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September 04, 2007

Hey Genius!

Microsoft has a new site for college recruiting at hey-genius.com.

I like the idea that we're going for here, which is to try to be a bit irreverent (go check out the site to see just how irreverent it is). The site redirects to our existing college recruiting site to get to the real meat (job listings, campus visit calendar, etc), but it has some of its own content. And there's a discussion forum, which is good. Even if it just takes the kinds of questions that now occur on jobsblog (which mentioned "Hey Genius" today) and moves them into this Forum, that could be very encouraging to potential hires. To me Microsoft feels like an old t-shirt, to the outside world it can appear like a giant impenetrable fortress, so why not put a friendly/goofy face on it (although I think we could deliver a stronger message to potential college hires than just "waahh we're wild and crazy developers!").

I'm not crazy about a couple of things. I think the biggest foopa they make is on the very first page, where they imply you need an IQ of 140 to get a job at Microsoft. I know this is a "joke", but you never get a second chance to make a first clickthrough impression, and to me it comes across as elitist and unnecessary (the "high brainwidth/low brainwidth" joke is decent, but it would have to be a lot funnier to make the first page acceptable. To paraphrase Roger Rabbit, you can only do it if it's funny).

Also, in the "Genius 2 Genius" section you can take a challenge to write test cases for a sort routine, which I think is a fantastic idea for the site. Unfortunately the challenge itself, which is written in Flash, hangs both IE and Firefox (interestingly, when it hangs Firefox I get a general message about Firefox crashing; when it hangs IE I get a message saying that the Flash player hung. This is mostly one of those "Why are you telling me, I just want the POC to work" messages, although the IE one then allows Microsoft to direct you to Adobe's site to download the latest Flash player, not that that actually fixes anything. And I don't think the more specific hang attribution is an evil Microsoft plot; I'm sure there is some API Firefox could call to get the same effect). Anyway the obvious message is if you create a new site with little games in it, make them work.

You should check out the site if you are curious, or want to make fun of it, or just want to find the place where the wigged-out Pilgrim says "Marry! I doth spot a brainacopia."

Posted by AdamBa at September 4, 2007 09:39 PM

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