It is great people that make us successful!

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.



Comments (17)

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  1. Sarath says:

    Hi Soma,

    It’s great inspiration for people like me to reach MS.


    Wish you happy holidays!

  2. Somasegar says:

    Thanks Sarath for the kind words.  Happy Holidays to you as well!


  3. thaaanos says:

    Actually it’s nice to see people giving people credit for success, after all as capitalism has evolved and Industry has shifted, it’s the mind that has replaced the machine, it’s the mind that is the Capital – raising some questions though on who owns the capital, but that’s another story -.

    My objection is that in my mind as a developer Microsoft is *far* from successfull. If someone looks at the Capital of Microsoft and it’s Return would be greatly dissapointed.

    Where is the innovation? you guys keep reinnovating the wheel… antagonize with the rest of the big players at who does it better, and keep reshuffling the old cards.


    what makes .NET better than Java honest?

    what makes C# more innovative than C++?

    what gives Sql Server the edge over other RDBMSs?

    what makes vista different than XP?

    1. Where is my immersive Desktop?

    2. Will I use a windowing desktop untill I die? is that the best interface between humans and computers?

    2. Did the 64 bit evolution mean nothing how about 128 still

    the same old OS arch just a recompilation or we just ignore/mask the shift with a VM?

    3. Will I still need to add drivers to any hardware I attach? why can’t  the device use it’s own cpu/mem – run it’s own service process and talk with the OS with IPC or IP – we got microkernels! use them! nobody said we need only one per system!

    4. Relational DBs old story, what’s next?

    5. VMs where is my Harware support for that where is my MSIL processor? where is my hardware support for ADS ie trees,lists,queues?

    6. Untill when will programming be based in B&W ascii files?

    and the list keeps going…

  4. Mehrdad says:

    It’s really nice to hear these words from the person who leads devdiv at Microsoft.

    Yeah, you’re right. it’s passion that makes people do amazing things. it’s passion that makes people love what they do and put their job in front of other things in their life. Passionate people always talk about their passion without being worried of what others think of them. They’re proud of what they’re doing. They don’t expect many things but they like to be able to focus on what they love to do. They wish they didn’t have to be worried about other problems in life. They love to work with smart people. Actually, they like to do their job the best way they can. and Microsoft has done a good job in gathering many passionate people, but I think there are many more great minds for Microsoft to have and you should just look around. I mean there are many other guys that never had such an opportunity to become a MCP when they were 9, not because they lacked knowledge, but because other things that they couldn’t even control it (such as poverty for instance). Microsoft is a corporation that talks much about diversity, therefore, I think you should also value people who never had a chance to be known.

    I know it because I’m one of the guys who feel it. Personally, I’ve been a tech geek virtually my whole life, and due to the country that I live in (Iran), it has never been easy to pursue my passion. just to mention a single example, I think it’s enough to tell you that I had a hard time to find someone to bring VS2005 ACE Award for me, since MS can’t ship directly to my address, but I was very happy to have it. it’s not the monetary value of the gift that makes me happy. what makes this kind of stuff very important to me is that it proves me that someone is out there that values your passion, and what you do. and while it has not easy to receive it, nothing stopped me to continue contribution to VS2008 (btw, I’m searching to find a friend to bring it for me). This might look like a simple problem to many people, but it’s just an example of what kind of problems some people might have; and for a person like me, it IS important. I’ve been investing my whole life on tech, so how could I ignore it? These are things that make me enjoy my life while they might look simple and unimportant.

    While nothing can stop passionate people to solve problems, whether it’s in software, or in life, they might be more useful and happy if they could focus on what they should have been doing and they love to do.

    By the way, I have a single complaint: in the VS2005 ACE award portal, there were some stuff written about engagement opportunities in MS, but I’ve never heard about it again. what happened to it?

    finally, I would like to thank you for having such a great blog that allows direct two-way communication.

    Thank you and happy holidays,


  5. Somasegar says:

    Hi Mehrdad,

    Thanks for the note.  I do hear you when you talk about opportunities being available for everybody on an even keel.  One of the things that technology does is hopefully provide opportunities for all and let people realize their full potential no matter what walk of life they are from.

    Regarding the VS 2005 ACE award portal, I am not sure what you mean by "engagement opportunities in MS".

    Please send me mail at with specifics and we can follow up.



  6. MS Partner says:

    If you want to succeed with these new products, then Microsoft needs to seriously re-examine how it interacts with partners.  Case in point:  The Empower for ISVs web site was recently redesigned, to the point where it was offline for the entire month of November, causing problems with lapsed memberships.  The site is now pretty buggy.  Microsoft also did not work closely enough with partners who were developing applications for Vista, causing a significant lack of interest in the new OS that is apparent today.  Partners are the key to your success, and Microsoft has dropped the ball here.  If you do not address these issues we will be moving on to Ruby on Rails, Java, and other open source tools that do not require us to drive ourselves nuts trying to license your products via buggy web sites.

  7. It is great people that make us successful! by Somasegar

  8. Apurva says:

    Hi Somasegar,

    Nice website. Cool information in the form of your views. I have one question though, I have Visual Studio 2008 Express edition and it is a cool tool. It helps me develop , practice my C# knowledge.  I have a question about ParallelFX. I am interested in learning to code using that library. Any idea if this will be available using Express editions of Visual Studio.

    Namaste and well wishes for the new year.


  9. MegP_MS says:

    Apurva – Yes, the Parallel Extensions to the .NET framework CTP is available using the Express versions of Visual Studio.

  10. Apurva says:

    Thanks MegP_MS. I found out about it. Appreciate it nonetheless. I have another question in the article that appears at this site:

    there is a mention of using System.Concurrency; . I didn’t find this and also didn’t find the library System.Concurrency.dll . Any ideas?


    Warm Regards,


  11. Somasegar says:

    Thanks Apurva and wish you a very happy new year!


  12. Fun site I stumbled upon: Hey. My name is Ariel and I'm the

  13. ∈鱼杆 says:


  14. Anantha Prasad says:

    Hi Soma:

    I happened to read this blog while I was at and glad to know that you keep in touch with your fellow students that went to LSU. By the way you can contact me at asprasad Thanks

    Anantha Prasad

  15. Name says:

    If everybody at Microsofts adopts this philosophy of "hire great people – only great people", then Microsoft has a much better chance at escaping the "employee quality dilution" most large companies face, and often fail due to.

  16. Anand says:

    Really Good Insight and very nice statement…Appreciate work @ MS…

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