As we near the end of 2007, I was reflecting back and realizing that this year has been an amazing one for us in Developer Division at Microsoft. We delivered a number of innovations, technologies and products to you. We have released the first version of Expression Studio, the first version of Silverlight, IIS7.0 Beta, Visual Studio 2008, .NET Framework 3.5, Popfly beta, Parallel Extensions for the .NET Framework CTP, and more.
I have always said that this kind of incredible success and momentum is possible only through the great people that we have. Over the past several years it’s been exciting to watch how our existing team and the new people who joined us have worked together to deliver great new products. To continue this success and innovation we must continue to recruit great people and give them the right environment to develop their ideas and create great software.
Simply put, we need people that will help us grow and grow with us.
I personally spend about 10% of my time recruiting – sometimes for developer division and sometimes for other parts of the company. This takes many forms – interviewing, talking to the youngest MCP in the world (a 9 year old kid) who could be a great MS hire some day, talking to a 7th grader in Russia who won the International Math Olympiad and can be a great MS engineer in the future, talking at universities, staying in touch with smart people that I went to school with or industry folks that I have interacted with in some context or the other, building relationships with people that could be a great hire for us either tomorrow or the next month or the next year or even the next decade. I consider it an important part of my job to ensure that we are constantly looking for hiring the next great person into MS.
We are always looking for great people who have a passion to solve hard problems through software. I encourage people in my team to spend a part of their time to cultivate relationships and think about how we can continue getting the best and brightest from around the world to be a part of Microsoft.
Here are some suggestions that I mention to people – When you have a great technical conversation with someone, ask yourself if he or she would be good to work with. If you sit next to someone on an airplane who is passionate about technology and software, ask yourself whether he or she has a place at MS. Think about your social network and other people that are smart and passionate like you – family, college friends, neighbors, etc. Don’t limit your thinking to just jobs in your team – we need great people at all levels, in all teams, across the division and the company. If you come across a blogger who stands out in terms of passion or innovative ideas, think about whether they should be on your team.
No matter what organization or company we are a part of, each of us want to interact with and work with other great people. It does mean that each and every one of us needs to do our part.
Wish you all Happy Holidays.