Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft's personnel puzzle

Filed under
Microsoft

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

Ubuntu Touch OTA-14 Officially Released with Revamped Unity 8 Interface, Fixes

A few moments ago, we've been informed by Canonical's Lukasz Zemczak about the general availability of the long-anticipated Ubuntu Touch OTA-14 software update for Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet devices. Read more Also: Ubuntu OTA-14 Released, Fixes A Number Of Bugs

Cloud convenience is killing the open source database

Open source has never been more important or, ironically, irrelevant. As developers increasingly embrace the cloud to shorten time to market, they're speeding past open source, making it even harder to build an open source business. After all, if open source were largely a way for developers to skirt legal and purchasing departments to get the software they needed when they needed it, the cloud ups that convenience to the nth degree. In Accel's annual business review, the vaunted venture capital firm writes: "'Product' is no longer just the bits of software, it's also how the software is sold, supported, and made successful." The cloud is changing the way all software is consumed, including open source. Read more

Why the operating system matters even more in 2017

Operating systems don't quite date back to the beginning of computing, but they go back far enough. Mainframe customers wrote the first ones in the late 1950s, with operating systems that we'd more clearly recognize as such today—including OS/360 from IBM and Unix from Bell Labs—following over the next couple of decades. Read more

OpenGov Partnership members mull open source policy

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) will suggest to its member governments to create a policy on open source. This week, a draft proposal is to be finalised at the OGP Global Summit in Paris. Read more