Cost of Living? (2)

neurosis101 (692250) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008803)

Now that's flamebait if I ever saw it. They're both beautiful areas, and both very different. What compels you to make a statement like that?

Re:Cost of Living? (3, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008891)

The fact I can afford a house on a software engineer's salary in Seattle, but not San Francisco? They both have crappy weather, so everything else equal, Seattle wins. Plus, growing up in Oregon, I have an ingrained hatred towards anything California.

Re:Cost of Living? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009009)

You can? What are they paying you? I'm struggling to do that, even with $50k+ of equity.

Re:Cost of Living? (4, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009209)

Crappy weather? The south bay area, where Google is located, is widely considered to have some of the most consistently pleasant weather of anywhere in the US. It's 70-85 and sunny for 3/4ths of the year.

Re:Cost of Living? (3, Informative)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009381)

It's not necessarily all about location... Microsoft's 2nd largest dev center (and in the interest of full disclosure, where I work) is less than a mile from the Googleplex, in sunny Mtn. View, CA. Much of Windows Live is developed here.

Re:Cost of Living? (5, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009253)

The fact I can afford a house on a software engineer's salary in Seattle, but not San Francisco?

1) If we're limiting this to specific cities, then yes.
2) Otherwise, if we're talking areas, then not quite.
3) And you can always rent, which is much cheaper than a 30 year mortgage. If you want, save the difference and invest in CDs (the financial kind!) or another safe investment. In 30 years, just buy the property outright (or pretty close to outright).

They both have crappy weather, so everything else equal, Seattle wins.

1) Are we limiting this to specific cities?
2) Otherwise, absolutely no way. SF weather is uniquely SF. Go across the SF Bay to Oakland on the same day and it'll be nice and sunny. Cold in SF? Drive down to San Jose.

Plus, growing up in Oregon, I have an ingrained hatred towards anything California.

That really says it all.

Here's what I have to say about Oregon: Socialized gasoline pumps.
I drive up there, and when I go for gas (god forbid), I can't get an attendant to come out and pump for my car. But all hell breaks loose when I've waited for 20 minutes (after 2-3 waves of Oregonians are serviced ahead of me) and touch that gas pump. That's right! It's illegal to pump your own gas. For a state of people that are supposedly very constructionally conservative about the Constitution and taxes, you'd think people would be able to pump their own gas. Instead they've legislated into existence an entire labor class. So, whenever I see this hatred expressed toward CA, I just think, "hypocrites."

But yet, I don't hate entire states. I have better things to do.

Re:Cost of Living? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009377)

RE the gas thing about Oregon: If you don't specify, they'll fill you up with Super. Keep that in mind if you ever drive through Oregon. Especially nowdays.

Re:Cost of Living? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009313)

Hatred of California is a really funny PNW phenomenon, Oregon resents wealthy California retirees moving in an driving up property prices but keeps mum on the hordes of unwashed white trash that comes down to California for work.

Re:Cost of Living? (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009507)

Crappy weather is relative. I love the Seattle, weather. I hate this sun thing we're going through, give me gray and drizzly any day.

As for Fulcrum of Evil, where you trying to live? Try West Seattle or Ballard. If you want to live nearer Redmond Bothell. I do a flex-time commute from West Seattle to North Redmond (no I don't work at MS or even in the software industry). Left 6:30 am this morning got to work at 7:10 am, including a stop for coffee, pretty standard. Put in the hours leave early 4:15ish, dodge the traffic home by 5:15 pm. Still get in a good 9-10 hour day.

Re:Cost of Living? (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008909)

Pity poor Bill.
Now that he is retired he has nothing better to do than troll /.

Re:Cost of Living? (2, Informative)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008825)

Well Google does offer employment in Seattle as well. And if you don't like the rain, how about Santa Monica? Or, if you want even more seasonal choices, how about Boulder?

Man, that just sounds like an ad. Not really what I was after.

Anyway, yeah, I agree any are about a billion times better than Silicon Valley and you still could be working for Google if that's what floats your boat.

