Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Microsoft?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the because-google-is-pickier dept.

Microsoft 236

theodp writes "Before a large crowd of students at the University of Washington computer science department, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was asked why students should care about Microsoft enough to want to work there. Aside from the ending, which begs for an if-you're-happy-and-you-know-it-clap-your-hands remix, Ballmer seemed to handle the question adequately for an MBA-type, although TechCrunch has a different opinion, suggesting 'maybe it's time for the great salesman to hang it up.' Oddly enough, a recent resignation letter from a Microsoft developer en route to Facebook ('Microsoft has been an awesome place to work over the past twelve years. In college, I never thought I'd work for Microsoft. Then I interned in 1997 and fell in love.') may be more what the skeptical CS student was looking for in terms of a Microsoft endorsement."

cancel ×

236 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yes why? (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931328)

4 stories in a span of a couple of hours. Why Microsoft?

Re:Yes why? (3, Insightful)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931416)

Perhaps Slashdot, slowly accepting their continuing decline in the web forum discussion arena, is trying to reinvigorate what they perceive to be their original driving force (shitting on Microsoft) instead of trying to fix the actual problems (that the site is stale, the "editing" still is non-existent after all these years, and that other outlets on the web provide more open ideas than the stagnant masturbatory groupthink).

Re:Yes why? (-1, Offtopic)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931494)

Mod Up!

Re:Yes why? (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931632)

wait, so you're trying to say that the site magically declined?

Is it hard for people to realize that slashdot hasn't really changed a whole lot from the start?

Re:Yes why? (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931980)

He said "decline in the web-forum discussion arena" which means a relative decline. You don't have to change to decline at all if everyone else is improving around you.

That said, my only problems with it are what seem to be an increasing number of Troll stories seemingly posted for the sole sake of getting a nice, hit-count generating flamewar going and a certain echo-chamber like quality amongst the mob where it seems people come here to tell each other that their ideas are radical and right (piracy group-think, I'm looking at you) and to shout at people who don't share the group think.

On topic, why the Hell is this a story? Reasons to work at Microsoft? They pay you money. Or is that out of fashion these days? ;)

Re:Yes why? (2, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932134)

other outlets on the web provide more open ideas

Those other outlets being? All technical web forum discussion seems to be in decline. Probably because you used to have to be technical to be on the web at all, now you don't.

Discounts (2, Insightful)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931332)

... and a fancy name on the good old CV :D

Re:Discounts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931430)

UGG Classic Cardy Boots [uggsexboots.com] ,thanks!

In the End... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931346)

We all trash Microsoft for making shitty products, but in the end we would all work for them given the chance.

Re:In the End... (2, Insightful)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931370)

Who is this "we" you are speaking of? You and all the other Anonymous Cowards? You're called coward for a reason, you know. I know I wouldn't, just like I wouldn't assist most politicians, and dictators. If you want to force companies to change, you first have to change yourself.

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931460)

So you wouldn't join the army either, right? Because you don't like Bush? Rational thought nonexistent, please don't join MS; they'll end up with even more bugs because of you.

Re:In the End... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931598)

It makes a lot of sense not to join the army if you don't like/trust the president.

It doesn't make sense to not work as a high-paid lower-level employee if you don't like the CEO because chances are, his decisions will only slightly affect you.

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931518)

Drink the Kool-Aid dude and refuse to work for minimum wage or be a member of a union.

Re:In the End... (3, Informative)

David Off (101038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931542)

I'm happy to assist dictators but draw the line at working for Steve Ballmer

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931602)

I post anonymously because I rarely find anything whatsoever on Slashdot worthy of the trouble of registering for an account, especially when I can post anonymously. Additionally, why would I want any sort of trail linking my comments to me? It's not as if there is any actual respect earned by people here, save for that of OTHER people here. "Ooh! I post on Slashdot! I garner a lot of kudos on Slashdot." Convert that into something worth some cash and I MIGHT be interested, but likely not.

Re:In the End... (1)

BradleyAndersen (1195415) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931694)

S(h)e's a 'coward'? Where's your name in this post?

Re:In the End... (1)

BradleyAndersen (1195415) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931698)

gar!
(S)he's ... etc ...

Re:In the End... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931386)

we would all work for them given the chance.

Speak for yourself.

-jcr

Re:In the End... (4, Informative)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931436)

Right, even though M$ offers a higher starting salary out of college (~80k for a CPE vs 65k from LMC), I chose not to interview with them when I was offered because I felt like I would be a hypocrite for working for a company that conflicts with my moral and ideological beliefs.

Re:In the End... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931464)

I should add that I already have a job offer from another company, so I wasn't just acting like a self-entitled jerk when I posted that...

I do have a choice.

Re:In the End... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931516)

I don't think standing up for your beliefs and refusing to give in to hypocrisy are the same as being "self-entitled". If you didn't have a choice it would be all the more impressive (though of course, also rather naive and stupid).

Re:In the End... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931564)

Self-entitled is what I chose to represent the same thing you chose to use "naive and stupid" for.

