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Want a Job At Google? Better Know Microsoft Office!

timothy posted about a year ago | from the isn't-more-knowledge-always-attractive-in-hiring? dept.

Google 243

theodp writes "After recent Slashdot discussions on Google's quest to unseat Microsoft Office in business and whether Google Docs and MS-Word are an even matchup, let's complete the trilogy by bringing up the inconvenient truth that numerous Google job postings state that candidates with Microsoft Office expertise are 'preferred' to those lacking these skills. 'For example,' notes GeekWire, 'when hiring an executive compensation analyst to support Google's board, the company will give preference to candidates who are 'proficient with Microsoft Excel."' Parents and kids at schools that have gone or are going Google are reassured that, 'it is more important to teach technology skills than specific programs' and that 'Google itself uses Google Apps to run its multi-billion dollar company.' Which, for the most part, is true. Just don't count on getting certain Google jobs with that attitude, kids!"

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243 comments

can we mod summary as (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405695)

trol?

Re:can we mod summary as (5, Insightful)

j-pimp (177072) | about a year ago | (#42405717)

Troll summaries are the norm here. slashdot is the fox news of tech journalism. There should be an article moderation flag for "not a troll".

Re:can we mod summary as (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405853)

/. moderators not as hot, and thankfully don't wear short skirts.

Re:can we mod summary as (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406415)

Troll summaries are the norm here.

That's because Slashdot is not what it once was. Most people who come here *ARE* "trolls".

Re:can we mod summary as (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405987)

It hurts too much to face the truth.

Re:can we mod summary as (1, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42406005)

not at all, it typifies the downward spiral in the Google hiring process as quality of management declines. It's a danger sign for an internet tech company to require a skill in any specific software product rather than interpersonal skills, reasoning, etc.

Re:can we mod summary as (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#42406619)

This is just another line item in the history of idiocy that is happening in Google. Remember reading about how they tried switching from MySQL to Oracle in AdWords a couple of years back?

Yes folks even Google makes stupid decisions.

Re:can we mod summary as (3, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#42406745)

Yeah god forbid they ask you to know an application that 100% of the world can accept. If you do business with anyone, they likely use MS office.

Re:can we mod summary as (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406341)

It already is.
It says "Posted by timothy".

Re:can we mod summary as (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#42406367)

No we need to moderate as Stupid.

I can see a very simple reason.
You are hiring a lot of people (Including some non-technical people) These non-technical people who are good at what they do, however they do not necessarily know all the cool alternatives to the systems that they have been using for decades.

You put a job Requirement Asking for Experience with Google Docs or worse Open/Libre Office. You will get a lot of Accountants, Marketers, Sales... Who have no idea what the heck you are talking about and they could lose some good employees. With experience in Office you can Pick up Google Docs, or Open/Libre Office rather easily.

Also Google does need to work with other companies. A lot of companies use office products to share information. 99% compatible products such as LibreOffice means you may get a problem every 3 and a half days. So I would expect Google would have Office installed for these people. Now the techies may have their Linux Box with Google Docs and they are all set... However other jobs not so much.

Re:can we mod summary as (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#42406633)

Just ask for people to have experience working with a spreadsheet. Actually scratch that. Do you ask for people to have experience using a calculator?

Re:can we mod summary as (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42406859)

That makes about as much sense as a job posting for a truck driver saying Ford F150 preferred, only because the Ford F150 is the most common truck in the world.

Re:can we mod summary as (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406575)

A quick search reveals that theodp is a regular submitter and has a blatant anti-Google agenda. He also submits some non-Google related stuff though... I guess he has to in order to avoid being called out as the shill/FUD-dispenser he is.

In the workplace... (-1, Troll)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42405703)

People who don't know how to use MS office suck.

Re:In mother russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405747)

ms office sucks people who don't know how to use it.

In Soviet Russia (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#42406151)

KGB Office sucks in people like YOU for interviews which, were they slightly more extreme, would resemble timeshare sales pitches.

Re:In mother russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406613)

Shit, really? I could have been getting blowjobs from ms office all this time, if I had just feigned ignorance?

Talk about a perk!

Re:In the workplace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405765)

People who don't know how to click on a menu bar and select an on-line help option aren't ready to get paid to use a computer yet.

Re:In the workplace... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42405831)

In whose workplace? Didn't you see the story yesterday about all the companies using Google docs? And a carpenter need not know any word processor in his workplace at all.

The delicious irony is Google using MS Office after yesterday's story.