Re:Cost of Living? (4, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008911)

I prefer Austin. Our weather rocks, are salaries are great, and our houses are cheap. Unfortunately, Austin is surrounded by Texas.

Re:Cost of Living? (3, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009155)

If you want cheap, you're looking at East Austin or Cedar Park. Unless you mean "cheap relative to the Bay Area", in which case all of Austin is bargain basement.

As for the weather...I'm tempted to give the nod to Seattle as well. Unless you really like 3.5 months of 95+ heat. Like Austin, Seattle has mild winters, but it also has mild summers.

Don't get me wrong, I like Austin. And I don't even mind that it's surrounded by Texas. But, objectively speaking, I'm not sure it's an automatic "win" when compared to Seattle/Redmond.

Re:Cost of Living? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009515)

Austin, even the expensive parts, are a bargain compared to Seattle and San Francisco. I've lived in all three and there is no comparison.

Re:Cost of Living? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008829)

So, ignore all those suicides that come from Seattle being depressing as hell?

Re:Cost of Living? (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009015)

No doubt that's why the bookstores all have huge sections on 'dealing with depression' and great titles like 'bad weather, good mood' and 'gray skies aren't the end'.

Re:Cost of Living? (4, Funny)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009429)

As a resident of the weather-blessed United Kingdom, I say: "HAH!"

Re:Cost of Living? (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009269)

the bay area is VERY cool. I live here, so I know.

but life at google is not life in the bay area. google is its own sub-culture in every way. note, I don't mean that in a good way.

what good is being in sunny calif when you are slaved (peer pressure) to work till 9pm? driving home at dark kills a lot of the fun of sunny california...

you want both weekends? to yourself? really? again, google is not the place for you.

if you want to ENJOY the bay area, google is not the place. free food != 'good lifestyle'.

In other news (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008685)

Observers report large numbers of chairs flying out the windows of Google headquarters. More at 11.

Re:In other news (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009491)

Some memes never get old. Thank you, Anonymous.

don't be evil or don't be agile? (1)

anidiot (821082) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008701)

Pagers and web-based software is so 2002!

Is that so? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008707)

"Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] -- PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process."

Oh what a fucking nightmare!

Re:Is that so? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008873)

Yeah! They should be run by marketing and management people, just like at Microsoft! Everyone knows that engineers can't be relied upon to produce enterprise quality software without marketing's careful guidance and input.

Re:Is that so? (1, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008961)

It is a fucking nightmare - for users. Everything google does (except advertising and search-related stuff) is half-baked.

Google checkout? I'd like to use it instead of Paypal, but you can't even download a useful report of your orders. WTF is with that?

Gmail: no folders? WTF is with that? Labels are not like folders, and they're not better.

Grand Central: whoa, what happened? Looks like the trains have stopped.

Google seems to be a great place to whack off as a developer, but when it comes to making stuff that people want, it seems less than successful (except for search & ads).

Re:Is that so? (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009031)

Labels aren't better than folders?

Labels can functionally completely replace folders, and surpass them.

Re:Is that so? (2, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009147)

"Functionally" is not a synonym for "completely", "easily", or "seamlessly".

Re:Is that so? (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009175)

Let me restate myself.

They can seamlessly, easily and completely replace folders. You used to put items in folders. Put labels on them and archive. It is the same thing, but even better, now one mail can have multiple labels which solves the dilemma of where to file it.

There are also extensions I've seen to have sub-labels that operate the way sub-folders do if you really want an old school nest. Technically you don't need extensions for this, but it helps the appearance for those who want to hide sub-folders/labels until you navigate to them.

Re:Is that so? (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009059)

Gmail: no folders? WTF is with that? Labels are not like folders, and they're not better.

That is a design choice. They chose to provide labels, and not folders. You may not agree with they choice, but that is not half-bakedness.

I'd surely would not want to be an user of one of your fully-baked software products that provide every single design choice simultaneously...

Re:Is that so? (1)

Billhead (842510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009061)

Gmail: no folders? WTF is with that? Labels are not like folders, and they're not better.


Give an email only one label and archive it, it will work exactly like folders.

Re:Is that so? (2, Insightful)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009407)

Gmail: no folders? WTF is with that? Labels are not like folders, and they're not better.