Re:In the End... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931664)

I had to look up "self-entitled" as I haven't really heard it used before, and I got the impression more that it's for people who want and take what they don't really deserve or know how to use, perhaps like some rich asshole buying a supercar despite not knowing anything about how to drive. I think there is a difference between that and standing up for your beliefs, but there is also something to be said for having cool stuff.

Re:In the End... (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931470)

You would be surprised how much rationalization a higher salary can buy.

Re:In the End... (2, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932352)

You would be surprised how much rationalization a higher salary can buy.

Really?

The careers person at the CS department at my university, when explaining the process for applying for jobs for our placement year, said something like "[because of how good this university is] Barclays will employ 50 of you, Morgan Stanley 60, Goldman Sachs 25, (etc, etc)". There were 48 students. She then seemed surprised when someone asked about working somewhere that wasn't a bank -- half the salary, but ten times as interesting. Some people are motivated by money (half to two thirds, IIRC), others will take something average, and a few will take something relatively low paid but very interesting (e.g. games AI or film industry CGI stuff).

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931534)

Right, even though M$ offers a higher starting salary out of college (~80k for a CPE vs 65k from LMC), I chose not to interview with them when I was offered because I felt like I would be a hypocrite for working for a company that conflicts with my moral and ideological beliefs.

I'm sure glad we've provided this luxury for you. Working for a company based on your morals and ideals is probably the #1 reason US unemployment is over 10% nation-wide.

I'm comfortable in my current IT position, but I'll never forget what it took to get here. Taking odd jobs and doing sewer repair certainly doesn't sound as awesome as "I would be a hypocrite for working for Microsoft, as that conflicts with my moral and ideological beliefs" would on my resume... I think.

I would never hire someone that sounded like you; that placed themselves on a pedestal and made claims of moral superiority. Good luck with that endeavor.

Re:In the End... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931576)

Read the next post instead of bashing at that straw-man, you coward.

Re:In the End... (2, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931822)

OK, while personally I think the GP is a bit of an idiot for getting into Computer Science/Software Development with the attitude he has toward closed source software (which is, after all, by far the largest employment segment in software development) I also think your criticisms are ridiculously harsh. He doesn't like the company so he didn't take the interview. It's perfectly valid. I'd never work for Walmart (ignoring the fact that they could never hope to pay me enough below the executive level to even tempt me). His beliefs about F/OSS software are important to him and he chooses not to work for a company that in many ways represents to antithesis of those beliefs. Makes sense to me.

Now I personally think that open and closed source products can and should coexist; and I will happily (and have happily) work with both. I also think that getting into software development while essentially deliberately cutting off three quarters or more of your most lucrative possible employment avenues is a little silly. Not impossible by any means, and if GP can make it work, power to him; but it seems a little like getting into medicine while not believing morally in the use of any drugs. Sure there's stuff to do in the medical field that doesn't involve drugs, but you've seriously cut into your possible employment opportunities before you even started.

Re:In the End... (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932132)

I would never hire someone that sounded like you; that placed themselves on a pedestal and made claims of moral superiority. Good luck with that endeavor.

I would hire someone who put their morality ahead of their bank account like a shot. So would anyone who (a) was sensible and (b) wasn't wanting to put that person to work doing immoral things. Now I don't know whether you fall down on the being sensible part, or not engaging in immoral things (or both), but your post is borderline nonsense. You think *you* are "providing a luxury" to this person? They have a job so they're not living off you. And if you regard morality as a luxury, then you don't really understand what principles are, you think they're some sort of affectation. And if you really think that the US employment levels are where they are because people are too moral to work for the potenital employers, then you fail at reality.

I have no problem with proprietary software in principle. People should be able to negotiate for the value of their work. But I respect someone adhering to their own beliefs where it harms no-one. Or maybe the GP objects on the grounds of things like the ODF ISO fiasco, which would be more supportable, imo. But in either case, their post comes across a Hell of a lot better than yours does.

Re:In the End... (2, Informative)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932172)

Don't you see the value in having employees that didn't only choose to work for your company because the money is good?
If they also happen to believe in what the company does, or at least doesn't have a moral problem with it, it's more likely they will stick with the job and maybe even do better work. Monetary compensation only gets you this far, at some point it won't be enough to pay for rationalization.

While I might accept a job for a company that doesn't match my own philosophy, I would also leave it as soon as I get a chance to work at a place that's a better match for me.

Re:In the End... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932408)

I'm comfortable in my current IT position, but I'll never forget what it took to get here. Taking odd jobs and doing sewer repair certainly doesn't sound as awesome as "I would be a hypocrite for working for Microsoft, as that conflicts with my moral and ideological beliefs" would on my resume... I think. I would never hire someone that sounded like you; that placed themselves on a pedestal and made claims of moral superiority. Good luck with that endeavor.

As opposed to someone who will do whatever it takes to get ahead? I'll take a moral team player over a backstabbing ladder climber any day.

Re:In the End... (4, Interesting)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931478)

Well, yes and no. It'd be interesting, but I have a friend in the Bing group and he's turned so totally fanboy about it that it's sickening on the level of listening to a true believer evangelist. Perhaps he always was and I never saw it, and perhaps it's more him than the company, but if working there turns off your critical thinking so wholly... no thanks.