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

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42405881)

Which is fine, until a client sends you a document from MS Office and wants you to send back your changes with change tracking turned on, so that they can see what has changed in the document. If you only use it for internal documents, Google Docs can be fine. However, once you want to communicate with the outside world, you had better have MS office, or things will break down quite quickly.

Re:In the workplace... (3, Funny)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#42406149)

I've used LibreOffice/OpenOffice with track changes to work on documents with multiple MS Office users and not had a problem.
Of course, the Google Docs collaboration features are much nicer than the cumbersome "track changes" but it is possible to work with people stuck with MS Office.

Re:In the workplace... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#42405907)

Maybe yes, maybe no. A carpenter as a sub-contractor is going to get his bids via Word documents attached to his e-mail (shudder) and the specs are going to be in Excel. I know of one “carpenter” (a small business or 4 to 5 employees that built custom cabinetry) that used a Word / Excel / Excel / VBA custom jobbie to manager orders, generate estimates, manage workflow, etc. This was back in the 90s.

It not the internal workings – Open Office would have the power – It’s being able to integrate with everybody else. (Darn for Microsoft getting there first and setting the standards.)

Re:In the workplace... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42405923)

I see google docs as more of a supplement to MS office and a quick changes type software, other than that it's a PITA to work in, if people don't have strong document based needs, or just don't care, or don't want to pay out for MS Office, it can work, but for b2b communication, office is standard. b2c in most cases also. That carpenter is missing out, he could've used office to create business cards, flyers, and labels, keep track of clients, etc... some people never learn though. There's alternatives to MS office, but it's not google docs.

Google Apps (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#42405729)

...is a corporate domain-based user management system that's web based, with particular attention made in integrating it with GMail. What I suspect is that the submitter confused it with Google Docs. Google Docs is integrated with Google Apps (as is YouTube) but it's not Docs, any more than Active Directory is Excel.

Is this a serious Google branding issue? I can kinda understand the confusion, just as I can the whole "Google Voice is trying to compete with Vonage!" crap - that's a voicemail and forwarding service on steriods service people, not a VoIP service (Google Talk is the VoIP service.) Though that said, if you don't actually use a product enough to know what it is, why mention it?

Re:Google Apps (2)

Dahan (130247) | about a year ago | (#42405825)

...is a corporate domain-based user management system that's web based, with particular attention made in integrating it with GMail.

Is it? I haven't actually used it, but Google's page [google.com] about it makes it sound like it's a cloud-based office suite: "Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device." that includes GMail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Re:Google Apps (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#42405943)

The page doesn't help either ;-) I'm a Google Apps user, I've used it for a long time. The point they're trying to make, and doing so badly, isn't that "Docs is one of the Google Apps", it's "Docs is fully integrated with Google Apps".

In reality, GMail is really the major Google service that's more than simply integrated with GA. The others are integrated, supporting users who log in via GA accounts, allowing the account's settings to be managed by a GA administrator, and on occasion providing a few extra features useful to those in a GA Domain. But really, it's not much different from Active Directory's relationship to the Office suites on your work desktop, where Outlook is fully managed by AD, and some apps include some features that look things up or whatever in AD occasionally, and some features of Word may or may not be administrable using AD but in practice aren't.

Re:Google Apps (1)

gnapster (1401889) | about a year ago | (#42406583)

The point they're trying to make, and doing so badly, isn't that "Docs is one of the Google Apps", it's "Docs is fully integrated with Google Apps".

Wut?

On that page, they seem to be saying, "Here's the apps! Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides!" What muddies the water for me is that (on this page) "Docs" only seems to apply to the word processor, not the spreadsheets or anything else. I want to say that they were called Docs, collectively, when introduced, and Docs started to apply to the word processor only when Drive was introduced, but I really don't know for sure. I think GGP is on the right track: it's a branding issue.

Editors and fact checking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405983)

What I suspect is that the submitter confused it with Google Docs.

And where were the editors and fact checkers?

This is either incompetence or let through on purpose to generate hits for this site.

The web is becoming worse than TV - including FOX News.

Re:Google Apps (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42406525)

there's no docs, it's just "drive" now. BUT, "docs" was/is the textual documents which among spreadsheets and some other shit are all part of "apps".

if that's confusing, well, it damn well should be! but that's the state of the flux. when I go to docs.google.com with my corporate mail/google account(that we have tied to "apps") it takes me to google drive, not docs.