A single message can have multiple labels. However, a message can only be stored in one folder.

Other then that, how are folders different from labels? They seem very similar.

Re:Is that so? (1, Troll)

kipman725 (1248126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009007)

sounds like some kind of dream job to me. I guess M$ counter offers protect google for getting the duds.

Re:Is that so? (5, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009019)

Wow. Where is this alleged paradise where Program Managers STFU and pay attention to the coders? Where testers don't get to touch it until it's ready for testing?

...do they have unicorns there too?

/P

Re:Is that so? (5, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009057)

The problem really is when either function gets too much control. Marketing tends to get capricious about features and blows huge sums on "research" and end up with a Ford Fiero.

Engineering, well... I've seen low-level greatness that couldn't translate elegantly into customer-level value. I've seen projects never finish too.

The problem is probably management-level. *Someone* needs to crack a few heads together to get people back into reality. A good anecdote about the organizational problem was on /. a couple of days ago when the mighty Bill Gates was supposedly pissed about some feature/application/thing. He cracked heads near his level. One level below it turned into a managerial quagmire.

Re:Is that so? (2)

caspper69 (548511) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009509)

Um, Ford Fiero?

Pontiac, anyone?

Re:Is that so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009533)

...and blows huge sums on "research" and end up with a Ford Fiero.

maybe you should have done a bit of research - it was the PONTIAC Fiero not Ford. .. not helpful to your argument at all.. sheesh.

Re:Is that so? (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009529)

"Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] -- PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process."

Oh what a fucking nightmare!

A whole lot better than working for MBAs that have the sole purpose of controlling you and politically thick to no end. In an MBA environment the technical staff get labeled "techie" and good bye promotions - a false promise at best. MBA over a coder for a management position, good luck. At least at Google you have a better chance of doing something big and creative. Google will lose the techies that can't cut it. No big.

But nether the Bay area or Redmond does it for me. Too crowded...

Right.... (5, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008715)

"Google as an organization is not geared - culturally - to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications."

Whew, good thing Microsoft is.

Re:Right.... (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008811)

Screw that. I want miranda-class [wikipedia.org] reliability. Just so I can scream "Khaaaaan!" everytime I have a Windows problem.

And by the way, it's not enterprise-class, it's Constitution-class. Sheesh.

Ready, aim... (1)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008853)

Now you're just shooting fish in a barrel. That was too easy.

Re:Ready, aim... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009047)

What is sad is that I figured I had to provide a link to a Miranda-class vessel, because too many people wouldn't get the joke otherwise.

Too many non-nerds on slashdot these days, I tell you. And I'm not even close to being an oldtimer.

Re:Right.... (5, Interesting)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008985)

Yeah... sounds funny from the perspective of those of us who have suffered through the microsoft monopoly. But given that most organizations can't tell their asses from their elbows they may well be right. Google seems to grow and progress by throwing lots of young smart people at the problem, but the problem seems to be a moving target from day to day. But microsoft has managed to hold down a monopoly for 20 years.

Who are you going to take business process advice from? While microsoft's ethics are dubious at best it's very hard to argue with success.

-- godwin filter removed reference to unethical but successful leader --

Re:Right.... (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009087)

Who are you going to take business process advice from? While microsoft's ethics are dubious at best it's very hard to argue with success.


But why latch onto the tail end of a 20-year-old monopoly who by all rights is beginning to falter, and seems to have no vision at all for the next 20?


That's what would worry me more. It's not what a company has already done, but what they're wanting to do.

/P

Re:Right.... (2, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009165)

-- godwin filter removed reference to unethical but successful leader --

Since when is FDR part of Godwin's Law?

Organization is everything... (5, Interesting)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008733)

"Google as an organization is not geared -- culturally -- to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications."
You don't have to be, when the entire on-line world is your beta test laboratory.

Re:Organization is everything... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008807)

The difference between Microsoft and Google in this regard is that users pay to beta test Microsoft's sofwtare without being told it is, at best, in beta quality. Where as Google invites (initially selectively) people to try the product and provide feedback. They're in beta for a very long time because they want it to be stable before declaring version "1.0". Small contrast, but expectation goes a long way towards the perception of quality.