Re:In the End... (0, Troll)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932366)

Wow, taking a sample of one from around 80,000 employees. Looks like someone turned off their logical thinking skills.

Re:In the End... (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932410)

That's funny! I had a friend who worked for MS about 10 years ago and the exact same thing happened - he became a super fanboy. He was constantly dropping hints about secret things he couldn't talk about yet and was generally annoying. A few years later, he left the company to work with some friends at a start up and as the Microsoft influence faded, so did his love of all things Microsoft. These days, he holds the company in pretty low regard.

Re:In the End... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931504)

What new interesting skills would anyone bring to your team/project/startup via MS?
Microsoft does not bring any positive thoughts other than better PC 3d game frame rates.

Re:In the End... (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931556)

I wouldn't, even as a lowly intern (i.e. zero responsibility) for extreme amounts of pay. Make of that what you will. I did apply to Google for a datacenter job once but, let's be honest, so did a few thousand others no matter what the position. But MS? Beat a path to my door, offer me 50% stock, I don't really care - *if* I took the job it would be only to cash in on it immediately and I'd do the legal minimum necessary, but to actually WORK for them? Nope. Having said this I've probably ruined any chance of actually working for them anyway (as if being a Slashdot regular wouldn't rule you out immediately), and do I care? No, not really. Do they care? Probably not either.

I made a rule for myself when I left uni - never work for anyone that doesn't appreciate you. It's served me well through my own business (yes, I told customers to bugger off because I didn't like the way they were treating me - still made money, though!) and later employment and I've never had more than a week or so of unhappiness with a job in the 10+ years since - and you couldn't pay me enough to suffer that. I had workplaces change, even people change, to become less hospitable and almost immediately I provided the necessary minimum notice and left for somewhere else - usually for more pay, and more appreciation, and never have a problem finding the next job (I consider a 2-3 week window between jobs HUGE and the past three employments I've had my previous / new employers fighting over me for months and/or I have a definite job offer on the table before my existing employer even knows I'm looking - the new employer would know that I wasn't on notice when they offered the job, but they never cared about that, and I would eventually give due notice to my current employer, but I see that as my skills being in demand).

I trash Microsoft for making shitty products. I do it as a living, in fact. I also avoid Microsoft products where I can because of this (unfortunately, I work with established AD domains a lot on a contract basis so I can't really avoid Windows, but I have converted several schools to much better products - latest was an installation of OpenOffice in a private school that could EASILY afford site licences for Office but saw the actual benefits of Open software after several little chats). I would also avoid MS as an employer, because I know that even if the job is interesting, the tech is cool, the project was the best in the world, the colleagues were fabulous, the money was ludicrous, that I would have to eventually follow some horribly contrived mission statement, or ill-thought-out company policy (can you use Linux machines as an MS employee without working in their "Linux lab"? What about Firefox? What if I deliberately choose not to use the MS tools and/or develop cross-platform tools to get my job done? Can't see MS releasing those to the public, or even allowing them in the first place), or whatever new management fad is doing the rounds in those-above-me's golfing circles.

Not everyone sells out for the money. If they do, there's still a limit to what they would do for the money and that might be much lower than you think. But, to be honest, I hereby publicly state that MS can keep all their jobs. I actually make MORE money from going in, fixing up their messes and putting people on the alternatives, and I specialise in mainstream UK schools. The crappier they are, the more I make (Windows Vista and 7 "upgrades" have been an absolute god-send!). But, hell, I turn down jobs because I don't like the approaches of my predecessor there, or because the guy in charge that I would never have to talk to is a complete scumbag, or (another real-world example for me) because it means working for a school that think it's okay to spend £100,000 on upgrading a perfectly good network (and nearly the same again on a network manager) when the kids don't have exercise books to write in. That manager would have been me, but I told them to stick it and went to work for a primary school for 2 years. They appreciated me, they paid me enough (nearly the same, in fact), they *listened* to me and I had a much easier time of an evening going to sleep. I'd even have doubts about working for Google or one of the other "more ethical" IT places, but the post I applied for seemed quite sensible and reasonable and if it had changed, saying no is very easy.

Not everyone is a sell-out.

On a side note, a friend works for Rackspace and the second I hear the word "fanatical" now, it makes me cringe because I hate the falsity, the horrible indoctrination and the mindless repetition of a phrase as a "mission statement". Anything that keeps me away from that sort of shit is welcome.

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931784)

Wow, TL;DR and all that. I'm sure you said a lot of good stuff, though.

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931812)

I'm not sure whether I believe that you would not - even if in a bad financial jam and they offered a well paying job - wof for Microsoft... But if that is the case, I have some respect for taking that stand even if I think that it is a bit silly (Even though MS marketing and legal department do use rather ugly tactics, I wouldn't have problems living with myself if MS paid me to fix a few bugs in their software).

*if* I took the job it would be only to cash in on it immediately and I'd do the legal minimum necessary, but to actually WORK for them? Nope.

My professional ethics include trying my best to be as productive employee as I can in any job from which I accept paychecks. The fact that you wrote those sentences immediatelly trashed any misconception that you would have some sort of moral high ground there. They not only debunked the "I would never work for them" part but also showed that you would be willing to sign a contract and then intentionally do as shitty job as you can while still getting the money.

