Sunday, December 12, 2004

Who is John Galt?

Recap - Microsoft homework:

Question #1: What is your 30 second elevator speech about the product you're working on?

Question #2: (new) When is it going to ship?

A link and then a link to that link:

Paul Vick
Black Hole projects - read the comments, too.
Dare Obasanjo
White Elephants and Ivory Towers at Microsoft - links to the above and adds some commentary.

What's one White Elephant in the room people are ignoring in your group?

I just flipped through yet another new MSDN Magazine. I was so excited at first because one of the articles was titled: C++ Rules. Damn straight it does, Sparky! I flipped to page 58 as fast as I could only to see... what the... MSIL? JIT? Interop and #pragma unmanaged - oh, crap. They duped me. I flipped back and forth some more and it was CLR this and managed that. I've really got to cancel my subscription here. What magazine best channels the spirit of Raymond Chen?

I write software for the end-user's machine, and it's going to be a pretty fudged-up day in Hell before I *ship* managed code that gets installed on a user's machine. It doesn't make sense. Oh, I might write a lot of high-quality performant memory eating managed code for the foreseeable future. But is it ever going to ship? Let me grab that Magic 8-ball for second...

Some of the Ivory Towers had to move to a new lane (off of Longhorn Boulevard) when actual customer quality standards were set for Longhorn shipping in 2006 (well, plus that 2006 date).

Anyway. So you take your Waste-o-Meter around Microsoft and find a Black Hole (how many points out of 14?), a White Elephant, or an Ivory Tower. Baby, you're staring at the problem of us having too many people on the payroll without reasonable accountability for their results. Trim them all now and at least let them find another company to work for where they'll have the pleasure of releasing software that makes a difference in the world.

Why do you want to work on something that will never, ever, Release To Manufacturing? Why? Well, why-else besides that mortgage payment?

Gates is no dummy yet it's a mystery to me the obfuscated end-game he's concocted to let these people type up a bunch of BS that will never see instantiation outside of Microsoft. Is he just playing John Galt without the rest of us being in on the brain harvest he's pulled together (ah-ha-ha, they work for me producing nothing that will ever compete with Microsoft and then I emasculate them when the project is cancelled - ah-ha-ha - excellent!)?)?

Accomplishment: lots of books and magazine articles written. Shareholder value: nil. Stock price: flat.


Anonymous said...

Whats the big surprise? Managed code isn't for you obviously because of the nature of your work. But it works damn well for Joe Blow out there who can't tell memory management apart from a coat hanger - and he doesn't need to because all he needs is for his "business application" to work.

Anonymous said...

I'm writting this as an outsider.

The posts here are very intriguing. Seems there are a lot of people that still want to change the world (and become rich in the process) working along side a lot of people that simply want a steady job and pay their mortgage (although they can't admit it to others).

To me, Microsoft looks a lot like the rest of the world out there. Funny, that was not the case 20 years ago.

Anyhow, It's obvious that Microsoft is will undergo mid-life crisis/scenario/period of some kind. Not sure if it's good or bad but I am sure of one thing. The laws of physics always apply. An object in motion requires an equal and opposite force (or event)to change directions. And Microsoft is a very very big object.

Anonymous said...

What magazine best channels the spirit of Raymond Chen?

LOL I worked with Raymond Chen on Windows 95. That guy is a force of nature! He wasn't afraid to call BS back then either, and did frequently. I know a lot of the other devs had nightmares about him (I remember him threatening to steal all the dev teams mice and hide them where they'd never find them, forcing them to use the keyboard to navigate the OS.) When we had to switch to a new bug database because the old one hit it's limit at 10,000 bugs Raymond said "any project with more than 10,000 bugs is hopeless and should be abandoned." ;-)