(What it seems like is they're using "Apps" as a trade name to sell the package of gmail for your domain and the other stuff, so they're using that as a name when they're getting companies to sign up for google "Apps", we got the gmail for your own domain mail etc setup and a while ago docs,whatever, switched to be 'drive', like it matters at all but apparently google is paying too much for it's marketingspeak and branding guys since they have damn too many of them to decide this shit)

http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/ [google.com] (Gmail, Drive and Calender most definitely are what google tells you that you're signing up when you're subbing to "Google Apps" - not ad)

Google Docs is no MS Office (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#42405737)

The company I work for uses Google Docs extensively; in fact, we use it so much I wrote SAS scripts to interface with the API so we can easily share datasets in and out of Google Docs. While it's powerful for collaborative work over the Internet, especially with remote resources housed all over the world, it's no replacement for Office.

It doesn't have all the powerful tools Office does, it doesn't format documents the same as Office does (especially importing and exporting--and yes, I realize Office doesn't do all that well version to version), and it doesn't work all that well offline (if at all).

So it's no wonder a corporation dealing with other corporations would require Office knowledge. This is a non-story.

Re:Google Docs is no MS Office (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42405839)

No doubt. You have to be able to open all the bad .docx files that the corporate H.R. drones send out so they they will actually import.

Re:Google Docs is no MS Office (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406055)

This is a non-story.
 
Except for that if this were MS posting jobs with experience in Google Docs being a plus we'd have droves of Google fanbois screaming about "eating their own dog food."
 
Let's face facts, you fanbois scream and shout about so much as a typo in the EULA but if it's someone you favor they could murder baby seals and get away with it as a "non-story." Hypocricy. Pure and simple.

this is stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405739)

Any idiot knows that knowing how to use actual spreadsheet software requires using MS Excel. Most of the skills you use on Google Spreadsheets transfer directly, but obviously if you need to use more powerful macros (which you probably wouldn't learn to use in high school, anyways) then you need more powerful software.

Re:this is stupid (1, Funny)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#42405833)

Ever heard of LibreOffice? If you claim you're unable to write "powerful macros" in any of these languages [libreoffice.org] , then it is you who is the "idiot".

Re:this is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405903)

Chill out. He was comparing Google and Microsoft. No need to get your OSS panties in a bunch.

Re:this is stupid (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42405915)

Ever heard of LibreOffice? If you claim you're unable to write "powerful macros" in any of these languages [libreoffice.org] , then it is you who is the "idiot".

I don't think the problem is so much writing new Macros, but in rewriting all of the tried-and-true macros and formulas that the Finance exec has been using for the past decade. Sure, it could be ported and rewritten, but why have a $100/hour finance professional spend time learning a new macro language and rewriting and validating his old functions/macros for a new spreadsheet platform? It only takes a few hours of wasted work to pay for MS Office.

Re:this is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406327)

OK, so that's the sunk costs issue. "This is what we use, so we gotta keep using it, because this is what we use".

Which is a different problem than "Google Docs not good enough, etc."

Re:this is stupid (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42405873)

The real, non-imagined problems I've had in the past with attempting to get an office to be able to use OO has been with mail merge functions. I haven't tried Mail Merge for with it for several versions, but while OO had some really good functions that were like Crystal Reports it was way, WAY too hard for your normal office person do deal with. They might have a nicer way to do it now... but I had to abandon a changeover I wanted to do because of this. If *I* was doing mail merge I would want the more powerful functionality, but then I like to learn and many of the office-folk don't.

Google Fact (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405743)

This sounds evil ....

Ever tried editing an Office doc in Google Docs? (5, Interesting)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year ago | (#42405745)

Google can push their own platform all they want internally, but they can't control the format of documents they receive. I've resorted to installing LibreOffice on my personal system to edit/collaborate/modify Office documents before sending them back. Doesn't work so well in Google Docs.

Re:Ever tried editing an Office doc in Google Docs (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42405895)

Well, you are right and you're wrong. This is actually a problem with Office and Microsoft's own practice. If it was a decent open format and MS didn't try to make their formats like .docx proprietary this wouldn't be a problem. It's easy to blame Google for "not being compatible" (and I've seen this attitude in the wild quite often) but if Microsoft is being secretive (and sometimes can't even get the format right themselves) it isn't a surprise that Google doesn't get it right.

Re:Ever tried editing an Office doc in Google Docs (1)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year ago | (#42405993)

We're in agreement. I wasn't blaming Google Docs for being less compatible with MS Office, just pointing out that it is. That's a reality that has to be addressed in today's business world. Now, tomorrow's business world...

