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October 08, 2008

Passing the Torch

I recently went to a talk by David Treadwell, a Microsoft VP who was a contemporary of mine in the early days of NT. He was discussing his career and mentioned that one of the things that inspired him to want to work on a project like NT was having read The Soul of a New Machine when he was younger. In fact he said it in an offhand way, as if this was quite common for people in that generation.

I don't know how common it is, but I certainly was also inspired by the book. Which is why it warms the cockles of my heart when somebody comes up to me after a class and says that my book inspired them to come work at Microsoft. It doesn't happen that often (three times in the last year, I think), and I suspect if everybody who had ever read the book showed up it wouldn't make much of a dent in our hiring goals, but it is still nice to hear. Even the guy who said he read the book and was inspired to turn down an offer to work in Test, which probably reflects a misunderstanding of what I wrote (he eventually wound up as a developer). I guess if one of them ever writes a book, then Tracy Kidder will be a grand-dad.

Posted by AdamBa at October 8, 2008 09:44 PM