Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft's personnel puzzle

Filed under

Sorkin, who holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, said he first received an unsolicited invitation to Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters in about 2000, on the recommendation of a senior Microsoft manager.

But rather than attempt to win him over as a prize prospect--Sorkin specializes in operating system design and computer security, among other areas--Microsoft interviewers challenged him with a technical "pop quiz," he recalled. No one tried to sell him on either the company or the job, he said. He withdrew his application.

Then, during the past year, Microsoft called Sorkin to say it had scheduled a phone interview with him for another job. He hadn't applied for it, and no one had asked if he was interested.

"It displayed a certain degree of arrogance and presumption," Sorkin said. The approach also backfired: The consultant, who splits his time between Los Gatos, Calif., and Mesa, Ariz., didn't join the software maker.

Microsoft won't comment on Sorkin's claims. But he is one of many observers within and outside of Redmond who's raising questions about the way the company recruits and retains its work force. The issue has come to the fore in part because of comments made this month by internal Microsoft recruiter Gretchen Ledgard, who blasted some of her company's managers as "entitled, spoiled whiners" who assume that everyone wants to work for Microsoft.

Ledgard's comments also lifted the curtain on a broader debate about personnel practices at Microsoft, which now finds itself competing for talent with a host of new start-ups, and established rivals such as Google, IBM and Sony.

Among the charges leveled at Gates, Ballmer and crew: Job candidates have been turned off by Microsoft arrogance, and the company's extensive interview process works against hiring fresh thinkers.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Android 6.0 Marshmallow review

Android, Google’s mobile operating system, has matured a lot over the past year. It’s running on 1.4 billion devices (up from 1 billion last year) and its most popular app store, Google Play, has more than 1 billion active users. In the last quarter, IDC estimates that Android held 82.8 percent of the global smartphone market. As its newest iteration, 6.0 Marshmallow, rolls out, Android’s going incredibly, undeniably strong. Read more

At the Heart of OpenStack Evolution

As it matures, OpenStack's parallel to Linux is clearer. Linux emerged 20 years ago as a somewhat exotic challenger to proprietary operating systems. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely used OSes. However, Linux still exists in a market of mixed use. It's likely that OpenStack will be subject to the same effect, becoming a viable option among a number of cloud infrastructures. Read more

GParted Live Gets the Latest Updates from Debian Sid

GParted Live, a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for x86-based computers that can be used for creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions, has been upgraded to version 0.23.0-2 and is now available for download. Read more

MATE-Desktop 1.11 Released, Working Towards MATE 1.12

MATE developers are currently working towards MATE 1.12. MATE 1.12 is expected to have full support for GTK3, initial support for Wayland, support for GNOME Account Servers, full support for systemd's logind, xf86-input-libinput driver support, and various other changes. The work-in-progress items can be found via the MATE-Desktop Roadmap. Read more