If I'm paying money for retail software, I expect a rock solid product, not the buggy POS that I have to wait for the first Service Pack to use even the most basic functionality.
Google is up front with the fact that their software is not necessarily ready for prime time and users can hedge their bets accordingly. That said, Google beta products are often many times better than the "final version" of software from other vendors.

Re:Organization is everything... (5, Insightful)

Wo1ke (1218100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009045)

The problem is that beta products should eventually *leave* beta.

Re:Organization is everything... (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009053)

They're in beta for a very long time because they want it to be stable before declaring version "1.0".

You'd think an 18,000 person company would be able to release a finished project once in a while.

Re:Organization is everything... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009149)

True, but of the following which would you prefer:

a) Software is never released in any form
b) Software is released and sold but is very buggy or unusable
c) Software is released for free evaluation in a semi-stable state and gradually improves over time
d) Software is released and sold bug free and very usable but often many years over due and over budget.

Some companies do A. We call them 3d Realms. The rest are out of business or bought by bigger entities.

A LOT of companies do B and it's almost the definition of what people hate about the software industry if not the definition of most of the industry.

A small number of companies do C and while it is not their revenue source it is a significant source of good will and is surprisingly* stable and usable. Often the software is a supplementary tool to increase traffic, brand awareness, and ad revenue (which follows from increase traffic...)

A handful of companies get away with this and they are often well rewarded for it. See: Blizzard.

I think C) is a strong middle ground between D) and B) for companies that can function on that model. True, software might be in 'beta' for a significant period (indefinite?) but it is there and usable nonetheless.

* - Well, surprising to some, at any rate.

Obviously this is only a subset of possibilities, but it seems to be the vast majority.

Re:Organization is everything... (2, Insightful)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009357)

You'd think an 18,000 person company would be able to release a finished project once in a while.

How do you "finish" a web based project? "Well, that's done, no one will ever think of anything new to do with this software, or any way to make it easier or better!" "Gee, we've indexed the entire Internet this month, so I guess we're done!"

Re:Organization is everything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009265)

Interesting ideas, and while I don't entirely disagree I do need to point out that just because version 1.0 of a Microsoft product may have some bugs (possibly even some egregious ones), people are not paying to be in a beta. They pay for a supported, supportable product.

As a devil's advocate: Google on the other hand has near perpetual Beta's so that they NEVER have to support a product.

Re:Organization is everything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009395)

True, this is not a hard fast rule, but it does seem to be a trend. However how long does it take for that support to arrive? It used to be that patches were rare and functional products out the door were the norm. This is now grossly inverted to the point of if there isn't a patch on the day it's released you might think there is something wrong... did the company fold? are their servers down? did I buy a legit copy? Clearly not isolated to Microsoft, just a statement about retail software in general. I'm paying money for what I expect to be a finished product and that is rarely what I receive, ergo I should stop paying money for it and find an alternative. Tagentially I think this plays in to the aspects of the EULA, licensing, and why some software companies feel it is their right to deny you the right of first sale.

While Google never HAS to support their beta products they almost universally do. Yeah, it's an easy out for them if things go wrong, but I only think they'd do that as a last possible resort because not supporting it burns good will quite quickly.

Re:Organization is everything... (5, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009511)

Just a little reminder, guys, from a very old programmer: Software is a machine with thousands of moving parts running on a machine with with several billion moving parts. Bugs are not put in there on purpose. The amount of work needed vs. the amount of time | money available in any development budget does not always correspond.

I'm not trying to make an argument in defense of slipshod work, but rather point out that any piece of software of any scope is hard work and in many cases the result of heroic individual efforts. Just offering a bit of perspective from a point of view people sometimes forget. Not asking for gratitude, here, just a little respect for the efforts of people often demeaned as code monkeys and asking for a bit of appreciation for those allowing the mostly free and unobstructed flow of information at a scale unprecedented in history. It doesn't matter which company is wrapping the output, this still holds true. Cool?

