Sunday, May 14, 2006

Interesting Call From Microsoft Recruiting

It used to be where millions of applicants would send their resumes to Microsoft in hopes of a job. Howver, this is not your father's Microsoft anymore. The stock has been in the shitter for the past few years (I sold mine for a split-adjusted price of $30 in 2001, and the stock has never gotten higher), and the options program has been dessimated.

Somehow, a Microsoft recruiter got a hold of my name from some past colleague. There is a developer evangalist position open in the New York/New Jersey area. I happen to know the person who just left that position; he had been a familiar face at the various New Jersey .NET User Group meetings. This is not a bad position .... you get to go to companies and user groups around the NYC/NJ area and talk about the latest MS technologies from a developer perspective.

So, this recruiter kept calling and calling. I was not interested in the position at all, but I wanted to get another data point and hear what MS was offering senior-level architects and devs now. She would call me in the middle of the day, at my desk at my client, and I would patiently explain to her that I could not talk about a new job with 5 people sitting around me. She would make plans to call me in the evening, but then had to go pick up her kids somewhere, watch her neighbor's kids, etc. Always some excuse.

We finally managed to connect this week. She started to explain the job to me, but I told her that I was already very familiar with the responsibilities of the position. I told her to get down to brass tacks. What were they paying? I told her what my current base salary was so that we could start negotiating. My hopes would be that she could come close to the base,

She looked in her little black book, muttered to herself "hmmm... since this IS in the New York area, we have to give you a boost in the base", and came up with a number that is about 40% less than what I am making in base salary now.

To top it off, she then asked me why I would leave my current position for one that paid 40% less. This got me a bit steamed. I told her that:

a) It was YOU who have been persuing me, not the other way around. I never said anything about wanting to leave my current position.

b) I would NEVER leave for 40% less, unless it was topped off by outright stock grants that would raise my total comp to a figure that was way over the base (something that they will not guarantee for this position).

c) I told her that I was an avid reader of the Mini-Microsoft blog (she said something like "Oh No!"), and that under the current conditions at Microsoft, I don't think that I would be interested in subjecting myself to that type of lifestyle. In addition, I was not interested in interviewing with some 25-year old pisher who would be asking me logic questions like "How Do You Move Mount Fuji?".

She asked me if I had any colleagues who would be interested, whereby I replied that all of my colleagues who might be interested were making a lot more money than you just offered. I told her that I would never consider at MS until there was evidence of a complete culture change and/or there was sustained upwards movement in the stock price. I told her that she should study Mini-Microsoft very carefully, and note the exodus from her her company.

What an amazing turnaround for the prestige of Microsoft, a company that I used to admire. I consulted for MS for 3 years back from 198901992, writing the first front end for SQL Server. My former MS manager is a group VP, and is a millionaire many times over. But, I am afraid that most of the bright lights there have now been dimmed.

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

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