You're talking to a Human Resources weasel (4, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#42405777)

As opposed to a employee relations person, you understand.

The weasels want people with 5 years experience with Java in 1995, and then wonder why no-one but James Gosling applies.

Send the posting to Larry Page's office with a subject line like "Public relations blunder".

--dave

Re:You're talking to a Human Resources weasel (1, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#42405971)

Reminds me of the time when I was younger that I applied for a senior engineer position. Granted, I wasn't really what you might call senior at the time, but the guy they ended up hiring was only senior in the sense that he could have joined the AARP.

Now, I have nothing against people who have been working for awhile, but this was in 1999, where his experience with internet technologies was probably about the same (or worse) than mine was, despite his 20 years or more in "technology". That was the funny thing about then and now. Today, you could have over a decade in Java programming and it is still in use. In the late nineties or 2000 or so, a recent college grad knew about as much about Java as someone who had been programming in other languages for a decade or more. You could argue that their experience was still useful, but I'd say it was a lot less useful, pound for pound, than senior level programming experience is today. That is, if you're using Java. If you stuck with coding in C/C++, your experience today is probably Godlike, assuming that your arteries haven't started to harden.
 

Re:You're talking to a Human Resources weasel (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406365)

Knowing how the business works and understanding what you're writing is something only experience brings.

Re:You're talking to a Human Resources weasel (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#42406545)

Well in this case, he moved from a company that makes air conditioners to an ISP. It must have been something like what you said, because the guy wasn't a complete idiot, but his qualifications in practice were still more than a little dubious.

Re:You're talking to a Human Resources weasel (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42406551)

And here we are 13 years later and you still don't get that just knowing technology is not the same as knowing how to use technology to fit the businesses needs. Maybe in another 7 you'll finally catch up to what he had over you.

LibreOffice? (1)

rstanley (758673) | about a year ago | (#42405783)

I would have assumed that if they had to use any Office Suite, that they would have chosen LibreOffice [documentfoundation.org] over MS Office! My question to Google, is Why Not???

Re:LibreOffice? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42405857)

I would have assumed that if they had to use any Office Suite, that they would have chosen LibreOffice [documentfoundation.org] over MS Office! My question to Google, is Why Not???

Because LibreOffice doesn't do everything MS Office does?

Google already has an office suite that does a lot of what MS Office does (i.e. Google Docs), why would they add in another office suite that gets them 90% of the way to MS Office functionality when they can just use MS Office and get 100% of what they are looking for.

I'm sure LibreOffice does some things that MS Office can't do, but few people are using those things, but people expect their Office Suite to work like MS Office - at my last job, I couldn't even open the corporate expense reporting spreadsheet in LibreOffice (Finance had macros that would extract the data from approved expense reports and enter into their accounting system). I'm sure if could have been ported over, but it just wasn't worth the effort since MS Office was the "corporate standard".

Re:LibreOffice? (3, Informative)

rstanley (758673) | about a year ago | (#42405891)

"Because LibreOffice doesn't do everything MS Office does?"

I keep hearing this, but I never see a list of the "10%" that MS Office can do that Libreoffice cannot. Plus, how many items on this 10% list are actually used by 90% of the MS Office users, including Google employees???

Show me the list!

Re:LibreOffice? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42406091)

"Because LibreOffice doesn't do everything MS Office does?"

I keep hearing this, but I never see a list of the "10%" that MS Office can do that Libreoffice cannot. Plus, how many items on this 10% list are actually used by 90% of the MS Office users, including Google employees???

Show me the list!

Here are a few examples of financial functions in MS Office that aren't in Google Docs:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/excel-functions-by-category-HP010079186.aspx?CTT=3#BMfinancial_functions [microsoft.com]
https://support.google.com/drive/bin/static.py?hl=en&topic=25273&page=table.cs&tab=1240288 [google.com]

AMORDEGRC()
AMORLINC()
ISPMT()
OSSFPRICE()
ODDFYIELD()
ODDLPRICE()
ODDLYIELD()
VDB()
YIELDMAT()

I didn't look to see if Google has the same functionality in a different function, nor do I know enough about the functions to know if a trivial formula can recreate the functionality in Google.

I don't know how frequently these are used, but if the finance director can't open the forecasting spreadsheet that he's used for 5 years because one of these functions is missing, he's going to demand MS Office. At least, that's what happened in my last company when we tried to see if we could save money by moving away from MS -- the Finance department couldn't open any of the spreadsheets they used in their day to day work.