Money talks (5, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008747)

When I hear "...is not geared - culturally - to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications" as a reason to leave a company that's NOT microsoft to go work FOR microsoft, I have to wonder exactly how large the dump truck full of money was.

Re:Money talks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008867)

When I read the summary, I wondered: "Does it really matter?" Most people in the industry (and, for that matter, most people in the world) choose where they work not based on a religious fanaticism for employer A over employer B... Most people work for the company that has the most benefits when compared to the downsides.

Big surprise!

Re:Money talks (4, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008917)

You are thinking small. Ask how many dump trucks full of money.

Microsoft may consider it worthwhile to throw money at developers to keep them from working for google.

Of course some people are going to choose Microsoft over Google. Just like there are some people that like wasabi flavored ice cream. There are freaks everywhere.

Re:Money talks (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008955)

You are thinking small. Ask how many dump trucks full of money.

Oh, I don't know about that. One of these [wikipedia.org] can hold a hell of a lot of hundred dollar bills...

Re:Money talks (3, Insightful)

AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009143)

I've worked at a handful of large companies and a handful of startups. In retrospect, every single startup was clearly, if not doomed then pretty bad off from the start... but I still believed the hype and hopped on board. Hoping for untold riches (I actually got a couple good payouts.. but I still have to work.) I've been there, I've heard the yarn the boys at MS can weave trying to hire you. A place like MS actually has a lot going for it, they're selling products, they've got a lot of cash reserve, they've got some loyalty from both employees and customers, nobody thinks they're going to go away. After another bomb or two like Vista, the expectations will be low enough that they'll get a deadcat bounce in the stock. It stands to be a bloody stable and predictable job. On the other hand, I don't know too many people that are expecting to be wowed by MS again anytime soon, the most dramatic product they've put out recently is the Xbox360 and it's being blown out by the Wii and doing everything it can to fend off Sony. If you're okay being average or ordinary you might be happy there.

Re:Money talks (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009393)

Apparently Microsoft's chief software architect left recently. Coincidence?

Standing out (1)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008759)

Perhaps a bit of this is the desire to stand out for their good works. Google has been on such a roll latley I would imagine that even if you came up with the sweet new feature or revolutionary new web app, that if might get piled into the heap of great new features and great new apps. At Microsoft however these days the public perception seems to be (amounst those that I know) that they do little right and are genrally a top heavy monolith. Could not the "wiz kid" with a few freash ideas garner much more attention in such an envirnoment. And perhaps in doing so come more to the attention of the offer makers at google? 1: put in a couple years at microsoft 2: become a "star" 3: get even better offer than what you would make by working your way up through the crowd at google. 4: Profit... sorry I'm new if I messed that up.

Re:Standing out (4, Interesting)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009199)

Could not the "wiz kid" with a few freash ideas garner much more attention in such an envirnoment. And perhaps in doing so come more to the attention of the offer makers at google?

From personal experience as an engineer within a top-heavy business (although not with Microsoft) is that really there's no way to shine. They want you to do the job they want you to do and if there's something wrong with the process, the app, or the architecture there's no recourse.

If you want to learn a lot, be challenged and be a star, you need to be in a startup atmosphere. While I am sure there are many companies with that atmosphere, currently it seems as though the most public large company like that is Google.

Don't look at anything outside of tech if you want that atmosphere either. Non-tech companies (insurance, credit card companies, etc.) are run by business people and programmers are always a red in their ledger, they don't have a clue on how to deal with them.

Does not compute (0, Flamebait)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008773)

Microsoft has more testers.
Therefore, Microsoft's products are better than Google's.
*bzzt* - ERROR - OVERLOAD - ERROR *bzzt*

Hypocrisy or cluelessness? (4, Funny)

subl33t (739983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008783)

"Google as an organization is not geared -- culturally -- to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications." - Sergey Solyanik

As opposed to Microsoft, which seems to be not geared - professionally - to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.

I don't know what "PMs" are (5, Funny)

Punto (100573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008827)

but they better STFU while the engineers are talking.