I didn't really bother to read further than that.

Re:In the End... (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931592)

Absolutely not. Apart from what you read about them in the news, this company is way too big for me to a happy worker. I see myself as a craftsman, and craftsmen work best in small companies. I have worked in too many companies where at least 3 people re-formulated the clients wishes without asking him what he wanted to accomplish before it was thrown over the wall. I am much more happy now.

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931660)

I'd sooner be unemployed then work for them.
Some of us have morals that extend far beyond money.

Re:In the End... (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931662)

We all trash Microsoft for making shitty products, but in the end we would all work for them given the chance.

I've trashed Microsoft's shitty products, but I don't trash the ones that generally work well. I'm quite happy with Windows 7, thank you.

But I don't think I'd want to work for them. Partly because I hate writing code, and when I think of Microsoft I think of programming. Obviously they've got some kind of beefy network to handle all that coding... And they need someone to run it all... Which would potentially be the kind of thing I'm interested in... But that brings me to problem #2 - I don't want a giant organization where I wind up with an uber-specialized position. I like my little IT department where I can get involved in literally everything.

Re:In the End... (0, Troll)

DougReed (102865) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931928)

Yes Windows 7 sucks less than all of the other Operating systems they have ever released, and slightly less annoying than Vista to use. There's an achievement! Of course Linus wrote Linux because DOS sucked, and passed them YEARS ago even with all their money and resources. It is the commercial software support that keeps them in front. From what I can see from the outside looking in, it is the jewel in the crown of mediocrity. Oh and Steve Ballmer is a moron. Bill was a crook, but I could respect his savvy. He got tired of it, and gave it to Steve because he was next in line and Steve can't even be a competent crook. If he didn't know Bill, he would be one of those guys on America's Dumbest Criminals.

Re:In the End... (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931668)

If we had the chance is the issue. Although everyone makes a big deal about how the many of the leaders of Tech companies got that way because they were smart and motivated, not because they had a big degree, I find it interesting that such an emphasis is placed on recruiting from top tier colleges.

If one believes that a mix of workers is best, those that have been trained in the status quo at top tier schools, those that have not been brainwashed by the top tier schools into thinking all their creative ideas are bad because they don' conform, and those that are just plain smart, then the problem with MS is obvious.

They are controlled by what has been deemed a good idea by b-schools, not what are in reality good ideas.

So yes, if MS did hire people who were innovative, and not just those that have awarded a degree, then it would be worth to be given a chance of working there.

Re:In the End... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931692)

We all trash Microsoft for making shitty products, but in the end we would all work for them given the chance.

I wouldn't. Interviewed there, got an offer, but decided I would be happier elsewhere.

Please don't confuse yourself with "everyone". There is a huge amount of variation between people, and the assumption that everyone thinks or would act as you would is clearly wrong most of the time. True wisdom is having the courage and humility to say "I don't know" to almost every question that involves the actions of people.

Re:In the End... (3, Insightful)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931766)

Um, no. No. A million times no. Microsoft's is losing their grip on all of their endeavors, and you can smell the fear and loathing. It's a juggernaut built on the backs of broken promises and stolen dreams, with an army of giddy fanboys clamoring for their turn to be chewed up and spit out by the machine. No thank you, I'd rather spend my days contented with a decent salary that pays the bills and affords some luxury, and a career that affords me the opportunity to solve interesting problems and leaves my soul intact for myself and my family.

Re:In the End... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932110)

Not me. I interviewed with MS and their culture was not for me.
Moving to Redmond was equally unappealing.
I had a standing offer from Apple, I didn't take that either.

Oh, I dunno (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931356)

Maybe because if you have just a semi-successful career there, it looks awesome on a resume? I mean, let's face it...unless your office is run by an anti-Microsoft kind of person, the average company hiring IT folks (programming or otherwise) would likely be extremely impressed to see that on your resume, especially if you stayed there for multiple years and leave on your own rather than being fired.

One of the biggest lessons you can't learn in college: sometimes, a job is worth taking for no reason other than how it contributes to future opportunities. Ditto for taking classes post-college.

Re:Oh, I dunno (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931402)

Maybe because if you have just a semi-successful career there, it looks awesome on a resume?

I think you're a bit out of date on that. It may have been true a decade ago, but today? If I were a kid fresh out of school, and I had offers from Microsoft and some random startup, I'd take the startup. If I had offers from Microsoft and Google, going with MS would be nuts.

-jcr

Re:Oh, I dunno (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931486)

So, you would rather take a crapshoot over the sure thing? Of course Google isn't going anywhere, but seriously... some random startup? Maybe I'm just not as young and adventurous as I once was.

Re:Oh, I dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931588)

It is moreso that he is batshit crazy. Working for Microsoft would be hands down better than working for a "random startup". He would be a fool not to take the MS job.

Re:Oh, I dunno (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931638)

So, you would rather take a crapshoot over the sure thing?

Absolutely. The crapshoot isn't going to damage my resume.

