My Hat's off to Microsoft
Freedom of speech is so rare in enterprise one would think that most people in companies as large as Microsoft would be afraid to speak their mind, especially HR. However, at least one corporate HR person has stepped up to address some of the issues plaguing large companies looking for tech employees. Many would like to claim that there is an IT worker shortage, and cite that as a reason for offshoring the jobs that would remain here in the US if they would take a broader view of the job market and the talent that is out there than they do.
Our friendly Microsoft blogger threw caution to the wind and risked getting deuced by trouncing the companies hiring policies. She has later admitted that she was probably a little too aggressive and has sort-of apologized for her rant, but she brings up a lot of excellent points about how arrogant many of these companies have become.
One of the things I have always liked about tech was that if you were scrappy and hungry, you could usually work your way up to the table by eating the occasional scraps that flew off, and get on with the nicely dressed gentlemen at the table. It seems of late that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and some other large IT companies have decided that people are crazy if they don't want to work for them. They assume that since they are who they are that talent should be beating down the doors looking for them. This is obviously not true. Microsoft for example would almost never look at me or any of the people I work with. With myself, I can understand because I haven't worked much with their technology because I find it to be less desireable than other tools, but at the same time I have a lot of respect for them, I would work for them if they were interested, and now I have even more respect for them. Many companies would have chastized their employees for coming out and saying what they thought, some even would have ran such an employee out of the company, but not them. They instead have supported their angry employee and want to have more dialog with her. Does this sound like an evil corporation to you?
Actually I have great hope for their XAML language as it looks a lot like ColdFusion, but more powerful. In an earlier article I referenced my hope that Microsoft would get ColdFusion because I think they would know what to do with it. I like Microsoft SQL Server 2000 a lot. I hadn't worked with it because MySQL could do everything that I needed to do, but MSSQL2000 is fast and the tools are fantastic. I was hoping that Longhorn would be excellent, but that hope is diminishing with every feature they push back. Why would they release a photo editing suite? This seems like a waste of time to me. Adobe has the market cornered, no one is going to break their grip unless they have something completely off the wall, and Microsoft ain't got it.
Anyway, back to the topic. There is wierd stuff going on at Microsoft, and good stuff. It is clear that they value their employees' opinions and encourage thought. And when you are bringing someone on, you are looking for passion, drive, and intelligence. Big companies need to realize that people with those traits exist outside of huge corporations. There is plenty of innovation going on at small companies, the sooner they realize that and stop throwing away resumes with no big names on it, the sooner they'll replenish their dwindling supply of talent.