I worked at Microsoft for almost exactly half of 1989-2009. I would not work for them again. In 1989-90 we loved the place; they treated us great and the understood that we need to be uninterrupted to do our best work.

By 1991 that understanding was vanishing and in a few more years it was like it had never been. In their expansion after the release of Windows 3 they changed from a software company to a business company, and now they're adrift at sea, following every idiotic fad there is. TDD, Agile, nothing is too stupid for Microsoft.

My father died at the end of 2008. When I came back from his funeral something had changed; we had meetings (I had explicitly asked to be relieved of all meetings) where they were clearly trying to goad me into a blowup, like a code review where people asked me questions in a tone of voice like someone trying to start a fight in a tavern.

Then they made me pair program; that was it. About the most uncomfortable three hours of my life, and I quit my job the next day. Eleven years later, a few months ago, I put myself into counseling because I realized the experience had left me with PTSD (I thought one had to be in a war for that).

Microsoft is a big company. It stopped being a great company decades ago. My managers on my last gig were idiots. They wanted me to tear apart my release-ready project to make it unit-testable; it was only a few screens of code. But they wanted to check that box. Checking boxes is a lot of what MS is about now.

A friend of mine does real estate in Redmond, a lot of Microsoft clients; she told me nobody likes it there anymore. And Ballmer is gone.

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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