-jcr

Re:Oh, I dunno (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931676)

Damage it to whom? Given, I'm a *nix admin type, not an application developer. Working at Microsoft would be sort of pointless for me, and since they don't likely have any jobs I'm really qualified for or interested in, however I fail to see how working at MS could be worse for your resume than working at some ridiculous 4square rip-off with a bunch of stoner kids who only program in Ruby.

Re:Oh, I dunno (2, Funny)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931730)

Oh boy. Will you ever be miffed if that 4square ripoff turns out to be the next Facebook :D.

Re:Oh, I dunno (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931790)

Yes, actually. The last thing we need is another damned facebook.

Re:Oh, I dunno (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931706)

Depends on the person. Most college graduate have fewer obligations (no spouse, kids, mortgage) and can take more risks. They may want to take jobs that offer the most potential rather than stability. They dream of striking it rich when the company goes IPO. Of course, after a few years of reality, then they might take that MS when their dreams and world changes around them.

Re:Oh, I dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931826)

Going with Google over Microsoft makes sence. But choosing the startup is just asking for unesesary stress and low pay.

If you work for Microsoft you know that your company isn't going anywhere so you don't have to feal guilty about taking you vacation time or not staying lite every day. What's more when you put it on your resume you can be certain that HR will recognize the name.

With a statup you don't know if your company will still exist next year, or if it will be bopught out and gutted or just go bankrupt. Similarly statups art typicly small so you're much more likely to be the only person who can solver certain problems, and your absesnce will be more lilely to be missed if you take vacation time. And for all that trouble you only get to put the name of a company that no one has ever heard of before on your resume.

Microsoft is best for people who want a job. working for a startup is for people who still think their job is a hobby.

Re:Oh, I dunno (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932076)

No. Just no. Ignore your notions of the quality of Microsoft's work for a moment. I'm not saying your notions are right or wrong, just ignore them for a moment. Microsoft is the single biggest software house in the world. They produce literally dozens of titles simultaneously. If you've worked with them (and managed to stay a few years) it shows:

1) You can work in a team environment. Everything Microsoft does is done in teams larger than most will get a chance to work with until much later in their careers normally. Being able to code is one thing, being able to code to a spec and have your bits integrated with other people bits and having it all work together is another.

2) You can work under pressure. There is a lot of competition in a company like Microsoft. Being able to hold up in an environment like that and keep mostly intact says something about a person.

3) You're willing to work far harder and longer than is good for you to get ahead.

Now, you can argue about whether any of the above represent "good" qualities. You might not, in fact, really enjoy a beer with someone who possesses all of those qualities in abundance. If you're a software development manager though, they look pretty good in an employee. Now, if you have a choice between Google and Microsoft out of the gate, Google is just as a good if not better a choice, sure. I'm reluctant to think that anyone other than the top ten percent of MIT's graduating class is really in that position though.

Re:Oh, I dunno (3, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931968)

One of the biggest lessons you can't learn in college: sometimes, a job is worth taking for no reason other than how it contributes to future opportunities. Ditto for taking classes post-college.

And ditto for college.

I wonder (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931360)

I wonder how much Ballmer was sweating when he answered that one? The guy can prolly lube himself up just by walking. It *is* a good question, tho.

Developers (5, Funny)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931364)

Because Microsoft has a proven track record for Developers Developers Developers!

Re:Developers (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931574)

Because Microsoft has a proven track record for Developers Developers Developers!

Hmmm .... not sure if I understand this expression. Is it something like the "Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo" thingie? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo [wikipedia.org]

Developers develop developers?

Re:Developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931774)

Lurk moar. [youtube.com] Who doesn't love Slashdot's favorite chair-throwing, armpit sweating, monkey boy?

"Not Sexy" (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931394)

It doesn't even matter that this was Microsoft, other than the fact that if it were IBM we'd never have gotten an article about it. However, the kid in question may have been asking why IBM, or why Ford? Why not? Healthy, established companies with plenty of money that pay dividends. Everyone has heard of them and if you're "good enough" to work for them, then you should be "good enough" for anyone else later. Just because you and your buddy start a website in your dorm room and print up business cards declaring fancy titles doesn't mean that's going to be a good reference when you find out that becoming an accidental internet billionaire is harder than you thought and have to go find a real job.

But, oh yeah, Apple is "changing the world" with their "magical" products (disclaimer, this is being typed on a Mac), so clearly everyone who is anyone should want to go work there. Or the new flavor of the week Rails shop. Or wherever. And for some people, maybe that's a better option and if they can make it work, good for them. I work for a small company practically no one has heard of, and right now it works for me. But, I'm to the point where I would much rather have the greater stability that working for a larger company would provide. In a few years the questioner will likely start to see the same thing.

Re:"Not Sexy" (2, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931786)

I think you're kind of missing the point.

Why should I work for X? is certainly a valid question. Depending on the company you have different pros and cons. Maybe they pay well, but they've got crappy benefits. Maybe they don't pay so good but they've got great benefits. Maybe there's tremendous name recognition. Maybe there's an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something spectacular. Whatever.

What's vaguely interesting about this is that until fairly recently, nobody would have asked that question about Microsoft because the answer was flat-out obvious.