Re:I don't know what "PMs" are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24008965)

PM = Project Manager

Re:I don't know what "PMs" are (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009361)

Actually at Microsoft there are two uses of PM. The most commonly used one is in the development organization where PM = Program Manager. Program Mangers generally have several developers working under them and the PM's "own" one or more (usually more) features. As one goes up in the chain, they can be a Lead PM, Senior PM, or Group PM.

The other common use is "Product Manager" and that is in the Marketing organization.

"fanatics"? (-1, Troll)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008837)

One sentence from TFA tells it all:

Sorry open source fanatics, your world is not for me!


Well, I guess then Microsoft is not for me...

The reason is obvious (5, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008889)

Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] -- PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. Google as an organization is not geared -- culturally -- to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications. At Microsoft, everything is pretty much run by Marketing. Anybody who uses the marketing-speak phrase "delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications" obviously has more of a marketing mindset than an Engineering mindset, and thus would be better off at Microsoft. If we are indeed seeing a migration of hard-core engineers from Microsoft to Google and of Marketing droids from Google to Microsoft, well than, I'd say the movement in both directions benefits Google! (I've seen many extremely talented software engineers go to work for Microsoft over the years, so if their software sucks, it's certainly not for lack of creative talent.)

Tag this article 'goodriddance' (1, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009005)

A few are needed, but the fewer marketing droids masquerading as engineering-types, the better.

To waste time vs eyeballs (5, Interesting)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008893)

but most of them primarily help people waste time online (blogger, youtube, orkut, etc)

No, these are things to sell eyeballs for advertisers. That's what Google is about, making money with selling ads around easy to use and "fun" tools.

duh (1)

anidiot (821082) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009255)

We thought it's out of endless generosity and driven by open-source enthusiasm alone.

less microsoft bias please? (4, Insightful)

jdelator (1131933) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008933)

I love how there is an article that has first hand accounts of why actual people are leaving Google to work at Microsoft and there still seems to be argument against Microsoft. The Rush Limbaugh's of the tech world. We always get emails on our team about people that used to work at Microsoft then go to another (Valve, google, etc..) and then come back after a couple of months of or a year complaining how the other engineering systems just suck. Microsoft does deliver world class products if you are willing to look past non SP1 Vista.

Re:less microsoft bias please? (0, Offtopic)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009141)

I love how there is an article that has first hand accounts of why actual people are leaving Google to work at Microsoft and there still seems to be argument against Microsoft. The Rush Limbaugh's of the tech world. We always get emails on our team about people that used to work at Microsoft then go to another (Valve, google, etc..) and then come back after a couple of months of or a year complaining how the other engineering systems just suck. Microsoft does deliver world class products if you are willing to look past non SP1 Vista.

Please list some of these "world class products" Microsoft delivers - I must've missed the memo.

Re:less microsoft bias please? (2, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009183)

Bill, is that you? I thought retirees didn't get homesick for the old office until at least 12 months into retirement... ;)


Reg'ds,
/P

Microsoft EARNED the ill will, the bias & karm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009501)

Microsoft LOST it's reputation.


More like THREW IT AWAY, BY being agressive pushy assholes, for YEARS on end.


The BLANTANT VISTA MONEY GRAB (BVMG) spread the hate even to the rank and file.


Now every day, hordes of shills must battle the never ending ill will. The hate will never end.


Reasoning with Microsoft failed a long time ago. Now it is just hate. Pure hate. A hate that cannot be reasoned with.


Reap what you sow Microsoft.


And so Long Bill Gates.


Go help other people in other countries, because the ones on this continent all hate you.

It's good to be useful. (4, Funny)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008957)

I'd have figured that they were just leaving Google so they'd actually have something interesting to do. At Microsoft, there's still loads of core functionality missing from their software.

The myriad possibilities for improvement simply boggle the mind.

Google Translator (-1, Troll)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008995)

When I run the phrase 'Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] -- PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. Google as an organization is not geared -- culturally -- to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.' through Google Translator I get "Waaah I fail at Google! I'm going back to the crappy old company I worked at before!" What are the odds?

