Not a blog, just pure hype.
08.30.04 This isn't particularly new, but I just noticed it. There's a site that lets you look up the book in libraries around the world. It won't let you do the entire United States, but you can find all the libraries in a single state that have a copy.
06.28.04 Ryan Anderson, discussing How Would You Move Mount Fuji?, mentions that it "relies heavily" on my book.
06.18.04 Adam Ulrich (an SDET at Microsoft) discussed interviewing at Microsoft on his blog, and in the comments someone asked if they had read my book, in which I "rant negatively about testers" (or so they claim). I responded myself further down in the comments, which led to a followup entry from (the other) Adam, and another comment from me.
12.02.03 Michael Cote (see below) noticed my point about the looming importance of testing.
11.12.03 Hmmm, this page got linked to by Don Box (scroll down to "New (and not so new) blogs I'm reading", permalink doesn't work for some reason) and also Scoble. You'd almost think this was a blog. But look! It's done in FrontPage (2000, no less)!! No RSS feed!!! Although this does bring up the question of whether I should start a blog when I start at Microsoft next week. It is tempting to start writing down my thoughts on Microsoft, Monad, public transit, standardized testing, highway signage, long-span bridge aesthetics, etc, etc for all the world to see. On the other hand, I already have 4 websites I nominally own (and I rarely update any of them), plus I'll have a job, kids, a book to finish, and my wife might like to talk to me once in a while.
10.29.03 Someone who went to the PDC talked to the team building the new command shell for Longhorn and came away impressed (scroll down to last paragraph): "This is great as it's been a long time problem with Windows that it doesn't have a decent shell architecture. Adam Barr wrote about this in his book 'Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters'." Yes indeed! You can see the session on this here (search for ARC334). And in other exciting news, I am going back to work for Microsoft on that very team, starting November 17.
10.01.03 Cameron Martin mentions me on the Recently Reading section of his blog. He calls it "somewhat indulgent" and "way too self-serving".
09.15.03 John Cormie mentions a comment I posted about Microsoft recruiting.
09.01.03 I noticed that Roshan James, a Microsoft MVP who works in Bangalore, India, has me on his links page (Roshan is a Lord of the Rings fan).
08.17.03 Paul Robichaux, author and consultant, is disappointed with the book; "Barr spends almost no time talking about the actual experience of being a developer at MS (except to rant about the breaking-the-build process), which is why I wanted to read the book in the first place." Can't please 'em all, I suppose. I thought I did spend a fair bit of time talking about the actual experience of being a developer at MS (chapters 3, 5, 6, 7, and 16 in particular talk about just that). I've heard this complaint before and I'm not sure what people want. Do they want actual hints on how to do their job ("I always use lower-case letters for local variable names"), or war stories ("Since the variable was declared LARGE_INTEGER, initializing it with 0 broke the build, much to Cutler's annoyance") or just gossip about famous people ("Bill Gates' pants fell off and he wasn't wearing any underwear")? Anyway, Paul, being a developer at Microsoft isn't as exciting as you might think, but if you have a specific question, email me and I'll try to answer it.
07.25.03 Michael Cote (accent-grave on the e), in his blog Drunk and Retired (a title I think is only about 25% accurate), has a brief excerpt from my book. "Mostly, it's just fun to read about the work-life of a programmer, esp. from the early 90's before the Internet craze hit."
07.08.03 Paul Vick, Microsoft blogger, describes how he has a "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters" button, which led him (via Google search) to this site and my history of the button.
06.15.03 Amber Star links to the book (and points out it can be read online) in her blog. In the future, maybe all text will be orange on green!
06.01.03 Robert Scoble, A-list blogger who recently went to work for Microsoft, mentioned that he was almost done reading the copy of the book I sent him. He also mentioned it a few of days before. He works as an evangelist, one of the main points of the book, so we'll see what he has to say.
03.25.03 Here's a guy who bought a copy of my book a while ago, but when he went to read it he discovered that inside the cover, the contents were actually a different book. The book he received was published by a different print-on-demand company (in fact one that does not charge up front), but evidently they are both printed at the same place.
03.05.03 There is a link to the book on the Interesting Articles page of Computing Science 213: Introduction to Software Engineering at Capilano College in British Columbia. It recommends chapter 3 for an explanation of the Microsoft software life cycle model.