Re:LibreOffice? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about a year ago | (#42406499)

This story attracts the usual solipsistic ignorance of IT drones about what other people actually do. Excel is simply more advanced than Google Spreadsheets. For many casual spreadsheet users, that doesn't matter. But accounting and finance (especially for firms doing business internationally) requires a lot more than figuring out sums and averages.

Re:LibreOffice? (1)

pluther (647209) | about a year ago | (#42406805)

MS Word can also do formatting that both LibreOffice and OpenOffice lack.

For example, in MS, I could set it up so that when I typed "rrr " it would replace it with "REBECCA" centered on the page, followed by two newlines, then set the format for single-spaced Times New Roman with 1.5" margins left and right. It could keep that format until I started a paragraph with "st[tab]" at which point it would skip down another newline and give me italicized text with .5" margins for the next paragraph, then automatically switch back.

Oh, yeah, and if that previous paragraph when over a page break, it could automatically insert "REBECCA (cont)" centered at the top.

May sound trivial to an engineer who's just writing up some simple procedure document, but when I'm writing a play, with dozens of lines of dialog and stage directions on every page, being able to put things automatically into the right format as I go is invaluable.

And that's the thing, sure, most users won't use every bit of specialized formatting, macros, or functions on each app. But enough people do that for most companies it's worth getting MS Office rather than trying to evaluate the potential needs of each individual user.

Re:LibreOffice? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42406571)

'show me the list' Awesome. This is why LibreOffice is still a 'doesn't matter'.

This attitude is what keeps you wondering why it hasn't taken over the world.

Get out of your basement, work in the real world with real companies exchanging documents with other companies, editing on both sides and then get back to me.

Its the same reason EVERYONE uses the SAME version of various Adobe products.

The "Author" is a Microsoft shill (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405787)

Just look at all of the stories this shill has posted on their site.

truth hurts (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42405807)

Google docs is good if you stay on the web but if you want to work with other big companies using Office then you're just better off with office. Google can't compete for now in what most managerial types want out of the office software.

Re:truth hurts (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42405909)

Most managerial types haven't heard of anything else. *That's* the real problem. Google Docs is probably good for any non-advanced thing you want to do, but the managers are now too young to remember Lotus and Wordperfect, plus they tend to think being "computer savvy" means you can copy a file to a flash drive. And they don't want to learn anything new... and "Open Source" is bad because they can't "hold someone's feet to the fire," (an idiotic idea because NO company, no matter how large, is going to hold Microsofts "feet to the fire" for ANY reason).

Re:truth hurts (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406427)

I think if your managers are using torture metaphors, it's time to change positions.

reality check (2)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#42405811)

I'm curious when it became in fashion celebrate those that choose to deliberatly not learn something (sometimes out of spite) and counsel other folks to do the same? Sure Google should be dog-fooding their own product, but not everyone needs to put on the Goggles (aka drinking the koolaid).

Sure, for something like "intro-to-computers" it may not exactly matter which word processor you use. But as some point reality will kick in. Of course time is finite and you can't learn everything, but Microsoft office is the standard bearer, so if you are going to fill your skills bag with some items, a quick reality check might confirm that being proficient with Microsoft office would be a good thing to learn if there is a chance that you might need to use it in a corporate environment. That's the difference between vocational training and a generic education.

Also on the hiring front, it might be prudent to choose to employ people (say as an executive compensation analyst) who are somewhat in tune with the real world vs out on their own crusade, dontchathink? Okay, maybe that was a bad example occupation to illustrate needing to be in tune with real-world, come to think of it ;^P

Re:reality check (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#42405973)

Personally, I use Open Office and I don't see the point in spending money on Microsoft Office. The vast majority of the population uses maybe 20% of its functionality.

Also, if you did need to learn Excel or Word for your job and you consider that a big deal in the slightest...I weep for you (or the idiot in HR).

Re:reality check (3, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42406121)

Personally, I use Open Office and I don't see the point in spending money on Microsoft Office. The vast majority of the population uses maybe 20% of its functionality.

Also, if you did need to learn Excel or Word for your job and you consider that a big deal in the slightest...I weep for you (or the idiot in HR).

I think it's more of a problem when you're interviewing and you have vast OpenOffice experience and say that you think it wouldn't take long to pick up MS Office, but you're competing against a guy who has vast MS Office experience and can immediately jump in and use the toolset they are already using. Sure, you could learn MS Office, but the other guy already knows and is using it.