Re:Google Translator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009139)

he'd rather have everything run by pointy head managers and fuckhead project managers that have never coded a line in their whole lives... go back to M$, you obviously can't handle freedom, so go back to code some visual basic or some other crap...

that'll teach me (5, Funny)

pete-wilko (628329) | more than 6 years ago | (#24008997)

I havn't RTFA's in a long time here, but wow, that second article is such a reminder in !RTFA = less desire to punch monitor. Wtf seriously, guy seems to be motivated only if people are buying the product as a measure of usefulness?? I dunno, maybe having 20 million people using some software you built might also be an indication of that? ;)

Chair throwing please (2, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009021)

Hopefully some of the google brass will have the humor to upload a video of themselves throwing a chair on youtube^Hgoogle video.

No, No, No. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009153)

For once a chair related joke could actually be funny on slashdot. Yet,everyone is screwing it up. Incredible. It should be the opposite. What is the opposite of throwing a chair? Building a chair. Eric Schmidt should be happy someone who thinks microsoft is a better company is leaving his company. He should be so happy, he builds himself a celebration throne. or alternatively Balmer is happy and has a chair built.

Okay the joke still needs a bit of work, but its better than what was. Well, Sort of. I give myself a A for idea, but a C minus for implementation of that joke.

What's with the cheap shot? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009025)

"Sorry open source fanatics, your world is not for me!" What the fuck does open source have to do with his move from Google to Microsoft?

Re:What's with the cheap shot? (3, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009093)

Corporate culture of the people who work there. I didn't work for either, but I'd expect a higher percentage of OSS fanatics at Google than at Microsoft, and working with people who constantly go "OMG OMG OMG F/OSS or die!!!" can be awkward if you don't think that way... it is almost a religion (and that can go both way, so don't take THAT as a OSS cheap shot). The person may have been tired of hearing that open source was better, regardless of the actual software's quality, all the time, and thus jumped ship. I've seen it happen a lot in smaller companies too. (Of course, again, the other way around obviously happens a lot too)

Re:What's with the cheap shot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009467)

From the article:

"First, I love multiple aspects of the software development process. I like engineering, but I love the business aspects no less. I can't write code for the sake of the technology alone - I need to know that the code is useful for others, and the only way to measure the usefulness is by the amount of money that the people are willing to part with to have access to my work."

It doesn't sound like he's making a cheap shot, the FOSS model just doesn't work for him.

Thats For Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009083)

Google as an organization is not geared -- culturally -- to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications

Can't be more right than that. That darn search engine wasn't up one time I tried to use it. Like seven years ago.
Not like MSN Messenger, or Hotmail. Never have any problems with those. Right.

bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009089)

this is fat bullshit. i have two colleagues that work at Google in Ireland. people are pretty much motivated for innovation and new services. all this "bugs" story is a little bit true because each browser with updates (especially IE auto patches) are fucking whole compatibility stuff (especially gmail) because of the complexity of Google apps.

PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process
Why the hell do you want project manager involved in development process when you are working with good engineers?

Google as an organization is not geared â" culturally â" to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.

Are you fucking kidding? I know at least 4 major companies that run their email service using gmail.

I know (and work at one) companies that use Google office A LOT. Google maps is used widely in fleet tracking software and works perfectly and the API is not bad at all. Youtube? don't make me start talking about it's use in enterprise.

Engineers? Where? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009123)

'Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] â" PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process.'

Both companies are technically correct, neither of them have real engineers, and neither of them can provide 'enterprise' class solutions.

There is a reason why 'software developer' is still considered nothing more than a glorified typist.

I've worked at both (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009127)

I've worked at both. In terms of working environment, I found them both to be good, though in different ways (better food, more excitement at Google; private office at Microsoft). In terms of quality of life, I prefer Seattle, but in terms of jobs and networking, the Bay Area wins. In terms of software development processes, Microsoft's may look better on paper, but Google's seems to be better at actually delivering. In terms of management... Ballmer makes me wince. So, so far, it's a toss up.

The question to me is where each company is going. When Google release a new product, there is buzz and excitement, and usually something expensive and complicated gets cheaper and simpler. When Microsoft releases a new product, people either shrug or shudder and hold on to their wallets. Microsoft keeps trying to change things (Zune, Live, whatever), they keep buying companies (Danger, whatever), and it just doesn't seem to be working for them. Given the choice, I'd probably choose to work for Google; I just don't see Microsoft going anywhere.

