PM at Microsoft

While at Stanford this week I was asked by a number of PM (program manager) candidates to talk about the PM role at Microsoft.  The PM role is unique to Microsoft and was actually created in response to developing software that is more usable and at the same time pushes the state of the art…

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Bureaucracy. Threat or menace? Either, both, or neither? Or it depends!

bu·reauc·ra·cy  a. Management or administration marked by hierarchical authority among numerous offices and by fixed proceduresb. The administrative structure of a large or complex organization   I was able to spend the day today with students at Harvard Business School.  I was fortunate enough to meet a number of second year students and was invited…

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Seattle: The Emerald City (Really!)

It is not the heat, it is the humidity.– David Letterman (ok not really, but it was a catch phrase for a while) No matter where you live, people can find a reason to complain about the weather (or is it weather forecasting?).  Seattle is no different and while we call it the “Emerald City”…

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The 100 hour work week: believe it or not?

So how much and how hard do you have to work at Microsoft to be successful? I was asked this question by a graduating student who has an offer from Microsoft to be a software design engineer. Actually the question was “do I have to work 100 hours a week to be successful?”I went back…

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What do managers do and how big should my team be?

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.Butcher, in Shakespeare’s King Henry VI The first thing we do, let’s fire all the managers.Just about every employee at one time or another since the 1911 release of Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management Today I thought I would talk a little about a topic…

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The path to GM — some thoughts on becoming a general manager

The recruiting season is getting underway and shortly we’ll be “at a college near you” looking to connect.  I will be at Harvard Business School the first week of October, where I’ll visit some classes and also participate in a career fair.  I hope to see some readers there! I met this week with one…

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Yesterday’s memories may sparkle and gleam, tomorrow is still but a dream.

This year just like every year, I am very involved in recruiting students from college campuses to work on our product development teams.  I’ve been active in recruiting since I arrived on campus at Microsoft—I think I probably still hold some sort of record for the most interview lunches in a given recruiting season.  Every…

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Where should I work? Global development of Microsoft Office.

“Are you able to shed any light on how much software development takes places outside of the US? Or indeed, what happens at which Microsoft sites around the world? Why would a new grad come to Seattle to work for Microsoft when he can work for Google in Mountain View, New York City or Zurich?”…

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Release timing and Office products — how fast is fast enough?

I’ve been asked quite a bit by people interviewing at Microsoft about “software release”.  This post will talk about our strategy around product releases for Office products, since we have been pretty consistent over the years and this represents a balance between some competing interests. The topic comes up because there has been a lot…

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Dev (or SDE) at Microsoft

As we hit the college campuses for the second half of recruiting, it seemed like a good idea to pick up where we left off. Development at Microsoft Let’s talk about development at Microsoft and what it is like to be a Software Design Engineer (or SDE as we call them, or just “dev”).  My…

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