They were, for a very long time, the IT company to work for. They were big. They were doing interesting things. They were turning out huge products. Everyone used their software. It almost didn't matter what they were paying, people wanted to work for them.

That's changing. And that's why this is a story.

It isn't flat-out obvious anymore. And there are plenty of reasons why you wouldn't want to work for Microsoft. Or why you'd rather work for someone else.

Re:"Not Sexy" (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931800)

If you don't work only for money/good CV but you value being satisfied by the outcome of you job, working for Apple is probably much better than working for Microsoft.
For example, if your field of specialization is writing software for mp3 players, would you find more satisfying being an iPod or a Zune developer?

I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932370)

I'm currently a software engineering student (in another country) and will be graduating in a year or two (depending on how much time I allocate to school and how much to part time job and other activities). So I'm kinda in the "target audience" of this question.

You are indeed correct that they could have mentioned any other similar company. During my freshman year, we visited IBM and they (head of HR in this country, some developer and someone third) gave us nice presentations about what IBM is and what they do and such. But they failed to make a point that it would be nice to work there. They did mention some teambuilding days or whatever were those and implied that they have a good team spirit: First friday of every month they (well, large part of them, they implied. They do employ some thousand or so people here) go to a bar together.... But even so, when I left the building, I felt kind of "Meh. That was a load of generic, corporate BS...".

Now, I'm not saying that I wouldn't work there because of that. Of course I would. When I'll graduate, I'll apply to every imaginable software engineering job and if I'll get a steady one at IBM, I'll be happy (especially in this economic situation). But what I am saying is that if I'll have the luxury of getting two job offers, one from IBM and one from some smaller shop... I'll probably take the latter one. And I'll probably start by applying to that kind of jobs first. Simply because IBM failed to make the point that I would enjoy working there, that I would find it interesting, that I would feel that I am an important part of the organization, that my job would have some importance...

Obviously we all need to pay our bills. But after that? You spend some 8 hours a day (+probably some overtime + travel) at the same place. It is quite important how you feel about it when waking up in the morning and knowing that you'll have to get there once again. I would say that it outweights how nice the company looks in your CV and even slight differences in wage. So... If the large corporations want to get the best people, they'll have to make the point that the best people would enjoy working there. Otherwise the best people go somewhere else and they'll just get the mediocre people.

Many Reasons Why Not (1)

ztransform (929641) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931398)

Most computer science students take the subject because they finish high school and think "what career pays well?". On the other hand those with a passion for technology all their youth tend to end up as Electrical Engineers. Thus, with no historical appreciation for the kind of technologically disruptive and legally overbearing company they have been, you can understand why Computer Science students may be lulled into a false sense of self-worth and pride about working for Microsoft.

Re:Many Reasons Why Not (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931520)

I call shenanigans. This may have been the case for a few years in the late 90s and early 00s but these days it seems to pretty much be back to mainly geeks (with a bunch of "I made a myspace profile and I roxx0rz at headshots d00d" gamers who think they're 1337 h4xx0rz because they're the person in their own social circle who is the least tech illiterate).

Because they are huge and have tons of cash (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931406)

Microsoft will pay you well and you feel you are part of a community.
The downside is that you have to hide your MacBookPro and iPhone from public view.

Re:Because they are huge and have tons of cash (4, Interesting)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931594)

Microsoft will pay you well and you feel you are part of a community.

The downside is that you have to hide your MacBookPro and iPhone from public view.

You're modded funny of course but it has quite a bit of truth.
Apple does not pay well. Microsoft pays better.
Microsoft makes you part of their community, Apple does not, everything is segmented and you have no access to other's information.

Arguably, Google is more Microsoft-like, except you're also allowed to bring your MacBook at Google :P (however, forget about the iPhone, it's N1!!)

It's odd you would say that... (3, Informative)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932096)

Microsoft makes you part of their community, Apple does not, everything is segmented and you have no access to other's information.

A friend that recently departed from M$ said the internal organizations are so politicized other groups would refuse cooperation or willfully withheld information "because they can."

Re:Because they are huge and have tons of cash (3, Informative)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932170)

Never having worked at Microsoft, I couldn't comment about them.

Having worked at Google, I can comment about them: MacBooks are perhaps the single, most popular, laptop. iPhones are very common with perhaps the only reason why there are a lot of Google phones is because people got them for free as their Christmas bonus/gift. I would say that iPhones are probably the most popular personal phones which employees actually paid for.

Not everything is completely open at Google, except maybe most of the source code. Like any large corporation, some individuals have carved out their personal empires along with all the associated politics...

Re:Because they are huge and have tons of cash (2, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932338)

Microsoft makes you part of their community, Apple does not, everything is segmented and you have no access to other's information.

Another thing to consider is the country you live in and what influence it has on the product design and development.

I know of quite a few people who work in big US-centric organisations (but are based outside of the US) and although they have a job title that implies that they have responsibilities, they really are only performing a sales/account management role and have to report back to someone in the US who really makes the decisions.