OMG! (1, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009135)

Sergey has left Google? SELL! SELL! SELL!

In other news... (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009163)

...several sales associates left Walmart for Target.

Google has growing pains? (1)

NMBLNG (1289254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009169)

Maybe Google needs to make the transition from 'new, up and coming' company to the 'larger, professional' company that it now is. (Or how many experienced workers / investors expect it to be.) Then again I've never been in the main workforce myself, I need to graduate for that to happen.

I'm sure it's a Microsoft shill... (0, Flamebait)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009187)

I can't write code for the sake of the technology alone - I need to know that the code is useful for others, and the only way to measure the usefulness is by the amount of money that the people are willing to part with to have access to my work.

Sorry open source fanatics, your world is not for me!

It's so ironic... open source programmers work KNOWING that their code will be useful for others. And yet he goes because he wants to see how much money he earns from code.

I can't write code for the sake of the technology alone - I need to know that the code is useful for me, and the only way to measure the usefulness for me is by the amount of money that the people are willing to part with to have access to my work.

There, fixed.

P.S. Has anyone noticed the Irony that his blog is owned by Google?
P.P.S. Read the blog people, the guy's being hammered by his readers [blogspot.com] :)
P.P.P.S. I tagged the article "troll".

I know the guy (1)

anidiot (821082) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009315)

He is a friend of mine and in fact very smart and objective. The fact that Google didn't manage to hold on to him is a really worrying tell-tale about it. The fact that Blogspot is free means nothing here -- why not use GOOGs platform and AdSense to generate ad revenue from meaningful commentary? The fact that GOOGs management is worse than MSFTs doesn't mean one should refuse to make use and money off of GOOGs properties if GOOG lays them bare before you!

Microsoft is geared toward producing good code? (2, Interesting)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009237)

Wow. What is Sergey Solyanik smoking? It's been very obvious for many years that Microsoft design decisions are made for financial reasons, not technical ones.

Anecdote equals exodus? (5, Insightful)

EjectButton (618561) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009251)

Ok so we have one guy who starts his essay with "Google sux!" and never actually worked for the company, only interviewed with them. Then we have two people who worked at Microsoft, then worked at Google and got hired back at Microsoft, and are now praising their current employer. How is this newsworthy?

Also someone who complains when "Everything is pretty much run by the engineering" and who uses phrases like "delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications" is a marketing droid and should not be trusted. As a sidenote I find it funny that he criticizes Google's offerings with the statement "most of them primarily help people waste time online" listing Blogger as his first example, on Blogger itself.

Google or Microsoft better? (2, Insightful)

farmer11 (573883) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009349)

Sounds to me like this isn't about one place being better or worse than the other. Rather, that the blog author just likes Microsoft's old school, process heavy approach rather than Google's freestyle, open and engineer focus style.

In other words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24009369)

Google is more suited for engineers while Microsoft is engineered for suits.

Microsoft PR (3, Insightful)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009385)

This article is basically Microsoft PR. Yeah yeah I recognize that you're dealing with a person or persons who did this of their own volition, but I'm sure there's more to the story than that. If I were a manager at Microsoft I'd try to get articles like this out there as well.

Here's why (5, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#24009497)

There's a system of levels at Microsoft, and the "interestingness" of work, range of influence and pay depend on the levels (within limits predetermined for each level).

It's a well known fact that the easiest way to get a level increase at the higher levels is to leave Microsoft and then come back. Some folks jump over two levels after just two years outside the mothership - this is simply not achievable if you're L63-64. Sergey returned as (at least) L65. Good for him. Skipping his blog drivel, let's not assume that he did it for anything but a bag of cash and a large signing stock grant.

That said, Microsoft _is_ a great place to work, if you can ignore the bureaucracy. The pay is good, the benefits are second to none (no free lunches, tho), you get your own office (most of the time, anyway), and if you have a family, there's simply no better large tech company to work for.

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