02.19.03 Posting in the newsgroup lucky.freebsd.chat, Paul Robinson explains my theory about how Microsoft software was designed by program managers and thus appeals to average users, while free software will likely always be designed by developers (scroll down near the bottom) and thus may have a hard time going mainstream. He gets it basically correct, except that a) I am not saying that the "era of the tester" is upon us -- only that it would be healthy for Microsoft if it were and b) my first name is Adam, not Andrew.
01.27.03 Peter Coffee, writing for eWeek, mentions the book in an article about "The End-to-End Encryption Trend." He actually references it just in passing, he really is talking about my article on TCPA and Palladium (which he kindly links to also).
01.26.03 Someone named Warren Stevens (I think, or maybe it's his wife Tamara), who has a blog called catzooks, listed my book among those he (she?) read in 2002. "Overall, his analysis is fairly good - he mostly hits the nail on the head, although there are certainly times where he seems off base". WARNING: if you go look at his site you might get hooked looking at pictures and stories about their adorable son. "Tristan has decided that anything that's not immediately appealing (i.e. what he wants right now) he will pick up with his hand, non-chalantly move to the side of his tray, and drop on the floor. Looks right at you when he does this." Hmm. Where have I seen that. Oh yes, it was at dinner at our house tonight.
01.24.03 John Walkenbach (see below) must have noticed my comment about the Purchase Circles, because he corrects himself. The interesting thing is that I did not email that info to him, I only posted it here. So does he scan the Web for links to his site the way I scan the Web for links to mine? Only one way to find out, and you're reading it. Will this create an endless loop of circular references? It can't hurt, since he also mentions he has sold 1,245,201 copies of his books, which puts him somewhere north of 1,240,000 ahead of me.
01.17.03 In alt.folklore.computers, Simon Lyall mentions the various demo foibles that I discuss in the book.
01.17.03 John Walkenbach, a computer book author, includes my book in his brief mention of amazon.com purchase circles, where he lists the "top 5 books purchased by Microsoft employees." This list is a bit suspicious though. First of all, two of the books are out of print, and one is a special order (if you go to the longer ten-item list, five of them are out of print). Also, are a book on Japanese and its accompanying workbook really two of the top ten sellers at Microsoft? Well, it turns out that this list is the top books that are "uniquely popular" at Microsoft (meaning unusually so compared to elsewhere), as opposed to the actual bestsellers at Microsoft. That list is here, and contains the usual suspects: Harry Potter and C# (plus the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! -- guess there are some nervous Microsoft parents out there). Also, I think those Purchase Circles have not been updated in at least a year (even the real Microsoft bestseller list has two out-of-print books).
01.08.03 In an article cross-posted to various newsgroups, A wise person named Frans Bouma explains that my book will answer all the mysteries of Microsoft (or at least a few of them).
12.27.02 Matt Goyer (see item below) was kind enough to mention the book to his friend John Cormie, who was then inspired to produce a long commentary on interviewing in general, during the course of which he calls the link to the book the "best link ever."
12.27.02 A University of Waterloo student named Matt Goyer mentions the book in his blog. "The bottom line is that you should read the first 40 pages if you've ever interviewed or dreamed of interviewing with Microsoft."
12.06.02 A student at North Carolina State University quoted my book in his paper "Work Issues in Software Engineering." Me, Dilbert, and Edward Yourdon. An interesting paper actually. The class is a graduate school course on Software Engineering.
11.14.02 Mark Rittman calls the book "a good read" on his recently read books page.
11.01.02 I noticed that the University of California at Berkeley (which is known as California on the West Coast and Berkeley on the East Coast, don't know why) recently acquired a copy of my book for its Business and Economics library (scroll down a ways, it's right there after Lou Gerstner's book). Now isn't that nice?
10.25.02 Dan Sanderson (who works at amazon.com of all places) mentions the book in his blog, BrainLog (scroll down to the October 25th entry).
10.13.02 The owner of the Official Microflaccid Web Page (don't be fooled by imitators, this is the official one) says he is "eager" to read my book and promises he'll do so with an open mind.
09.02.02 The Microsoft Boycott Campaign, in its latest Boycott Bulletin, added my book to its recommended list! Be sure to check out the "Stop Paying Bills" merch.
07.31.02 Andrew Johnson mention me in his list of books he has read. "Quite a lot of padding" he says. Perhaps "padding" is a British term that means something good?
05.23.02 In reference to my article on TCP/IP and Microsoft, Bob Ristroph discusses the book and website.
02.22.02 Jason Scott added most of chapter 14 to the history section of textfiles.com, an archive designed to preserve and celebrate posts to the Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) that existed back in the ancient days of computing before the World Wide Web (i.e. before 1995). Jason is also making a documentary about BBSes.