It's just like if you're applying for a developer job in a Ruby shop -- you may have years of Perl experience and feel that you could quickly pick up Ruby, but when you're interviewing against a guy that's spent the past 2 years doing nothing but Ruby, you lose.

Re:reality check (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#42406661)

In reality, the few bits of MS Office that Open/Libre Office doesnt to are very obscure, Virtually all experienced users of any of the office products would have to use help for far more widely used features.

If you cant use the help feature, then you are definitely not computer litterate. If you can, then you should be able to switch between office suites several times a day without (much) pain. (But you might not want to).

Actually, most corporate finance types have to get someone else to help them use ANY formula in any spreadsheet - they are too lazy (aka "busy") to READ the help for themselves.

Re:reality check (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year ago | (#42406779)

I'm an experienced Excel user and my "Help function" is the vast multitude of online forums out there where other professionals hang out and provide answers to users who have encountered similar challenges to me. This includes VBA code samples as well as the theory behind the formula. In my experience, I've found the Help feature to be primarily useful when I know which formula or feature I want to use - and if I know that, then I probably already know how to use it.

When Open Office has a similarly widespread knowledge base, spread across the internet, then we can consider its Help function to be fit for purpose.

Re:reality check (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42406599)

And that 'dont see the point in spending money on Microsoft Office' is part of your problem. While it isn't a $10 software product, the cost is nothing to a company. The most expensive version of Office and Multiple server CALs for adding a user into an MS environment is less than a single weeks salary at minimum wage. If it takes anything more than that to learn something else, its retarded to switch, especially considering you can reuse the license on a new person and still don't have to train.

If your reason for not using MS Office is cost, you're an idiot and can't see the forest for the trees.

Re:reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406849)

You likely don't do a lot in Open Office. It's pretty uncompetitive for anything more than basic word processing and simplistic presentations.

Re:reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406775)

I'm curious when it became in fashion celebrate those that choose to deliberatly not learn something (sometimes out of spite) and counsel other folks to do the same? Sure Google should be dog-fooding their own product, but not everyone needs to put on the Goggles (aka drinking the koolaid).

Sure, for something like "intro-to-computers" it may not exactly matter which word processor you use. But as some point reality will kick in. Of course time is finite and you can't learn everything, but Microsoft office is the standard bearer, so if you are going to fill your skills bag with some items, a quick reality check might confirm that being proficient with Microsoft office would be a good thing to learn if there is a chance that you might need to use it in a corporate environment. That's the difference between vocational training and a generic education.

Also on the hiring front, it might be prudent to choose to employ people (say as an executive compensation analyst) who are somewhat in tune with the real world vs out on their own crusade, dontchathink? Okay, maybe that was a bad example occupation to illustrate needing to be in tune with real-world, come to think of it ;^P

Crawl back in your hole of pretentious and lecturing mentality. We have enough of you on the internet that dont actually know squat or have anything insightful to say. You just run around spewing mindless garbage allover because you think it sounds good and gives you a cheap ego boost to try and act like you actually know what youre saying.

Talk about overreacting (0)

Flipao (903929) | about a year ago | (#42405835)

An article showed up yesterday talking about Google's plans for Docs on the enterprise and I guess someone got upset because that's 2 articles so far today of complete non news praising the wonders of MS Office.

Re:Talk about overreacting (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#42406447)

The shills and various other MS mouthpieces are getting skittish.

Betting pool is open as to when the likes of Ed Bott starts bad-mouthing it in a big way...

They're doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405859)

Google should by a startup trying to clone MS Office - a new one comes along every few years. Then meld it with the cloud features of Google Docs. Not saying this is likely to be successful, but it is much more likely than a feature-by-feature competitor to MS Office (basically '80s technology) coming out of a Googleplex.

Monopoly power. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405871)

To me the story isn't so much about how "Those bastards at Google aren't even pushing their own product!" it's a story about how even Google can't really expect people to have skills in any other office product other than MS Office. Face it, outside of a select people in IT, and a few people who don't want to pay for office, it's a MS Office world. The story is really about how nobody can escape the power of the Microsoft monopoly on Office products.

Imagine if we lived in a world where for a job that involves driving, and GM had to put in the job requirements "Excellent experience driving Ford Vehicles".

Re:Monopoly power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405997)

It would be more like it if GM said, "Excellent experience repairing Toyotas." But even then, there wouldn't be an equal analogy, as Toyota hasn't been constantly changing what is their norm.

