Confesiunile celor plecati de bunavoie sau prin disponibilizare de la Microsoft ajung publice prin eforturile lui Joe Wilcox de la BetaNews. Bineinteles, sub protectia anonimatului, dar in limita in care fostii angajati nu s-au intors prin subcontractare sa lucreze tot cu Microsoft. Si, surprinzator, majoritatea sunt fosti angajati care au lucrat minim 8 ani pentru companie. Ideea principala? O firma de pup-in-curisti pierduta in jocuri birocratice.
Prima confesiune, distrusi prin politica, vine de la un senior manager care pleaca de la Microsoft dupa aproape 20 de ani si povesteste despre trecerea de la echipe de lucru mici, flexibile si cu tinte precise la echipe prea mari, birocrate si pierdute in jocuri politice interne:
When I left, I told Steve [Ballmer] my reasons. Microsoft lost its competitive edge. Too much politics, too much BS, too much ‘what can I do to you today, to make myself look better tomorrow.’
While I love Steve [Ballmer] to no end, he’s too removed from what’s really happening, and only gets info from the politically motivated ass kissers that just want to keep their jobs, not do the right thing.
A doua confesiune, o familie foarte disfunctionala, prezinta experienta unui consultant de service si implementare a produselor Microsoft la companii din Fortune 100. De la lungirea brusca si fara sens a cailor ierarhice si dezvoltarea personala in dezavantajul echipei reprezentate, strategistii vizionari din cadrul companiei au fost prinsi in jocuri politice si pup-in-curiste ale managementului si lasati sa plece.
Processes became more bureaucratic and individuals were less empowered to take action. In fact, oftentimes the incentive structure encouraged individual contributors not to do the right thing, but just to do what they committed to in their review the year prior. In other words, if you committed to include Feature A in Windows, and half-way through the year you realized that was a bad thing for Windows and Microsoft customers, the incentive structure actively discouraged you from trying to kill the feature, because then you wouldn’t have achieved your commitments.
The company as a whole seemed more and more focused on chasing competitors into any business where they might someday present a threat — which to me always felt like ego on the part of SteveB [CEO Steve Ballmer] — and seemed to completely lose sight of its core strengths and where it could deliver the most value to its customers.
A treia confesiune, saracele albinute, povesteste despre diviziile cu program prea incarcat din Microsoft in care cei ce nu pot tine ritmul sunt penalizati. Media de lucru era de 80-90 de ore pe saptamana (16-18 ore pe zi) timp de cateva luni. Cei ce nu erau dispusi sa tina pasul cu acest program deveneau persona non grata, din cauza unui manger cu probleme de performanta si tehnici de guerilla asupra propriilor subordonati.
The opportunities? [They] can be among the most amazing for your career that you’ll ever encounter. This is balanced, however, by the reality that merit isn’t always the primary criteria by which opportunities are given out, and that opportunities that are given in the blink of an eye can be — and sometimes are — taken away in the blink of an eye for no apparent reason at all.
Pregnant women ended up on early bedrest from the stress. People slept at the office in order to use the commute time for more work. For some, there were weekly all-nighters in the schedule.
Update: A patra confesiune (si cea mai lunga), o gramada ce clovni, prezentata de un adevarat veteran Microsoft (din era MS-DOS si Windows 3.1), arata inceputurile, desfasurarile, punctele culminante, hatisurile, personajele negative si pozitive, si sfarsitul unei activitati incepute din ’90.
There were a ton of bozos. Arrogant bozos. Not to suggest that I’m some sort of genius. Far from it. But the intellectual rigor demonstrated by much of the management — and strategy — was sadly lacking. In some ways it was funny, but mostly depressing.
There’s little or no interest in sustainability. No recognition for doing a job consistently well over time. No incentive for effective cross-team work (unless you can get another team to do work you can take credit for).
In continuare, Joe continua sa colecteze sub linistea anonimatului negarantat (datorita continutului detaliat) povesti din Microsoft, cu numitor comun Steve Ballmer. Si cum am conchis mai demult la bere: capitalismul se compune din multi-microcomunisme.
Ballmer sells Windows 1.0