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November 12, 2007

Writing About Microsoft Internals

I'll occasionally blog about stuff that is internal to Microsoft. It's nothing earth-shattering, but some of it (like the company meeting) is technically things that are not for public consumption. Nonetheless, every time I have considered whether to blog something publicly, I have been glad when I did it. Even with the alleged Monad "virus" (covered here, here, and here), at the time Lee Holmes and I got yelled at, but later Lee won an award from our Vice President for "deep customer engagement" or something, because of how he had handled it.

Still, whenever I post something that might be controversial, I have a slight nervous feeling wondering if somebody inside Microsoft is going to email me about it. My radar is actually pretty bad; usually the things I think might be risque go down without a ripple, and I get email asking "Why did you write that?" about things I thought were innocuous.

Mini-Microsoft is a good source of inbound links, and his most recent article features a comment I wrote about the way we rate employees during reviews (on his blog, so no actual linking to me). This is no knock on Mini; anything I write publicly is open fodder, and I'm glad to have the discussion. In fact I've also been posting followup comments there, but so far, nary a peep from anybody inside about what I wrote.

I continue to believe that it is good to discuss this externally; I would hate to have someone not come to work for Microsoft because of something they read on Mini which I thought was false. In the case of how we do reviews I think the way we do it is more fair than most companies, but of course if you're in college and have never worked anywhere, the possibility that not every manager has pure motivations might shock you. Even internal Microsoft people, who have other ways they can get their questions answered (Lisa Brummel, for one, always seems happy to answer emails), still may prefer to discuss it on Mini (or may have no other location they feel they can discuss it).

(Incidentally if you want some "inside Microsoft" info, the Seattle Times this weekend had a good package about our new building design; check out the "Related Links" section for maps and other info.)

The notion of the "Kim" which has evolved on Mini is great in a way, because it shows that the community there is evolved enough to come up with that kind of term and the associated connotations. What was it Jessica Shattuck wrote...soon we'll have our own method of brewing beer? It's just unfortunate that this wonderful thing has happened around a term that I don't like. Well, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your online community's lexicon.

Posted by AdamBa at November 12, 2007 04:55 PM

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