I worked on the launch of a mobile phone a couple of years ago where we found out more about the product from the pages of Engadget than we did from the product team at that very company. It turned out that they didn't find out any information internally until the last minute - when often it had already been leaked throughout the internet and be seen by their clients.

Re:Because they are huge and have tons of cash (2, Interesting)

TheUser0x58 (733947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931666)

You joke, but I contracted there a few years back, and at one high-level meeting I sat in on, half of the managers present had iPhones and wielded them shamelessly. I was the only one with a MacBook Pro... but it was running Windows.

Microsoft isn't that bad... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931432)

Microsoft wouldn't really be that bad to work at because all their problems occur in management. Everyone who I've talked to that works at Microsoft loves it, the reasons their products are crap is because they have terrible management, separate people into "teams" which have little communication with each other, then they have separate "teams" working on the same product... which ends up being a mess.

Re:Microsoft isn't that bad... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931716)

I once got asked by a recruiter to interview for a Microsoft job but, despite offering a better salary, I told the recruiter I simply didn't want to work for a software company where "proprietary" is the watchword. (I currently work in the telecoms industry for a company that does pretty much everything on Linux).

However, I recommended a colleague (who I knew wasn't happy with his job) to the recruiter & he ended up getting the Microsoft job & a better salary. As far as I know, he's still there & happy.

Just because you don't care much for what a company produces does not mean the company is not a good place to work.

Re:Microsoft isn't that bad... (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932186)

You can tell just by looking at their products that they obviously have management issues. They often times release products that compete with each other and yet are not compatible at all with each other(2 types of incompatible DRM, 3 different phone operating systems at the same time etc.) And even within products you can tell that there was very little cooperation between groups. The windows UI is such an incoherent mess I have trouble figuring out where anything even is. Everything looks different and to top it all off you often times have settings for the exact same component in more than one place. In XP the firewall could be configured in no less than 3(THREE!) different places and the way each configuration interacted/overrode the other ones was incomprehensible. Compare that with linux where I can just edit the iptables file and be done with it(ok, there is hosts.(allow/deny)....)

You can tell that many managers at Microsoft seem to still think it's 1998 and Microsoft is it's own biggest competitor. They will do ANYTHING they can to keep their own little empires, and the bonuses that come with them, alive.

M$ (0, Offtopic)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931438)

1. Fire Balmer (he's a bully and the bully pulpit is gone for Microsoft.)
2. Pay a large dividend.
3. Break up the company by design.
4. Put spending caps on useless shit like the "Windows Sound"
5. Give managers a % pay raise based on how much smaller they make their code while maintaining function.
6. Release a non backwards compatible operating system that kicks ass (they have at least two that have been shelved.)

Re:M$ (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931474)

2. Pay a large dividend.

I absolutely agree with this one. Microsoft is not a growth company anymore, and it's time for them to quit pissing away tens of billions of dollars of their shareholders' money on debacles like Xbox, Zune, and Bing.

-jcr

Re:M$ (1, Offtopic)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931600)

But I want my own division with lots of spending and employees!

Re:M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931696)

yes, they should totally not spend any more money on xbox. It's not like their gaming division has become extremely profitable or anything.

Re:M$ (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931772)

Xbox is a money loser for MS. They may make some money on the titles and licensing and Xbox Live, but they're in a big hole for the hardware. Financially, Xbox is not successful.

Re:M$ (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931984)

Xbox is a money loser for MS. They may make some money on the titles and licensing and Xbox Live, but they're in a big hole for the hardware. Financially, Xbox is not successful.

2005 called. It wants its statistics back.

The Gaming division has been making a profit [pcworld.com] since 2008. While the article doesn't say how much of that is on the hardware, I seem to recall seeing another article (that I can't find now), from either late 2007 or early 2008, that stated MS was finally making money off of each 360 sold.

Then again, as long as suckers keep paying money for Xbox Live subscriptions, even if the hardware was still losing money, its infrastructure would be making it back. That is, now that the models that had the ludicrously high failure rate are off the market.

Answers: (2, Interesting)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931510)

Why Microsoft?
Easy. Limited possibilities, so you don't have to think much, or solve real problems. Many mediocre job opportunities.

Why not?
Difficult, you are faced with real challenges, which some folks find positive. Also much better pay and growing market. You also get much less dispensable at some random downsizing. Ethically correct.

Re:Answers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932158)

Your post shows how truly ignorant you are.

I only hear good things (3, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931528)

Microsoft is and always has had a good reputation as a place to work. A lot of the senior managers came up from the trenches and do care about the working environment.

I mean, say what you want about their business practices, quality of software and anything else, they've always come across as a good employer.

Re:I only hear good things (1)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931636)

Good employer, yes, but there are far better. Google, Facebook, and Mozilla come to mind.

Re:I only hear good things (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932280)

The difference, if there is one, is time.

Compare articles about workplace life/perks at Google with similar articles written about Microsoft ten years earlier and you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

Re:I only hear good things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932388)

I've heard the same thing. In fact Microsoft is an excellent technology company. Jokes aside, they really do innovate some great things. They have some good technical developments like JPEG XR, and some good service developments like Zune Pass, but upper management seems to have a total inability to deploy, license, or successfully market such things and so they become tepid sources of income at best or completely vanish into the shadows at worst.

