Eleven years ago, I was in the Exchange group, working on Exchange 2000 (same as 10 years ago :)). The summer of 1999 was when Microsoft rolled out it’s “Comp2000” system which completely reworked the compensation system at Microsoft. One of the drastic changes associated with Comp2000 was a radical rethinking of how employees were ranked. Previous to this, as a developer, your level was numbered from 10 to 15, with most new hires being brought in at level 10. After this change, the levels for individual developers ran from 59 to 80. There was a fair amount of discussion about “level inflation” going on at the time :).