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Working at Google vs. Working at Microsoft

I have theory that Google's big problem is that the company hasn't realized that it isn't a startup anymore

More Stories By Dare Obasanjo

Dare Obasanjo is a Program Manager at Microsoft where he works on the Contacts team. The Contacts team provides back-end support for Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Expo, and related services. Obasanjo is also known for RSS Bandit, a popular .NET-based RSS reader.

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Most Recent Comments
Ray the Barbarian 07/03/08 02:21:24 PM EDT

I worked at Microsoft Research, and I had an in person interview with Google last year. It took three weeks after the interview to get a thumbs down. It took 4 weeks of phone interviews, email exchanges, and puzzles to work on at home before getting to that stage. They think raw brain power of people that do well at Top Coder is what they need. Writing great software at the million dollar level takes the right set of values. 1. Value Ease of Use. 2 Value Ease of Modifiable by Developers. 3. Value Low Rate of Bugs 4. Value Sustainable Work Pressure 5. Value Team Effort Google will gradually learn to value these more.

Compare Software to Concrete. Concrete is visible. There are only couple of hundred different use for concrete. Concrete can only break in a few ways. It is easy to see how far along you are in a concrete project. My point, software is much harder than concrete.

Spizzy 07/03/08 04:38:34 AM EDT

Not exactly an objective account. Hard to not be pro-microsoft if you reached the company's middle management position in just 2 years - check the man's resume on his website. Nepotism? Anyone?

Wonder what a "Linux fan-boy" like myself would think about taking the route of bottom-up at MicroSoft (starting from the hard-knock developer spot).

Noah Webster 07/02/08 07:40:56 PM EDT

I hate ur spelling and am glad you are not coming back.

bart 07/02/08 03:44:16 PM EDT

I know people from google very well. Google does have a lot of problems and a lot of possibilities too. But when one of the quoted says MS "has better products", I start to really tune out. Very biased based on this quote alone.

gg 07/02/08 03:25:46 PM EDT

It really surprises me that the secret the Google writes such shitty code has been a secret for so long. Just read some posts on their developers forums like this one from Google Checkout Developers Forum:

http://groups.google.com/group/google-checkout-api-troubleshooting/brows...

They seem to create a bunch of crap that does not work, get bored with it and then move on to produce some new crap that also does not function.

LedBetter 07/02/08 02:45:31 PM EDT

When I interviewed with Google I found the process and approach similar. Google innovates because they are hiring the junior engineers who are still out to make a name for themselves. Plus it's easy on the bottom line when you can pay your code monkey's peanuts.

StpOnSpidr 07/02/08 01:22:40 PM EDT

I think it's cool someone has the backbone to stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes. Good for you. I enjoyed your article very much.

Calidad 07/02/08 12:24:32 PM EDT

I am sure that there are some Costco employees who used to work for KMart who miss their old jobs, too. From a user standpoint, if the MS employees who brought us horribly dysfunctional products and services in the past return to their old jobs, thats cool. Keep all the rats in one place, and their code is easier for me to avoid.

I found this article via google news. Nuff said.

MtnGoatJoe 07/02/08 12:11:52 PM EDT

Microsoft spent 5 YEARS on Vista, and look what they came up with. The only reason it isn't a complete failure is because people feel they are required to use Microsoft's products. I did a four month contract at Microsoft. It looks great on a resume, but the company is one HUGE bureaucratic nightmare where new ideas are only good ideas if they are cheap to implement.

Scott 07/02/08 12:00:59 PM EDT

I think the "startup" focus is incorrect. Google is the Bazaar model in microcosm. For those who believe that the Bazaar model seen in the large as "the open source community model" can work to produce high-quality commercial software Google is a great place to work. For those who think enterprise-class software can only come from a Cathedral perhaps M$ would be a better choice.

Yakov Fain 07/02/08 11:48:54 AM EDT

Leaving MS/Google aside, I strongly believe that badmouthing your former employer is not professional. I blogged on this over here:
http://yakovfain.javadevelopersjournal.com/sergey_leaves_google_and_burn...

Dmitri Filatov 07/02/08 11:08:29 AM EDT

I think that some of the questions that MS asked on the interview could be considered "offensive" to a senior SE, such as reversing a string or throwing coconuts. Those questions are for juniors and look silly.

Scott 07/02/08 10:54:14 AM EDT

Well, it's wantonly obvious that Svetlin Nakov was rejected by Google. In that blog entry he just comes across as bitter and petulant toward Google, and overly impressed with himself for getting a low ball offer from MS. His account should not have even been included in this article, because I sincerely doubt he had the "choice" between the two. Otherwise I'm sure he would have jumped at the chance to mention he got an offer from Google.

Robin 07/02/08 10:38:14 AM EDT

The bloody Blackberry ad is a pain in the butt. I am frustrated and i hate ur website wont ever come back.

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