02.17.02 A brief review of the book on rawbrick.net. "The parts on Microsoft's corporate recruiting and software evangelism are fascinating. The computer history and personal adventures weren't so illuminating..."
02.09.02 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (a blog) mentions the book. No word on which of the three it was.
02.08.02 Andrew Leonard reviewed the book at salon.com. A very positive review, with a great ending: "In a recent e-mail, Barr told me that he is now considering returning to the company, after a couple of years spent writing and parenting. After reading his account, I feel compelled to wish him good luck. Microsoft needs more programmers like him." This was linked to, among others, by Techdirt and this Italian site with an amusing name.
12.15.01 The Elliott Bay Book Company, a great local bookstore, mentioned my book in the Browsing the Computer Section column in their Winter 2001 Booknotes. Now I have been mentioned in the same article as The Soul of a New Machine, I can die a happy man.
12.01.01 A publication called Student Alive posted a review. "The result has something for a range of people: those curious about Microsoft, involved in debates about the merits of open source, responsible for recruitment and management of programmers, or just interested in computing history."
10.24.01 I was mentioned in the Techsploitation column in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Annalee Newitz suggests (sarcastically) that we self-censor all possibly inappropriate material, to prevent people having to over-react to it. The article at one point says, "you should consider spending your time reading good, clean things whose contents will arouse no suspicion at all," then recommends my book: "The feds will never nab you for carrying this book in your knapsack." I don't know anything about the Bay Guardian, but I suspect it's the local home of Ernie Pook's Comeek etc. In which case it is even funnier that she read the title straight, since detached irony is a hallmark of such magazines. No such thing as bad publicity of course.
10.01.01 A web marketing firm called Haystack in a Needle listed the book one their recommendations page. "If you only read the chapters related to the interviewing process as Microsoft, you'll get plenty of value out of this book." The other stuff isn't bad either, honest.
09.25.01 Another blog mention. Steven Champeon of a jaundiced eye lists it in his "what i'm reading" section (may I suggest e.e. cummings?). "I spent a great deal of time reading about Microsoft back in August, and with the exception of Adam Barr's Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters, every single book I read pretty much sucked." Sounds like I found my cover blurb. Go buy Steven's book.
09.13.01 Bill Says This (that's the title of a blog) reviews the book.
09.01.01 Now check this out. An obviously visionary University of Colorado Department of Communication Professor named Kirsten Broadfoot has included my book in her list of suggested book report subjects for her class COMM 2600 Organizational Communication. Check out #15 near the bottom, right in there with books like Fast Food Nation and Kitchen Confidential. Better yet, some dude named Jeff signed up to do a report on December 13. The class "provides a communicatively-based definition of formal organization and deals with individual-organizational relationships by means of the concepts of identification and commitment. Motivation, authority, power, control, and ethics are treated from a rhetorical perspective." I.e., developers and program managers bitching at each other.
08.25.01 Netsurfer Focus included my book in a list of Microsoft readings for use as background to the antitrust suit. "Wanders into the weeds as programmers are sometimes wont" -- guilty!!
08.18.01 An Australian company called Caslon Analytics mentioned the book in a roundup of books about Microsoft. Hmmm, what does "thin" mean? Well, it's better than "thick.".
08.15.01 The illustrious Dave Winer once again mentioned my book, in reference to the discussion on Breaking Windows.
08.12.01 Alex of the Unknown Last Name mentions the book in his blog. Also mentions that he read the whole thing online, which is fine with me.
07.23.01 This newsletter excerpt actually links to a review of the book in Computer User magazine, but includes its own take: "purports to give an insider's view of Microsoft, but it pulls too many punches and is too easy to put down. Still, it's worth a read."
07.10.01 The indefatigable Mr. Stone reviewed my book in one of his Crash and Trash features called "Image Problems." This was linked to by Winer and Gillmor and also John Rhodes and Bill Lazar.
07.02.01 By request, I wrote a story for Victor Stone's site about my experience publishing the book.
06.30.01 Victor Stone, former Microsoftie, current writer/blogger, had some kind things to say about the book.
06.25.01 I posted a long comment on A List Apart about the technical basis behind Smart Tags, which Dan Gillmor was kind enough to link to.