It's really abuse of monopoly that MS does, that we are talking about here. It wasn't so long ago that I heard a conversation that NOBODY else could have an Office product that was as interchangeable with MS formats as MS. (With the exception of version to version changes) And that is the issue, as everyone else needs to play catchup whenever MS decides to make a change.

But you already knew that.

Excel has functions (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42405879)

Excel has support for some ridiculous functions including pulling data from lots of database servers and doing BI transformations on it. I've seen what our finance people do with Excel and its pretty cool. its a lot more than graph paper on a computer.

Executives don't get paid a straight salary. they will get a base salary and then bonuses and stock awards based on performance goals and you need a decent program to predict the total compensation based on different events

all those $300 million salaries you read about, those are 99% restricted stock that you can't sell for a decade or so and the $300 million is a maximum value based on the stock price. along with lots of other conditions

Concepts not Apps (1)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#42405893)

They should be asking for CONCEPTS not particular applications. For example "Spreadsheet proficiency" not "Excel proficiency".

I would MUCH rather have someone that understands the concepts of spreadsheets, word processing, and graphics, than someone who understands just a single program. When I hire, I find that people who have never been exposed to anything but Microsoft Office are rather restricted in flexibility and creativity and less able to handle (or try) anything new/different.

Shame on your, Google, for not handling this better. MS-Office is Microsoft's last remaining major stranglehold. Alternatives such as Open/LibreOffice and Google Docs can't compete effectively when even companies associated with such alternatives can't stand behind their own offerings.

Re:Concepts not Apps (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42405917)

You're asking an H.R. person to think. That's way too over optimistic.

Re:Concepts not Apps (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42406181)

You're asking an H.R. person to think. That's way too over optimistic.

It's not so much that the HR screener can't think, but he's got 100 resumes in his inbox and he has to screen them quickly and skillset is a quick way to weed out resumes. HR doesn't have unlimited time to screen resumes and call up each candidate to assess their proficiency with the toolset. If the hiring manager says "We need someone with Excel experience", you're going to end up on the "screened out" pile because there are 30 other resumes in the pile that *do* have Excel experience.

Write your resume cover letter with this in mind - screening candidates is hard to do and many more candidates are screened out than screened in.

so what is the harm in putting fake BA / BS onther (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406227)

so what is the harm in putting fake BA / BS on there if you have all the real skills needed and just need to put BA / BS to get past HR?

Re:so what is the harm in putting fake BA / BS ont (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42406419)

so what is the harm in putting fake BA / BS on there if you have all the real skills needed and just need to put BA / BS to get past HR?

Because when you get past the phone screen and HR does a background check, when they discover you've lied about the degree, you're not ever going to get a job there? Regardless of your skills, I can't imagine any hiring manager ignoring your deception - if you're willing to lie to get an interview, how much can they trust you?

If you really think you have the skills for the job and don't think you'll make it past HR, then you'll need to use networking to make sure you get your resume in front of the hiring manager. That's why it's important to never burn bridges, you never know when a former colleague or boss can help you get your foot in the door somewhere else.

If they hire you before discovering the deception, you could be immediately terminated, and depending on what state you're in and what you signed when you filled out the application for employment, they could sue to recover damages.

Re:Concepts not Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406051)

"I would MUCH rather have someone that understands the concepts of spreadsheets, word processing, and graphics, than someone who understands just a single program."

You are being far to naieve. Most users could not tell you that word was a "word processor", and that excel was a "spreadsheet program". They teach WORD and EXCEL in school, not "spreadsheets" or "word processing". This isnt the 80s/90s anymore.

Re:Concepts not Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406493)

You should feel lucky to hear "Word and "Excel". I have to deal with "the blue one" and "the green one".

Re:Concepts not Apps (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year ago | (#42406861)

Alternatives such as Open/LibreOffice and Google Docs can't compete effectively when even companies associated with such alternatives can't stand behind their own offerings.

Realistically, the alternatives you mentioned won't compete in the business world until they are at least as good as Microsoft Office.

I do get where you're coming from. It's good to have employees who understand the theory behind a type of application, rather than just knowing a single application itself, but given the choice between hiring someone who knows Excel and someone who knows spreadsheets (but not Excel), I would hire the Excel specialist (all other things being equal).

In business, time is money and I want employees who are comfortable with the tools already in use so they can immediately understand our spreadsheets, macros, and formulas.

My few thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405929)

It may show that someone is well rounded regardless of whether it is needed for the specific job itself.

