Joel on Software - “Two Stories” - Fortune

Joel on Software - “Two Stories”

I would have been perfectly happy to leave it at that. If the Apps Architecture team needed care and feeding and wanted to argue about stuff, that was OK, I would argue with them as much as they wanted as long as they left the programmers alone to do their work. But then something even more interesting happened that blew my mind. I was sitting at lunch with some coworkers, in the Redmond sun, when Pete Higgins came up to me. At that time Pete was the general manager for Office -- I knew who he was, of course, but didn’t expect that he knew me very well.

- “How’s it going, Joel?” he asked.

“I hear you’ve been having some issues with the App Architecture group.”

- “Oh no!” I said. “Nothing I can’t handle.”

- “Say no more,” he said, “I understand.” He left.

By the next day the rumor had gotten back to me: the App Architecture group was disbanded. Not only that, but each member of the group was sent to a different department at Microsoft, as far apart as possible. I never heard from them again. I was blown away, of course. At Microsoft, if you’re the Program Manager working on the Excel macro strategy, even if you’ve been at the company for less than six months, it doesn’t matter - you are the GOD of the Excel macro strategy, and nobody, not even employee number 6, is allowed to get in your way. Period.

Author Joel Spolsky
Work Two Stories