06.24.01 Mark Paschal's blog includes a mention of the missing chapter posted elsewhere on this site.
06.24.01 Computer User magazine -- the other freebie one you get in local grocery stores -- reviewed the book. "Because if you've taken any interest in the company and its legal foibles during the last decade -- whether you love Microsoft with a passion or you can't wait to see Linux take over the computing world -- you won't want to pass up the chance to read Adam Barr's 'Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: What I Learned in Ten Years as a Microsoft Programmer'."
06.21.01 Stephen Norrie links to the book from his weblog, pointing out that it has a description of the role of Microsoft program manager.
06.21.01 Edward Bilodeau links to the online text of the book (look for June 21 entry), which he confesses he hasn't read yet. Bilodeau happens to live a few miles from where I grew up and teaches at McGill, where my father is a Professor Emeritus.
06.21.01 Danny Yee reviewed my book. Even better, this was posted to Slashdot!
06.20.01 I was mentioned in an article on an Italian website, discussing an article about Microsoft's TCP/IP history that I wrote for Kuro5hin. The author mentions that my sottotitolo is very eloquente: "Cosa ho imparato in dieci anni da programmatore Microsoft". I like it! Actually based on the Babel Fish translation I think he summarizes my point slightly wrong, but so be it. Clicca qui indeed!
06.18.01 A former Microsoft tester named David Brown recalls that we were both hired by Brian Valentine. I vaguely remember the name, I think he was one of the testers on the low-level networking code (network card drivers and transports) that I worked on for NT 3.1/3.5.
06.15.01 Computer Source magazine, one of those free ones you get at the grocery store, reviewed the book. Unfortunately the review is not online. "I enjoyed this book immensely, but I must warn you that it's really three different books aimed at three distinct audiences, all mixed together...As much as I enjoyed this book and its many insights, the switchbacks from one viewpoint and audience to another were sometimes hard to follow. Sometimes Barr appears to be speaking to the general public, sometimes to the computer community at large and sometimes to developers like himself -- but it's always interesting."
06.10.01 Dave Winer mentioned my book in his blog (scroll down near the bottom).
05.08.01 The CEO of a (very) small startup, Particle Corporation, read my book and liked it. He mentioned it in his running news page (look for the May 8th entry). Not sure exactly what this company does, but obviously the CEO has great taste in books. "The book is not technical, and whatever programming examples are presented are very well explained so that anybody without any sort of computer experience will be able to figure out what is being talked about. I definitely recommend it!"
05.04.01 I was on the Alex Bennett show on CNET Radio on May 4, but no audio is available.
05.02.01 Adam Vandenburg, author of the Flangy News, mentioned the book. This guy was asked "Kanji backspace" during a Microsoft interview!
05.02.01 A brief review of my book was posted on Midwest Book Review. "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters is 'must' reading for anyone curious about how Microsoft really operates within its corporate inner sanctums," it says.
05.01.01 I was mentioned in flyingchihuahuas, a blog by a Seattleite named Greg Franklin. "An interesting read, different in tone from the usual Microsoft B-school bait. It episodically meanders from topic to topic, with no grand summary of the meaning of Bill. Thank goodness." He included a link to an interesting 1994 article about platforms by Dave Winer.
04.25.01 The Daily Princetonian ran an article about me on April 25, 2001.
04.21.01 A blogger named Kalei Awana heard the interview: "Very pro-microsoft, which isn't surprising, but interesting nonetheless."
04.21.01 My interview from April 21, 2001 on the WebTalkGuys radio show can be heard in either Real Audio or Windows Media format.
04.08.01 A year after first hearing about print-on-demand, my book is available. Here are my thoughts on the process. This was linked to by this page, which has more information on POD.
03.29.01 Here is a short story I wrote, about future knowledge workers whose services are so in demand that they reside permanently inside shipping containers.
03.21.01 The first chapter of my book was excerpted on the Princeton Alumni Weekly's site. Warning: this includes a picture of me.
03.06.01 I was mentioned on this Portuguese site. Seems to be about evangelism, hopefully it says nice things about the book.
03.05.01 I was mentioned in a blog called Absolute Piffle, a blog maintained by a former manager of mine named Richard Gillmann (scroll down to the March 5th entry).
02.04.00 That's right, set the wayback machine to when I still worked at Microsoft. As part of the ship festivities for Windows 2000, Brian Valentine came up with a program called Windows 2000 Door to Door, in which every employee in his division went out to meet customers, anywhere they desired in the world. Since it was the middle of winter I naturally picked Alaska, and lo and behold I found myself doing an interview on a show called Capital Chat, which was covered in the local paper (sixth item down).
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