Schools, and by schools I mean middle and high schools, should consider having "technology classes" as sort of a requirement. I say "sort of" because some students may need to opt out. And I say "technology classes" to mean a generic placeholder in one's schedule where one goes to a class based on one's level, but not necessarily graded on an A-F system but rather a "skill level". In other words, start out at typing, then learn about powerpoint type software (the popular one at the time and open source versions), then word, etc. all the way up to wording on computer hardware and software, etc.

I figure I could clean up what I said above, but meh, don't feel like it. I'll leave it at that.

Re:My few thoughts... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42406021)

wrong, if they only specify one office product that is NOT a sign of seeking well rounded person. Even less that it's a Microsoft one, any moron off the streets can lay claim to using it.

Troll article is troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405967)

Troll lolo la la la la Troll lolo la. Tis the season to be trolling troll la la la la.

So it says they don't swear allegiance to ... (2)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year ago | (#42405999)

their own tech over "right tool for the right job." Dedication to any brand (even your own) over using the right tool is a sign of stupidity.

Try supporting old IE (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42406019)

No I am not talking about IE 6.

I am talking about IE 8. The one browser 90% their customers use and only modern one on XP!

Until then it doesnt matter what Google does. Intranet apps wont run on anything newer. Do any offices run IE 9 yet? Rediculous

Google does not live in the real world.

Try Instead (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year ago | (#42406239)

"Only applicants who do NOT know how to use Microsoft Office will be considered for this position"? Or "Only pilots without valid drivers licenses will be hired at Virgin Express"? If I hire a Spanish translator, I don't disqualify those who also speak English...

Excel truth (1)

augustz (18082) | about a year ago | (#42406311)

Generally, I think Sheets trails Excel by more than "Document" trails Word, but then again, I spend much more time in Excel than I do in Word.

For financial / finance use cases in particular Google "Sheets" isn't a match for Microsoft Excel. A very common formatting approach is to indent rows using narrow columns. In excel, the text overflows to the right, so you end up with an aligned / indented view of things (which you can also then make collapsible). In Sheets, this doesn't work without lots of extra clicks (merging cells etc).

I think eating your own dogfood is reasonably important if you intend the product to be a core product you offer. Not sure if Google Apps is intended to be that (search is for sure).

And if you get schools to use your product, and then prefer another product for your own jobs the optics really are pretty poor!

they don't use it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406335)

Disclaimer, I spent two months in a Google Datacenter and did not see any Microsoft OS or application.

They probably have it somewhere for compatibility, or for administrative tasks (like sending offers to clients or whatever).

Re:they don't use it! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42406631)

In a Google datacenter ... so you were a rack monkey and you think thats representative of their staff?

While I also know they don't generally use non-Google products throughout the company, trying to pretend you know what they use based on when you had a job that will soon be replaced by a robot and did practically nothing other than manual labor is kind of silly.

It really is a dillema to put MS word on a resume (4, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#42406539)

Competent programming teams will look at MS word on your resume and go,"If this guy thinks Office is something special, he must not know a lot."

Corporate HR on the other hand might have struggled to learn MS Office as it is one of the few applications they ever used. They think putting MS Office on a resume is a badge of honor. So if you don't put MS Word on your resume in some corporate places, they think you're not cut out for the job."What this guy doesn't know Office? He must not know much."

This has bugged me for many years as I have a hard time getting interviews. If someone is a programmer, it should be assumed they know how to use most every piece of software they come into contact with. Yet, a lot of HR departments don't get it. It is hard to tell who is competent and who isn't, so the question you ask is,"Do I put the Microsoft Office on my resume?" I've come to the conclusion,"I don't want to be hired by an incompetent organization, so I'll just leave the Microsoft Office off my resume."

Re:It really is a dillema to put MS word on a resu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406723)

"Competent programming teams will look at MS word on your resume and go,"If this guy thinks Office is something special, he must not know a lot.""

NO.

Re:It really is a dillema to put MS word on a resu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406817)

I've never had trouble getting an interview without Word on my resume. You might consider that something else on your resume is giving you trouble. Find that thing, and change it. Because it isn't Word (on or off).

Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406553)

Its a very common and very widely used piece of software supported and implimented by millions of users allover the entire world and quite common with business's. Why wouldnt you want your employees at a tech and software based company to know how to use it?

This is a fucking stupid "article". Its as dumb as someone saying "HEY! You need to know how to use windows if you want to work for sony"

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406597)

This is news? Office is a staple, it's like knowing how to type by now. Slow news day? You need to manufacture nonsense like this. Get the fuck outta here with this.

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