In a dream world I'd have Apple do my marketing and OS development, Microsoft do my tools and services development and business negotiations, and Google do my infrastructure development.

Why did the developer leave? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931540)

Oddly enough, a recent resignation letter from a Microsoft developer en route to Facebook ("Microsoft has been an awesome place to work over the past twelve years. In college, I never thought I'd work for Microsoft. Then I interned in 1997 and fell in love.") may be more what the skeptical CS student was looking for in terms of a Microsoft endorsement."

Reading the rest of the long post, it's not explicitly clear why he left MS but he hints at several reasons. One of which was brought up by mini-microsoft about the little fiefdoms that became the culture at MS:

A PM once remarked of a former Microsoft VP known for being ultra-aggressive in meetings: "I'd rather have him pissing from my tent than into my tent." Everyone within earshot chuckled at this witty political insight. I'd actually rather not have anybody pissing on any tents, mine or otherwise.

The other is the perks are going/gone. Some of it is understandable but he seems concerned that MS was focusing on the wrong things.

Standard petitio principii comment. (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931580)

For the (n+1) th time. Beg the question does not mean raise the question. Beg the question is a literal translation of "petitio principii", a Latin phrase, meaning the answer is begging the question[er] to be accepted as a valid, even though it [meaning the answer] has precious little logic or evidence supporting it.

We are constantly inventing new phrases and new usages. Why raid an ancient and well used phrase, disembowel it, and stuff a completely new meaning inside? If you want to play alien body snatcher, do it with real humans, not with time honoured Latin phrases.

Re:Standard petitio principii comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33931650)

Why raid an ancient and well used phrase, disembowel it, and stuff a completely new meaning inside?

I think people do it just to annoy you.

Re:Standard petitio principii comment. (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33931842)

Language evolves, as any linguist will tell you.

I have my own list of pet peeves (such as "could care less"), but the fact is there's a good chance it'll go from being the phrase of choice among illiterate morons to something in common parlance within a generation. "Begs the question" is a phrase that I'd say is substantially further down that road, to the point where your explanation is probably less well known than the colloquial meaning of "raises the question".

Re:Standard petitio principii comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932288)

I'm not sure that lumping "begs the question" together with "could care less" is exactly the right thing to do. "Begs the question" in the "misused" context actually makes quite a bit of sense (you saying statement X is practically begging me to ask question Y in response). In the English language, it makes as much sense (maybe more) than the "correct" usage. On the other hand, "could care less" is terrible because it means the exact opposite of what it literally says.

Re:Standard petitio principii comment. (1)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932396)

I'm afraid the battle for "begs the question" is a lost one, my friend. But keep fighting the good fight, I guess.

Microsoft is the GM of software (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932196)

I've never worked for Microsoft or GM, but from the outside the two look very similar.

For years both were/are giants in their respective industries - the standard of those industries if you will.

Years of shoddy products and internal political turmoil took their toll on both companies.

I wonder if Microsoft will avoid GM's fate - financial problems and an eventual government rescue? It's hard to imagine Microsoft with financial problems, but at one time in the not so distant past, it was also hard to imagine GM with financial problems.

-ted

So happy that he left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932244)

He was so happy after being at MS for 12 years that he left. You can talk and give praise about how great it was for him at MS but his actions speak louder than his words.

Simple... (1)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932290)

The Tech crunch article says this " why someone would want to work at Microsoft when there are so many more exciting companies out there, like, say Apple." The answer is simple. Apple are crap to work for. There is a REASON why Apple have never appeared on the Fortune top 100 places to work and Microsoft has for the last few years (since at LEAST 2006) Granted they arent up there, but they ARE there.... Remember Apple is the place that will lead you to suicide if you even slightly make a fuck up too... :)

Microsoft: just say NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33932322)

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

I was attracted into the faculty as a postgrad, and bait-and-switched by my Microsoft-compromised academic seniors into a worthless make-work project with no academic merit whatsoever. Never again.

The truth is that Microsoft is deeply unpopular and extremely uncool, and basically has to buy all its friends.

I absolutely swore off working for Microsoft for life after I saw what they did to my university IT department in an Australian university (QUT). They bought their way in, poached all the top-flight academics and locked them away on busy-work projects in Redmond and Cambridge. Then, taking advantage of the Australian Government's famous neglect of the higher education system, they gave us funding and "free" software licenses and turned all the students and academics into paid-for shit bitches, doing menial, unoriginal and worthless work.

The only people I saw going to work for Microsoft, were my fellow students. They were the very best and brightest, but were totally sucked in by the money and conference junkets. Their devotion to Microsoft was the most disturbing and cult-like thing I've ever seen.

Why is /. obsessed with Microsoft? (1)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33932330)

Like many days, today's /. feed is more than 50% stories related to Microsoft. OK, I get that the community here is predominately pro-Linux/anti-MS and I should expect the stories to skew to one side. But I'm not seeing the nerd value in a lot of these stories as they seem to only be posted to support and/or justify the collective belief that all things MS suck.

I'd like to see more news for nerds and stuff that matters make it to the feed.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?