Smug Microsoft Interviewers

As a computer consultant since the 70's, I have done more interviewing than God.

OK, maybe not that many but average a minimum of 2 a week for 30 years and it comes out to roughly 3000 interviews or so.

I'm pretty good at it and those skills come in handy for public speaking or starting a conversation in a bar.

Anyway in the last six months I have had interviews with at least four different groups at Microsoft. They usually call me every six months or so.

The disturbing trend is that now I get interviewers whose main interest seems to be in letting me know how smart they are.

What got me going on this is that I had yet another one of those interviews with a smug interviewer who started off by asking me what the difference is between BizTalk 2002 and BizTalk 2004. Seeing how I only use the current version which 2006, my unspoken mental reaction was "Who gives a s--t?"

Anyway this interview went on endlessly forcing me to re-evaluate my occupation and wonder exactly how much money one could make driving an ice cream truck.

The Dip by Seth Godin

I'm not a follower or regular reader of Seth Godin, but I saw his new book, The Dip for $12.95 at Borders or for $5 on CD (with Seth himself actually reading which answered my question of how he pronounces his last name).

Seth has a good speaking voice, the material was fairly well organized and for $5, I think I got my money's worth.

It's an interesting piece on knowing when to quit or when to stick with it.

Sicko by Michael Moore

Michael Moore's new film, Sicko, about the health insurance industry opens June 29th.

Go see it!

Windows Vista - May 2007

I have spoken with dozens of people who either upgraded to Windows Vista or got it pre-installed on a new PC, since its launch on Jaunuary 29th of this year.

So far everyone I have talked with HATES Windows Vista.

Sirius Radio

My favorite channel is 33, played LOUD.
Good stuff at least 80% of the time.

MSN stiffed me for $10,000

Yeah I got a contract to recreate three InfoPath forms for MSN. Seems that MSN blew off their SharePoint servers and had no backups for their InfoPath forms. Considering that these forms are used on a world wide basis as a trouble ticket system, this probably was embarrassing. So rather than admit to anyone within Microsoft as to what had happened, MSN contracted me through a third party to recreate these forms.

Well I finished reconstructing and unit testing the forms yesterday and then received an email from the third party company that I was no longer on the project.

Part of the issue was that MSN would have to let me install the forms on their network (due to a variety of complex issues) and they hadn't figured that into their scope of work.

So, MSN still owes me $10,000 for the forms.

P.S. If anyone out there would like a nice InfoPath-based trouble ticket system, I can develop one for you for a pretty inexpensive amount!

P.P.S. Got $2500 out of them. Better than nothing and cheaper than a lawsuit.

America is Humpty Dumpty

America is falling down.
I'm writing this post not from a state of depression, but from a point of observation. This is just a knee-jerk rant/reaction to the overwhelming glut of "news" and information. Our borders are no more secure today than they were before 9/11. We have 12 million illegal immigrants who think they should be rewarded with citizenship and all the other privileges of our society because they snuck into our country like a thief in the night. Bill Gates (and other CEOs) wants the H1B visa program to have no limits because "there aren't enough qualified Americans willing to work for $100,000 at year at Microsoft". Faceless corporate America is now the enemy of the people. Pharmaceutical companies want to have vitamins and other supplements removed from over the counter sales to be only available via presciption. The federal government under pressure from companies like Wal-Mart has now bastardized the term "organic" to be practically meaningless relative to the source of food. Monsanto wants the milk labels banned to refer to milk coming from cows that haven't been ingesting Monsanto-modified grains. We have wasted thousands of lives and billions of dollars in Iraq for no meaningful purpose. The country appears to be headed into a third world structure of rich and poor with no middle class. A country of extemes: haves versus have-nots.
Yes, like Humpty Dumpty, America is falling down and all the King's horsemen cannot put it back together again.
It makes one wonder what we can all do together in the present to salvage the future of our lives.