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13 posts

Development Fuel

Many developers live on soda. The obvious reason is the caffeine keeps the mind awake and highly functioning. Microsoft provides unlimited free soft drinks on campus mostly for this reason. I used to finish about eight cans of Diet Coke and other varieties a day when I developed there, but I soon started losing interest in carbonated drinks. Sodas began to taste like chemicals, and I started wondering whether these artificial drinks were healthy. I switched over to watery drinks like Talking Rain and Diet Ice, which are lightly flavored with fruits. The nonobvious benefit of soda is the continuous...

Not the Microsoft I Once Knew

It's been three years since I was an employee at Microsoft. I went back to Microsoft to do some contract work six months ago and my contract is expiring next Monday. I wanted to return for a short time to reconnect with my former Microsoft co-workers and learn more of the upcoming technologies. In the process, I discovered that this was not the same Microsoft as before. Employees In the three years, Microsoft overturned the stock option program and, with a series of salary hikes, raised the historically low salaries of employees substantially--like 50% or more over the course of...

Seeing Bill Gates's House

I went on a cruise with some other Microsoftees last Friday in a lake around Seattle (don't know if it is Lake Union or Lake Washington). I was able to pick out Bellevue with its skyscapers from the Eastside. Eventually, we went around Medina, and I was able to witness the homes (or mansions) of various top executives, like McCaw, who are worthed, if not billions, hundreds of millions of dollars. The houses looked surprising small; I guess it was the distance from the boat to the coastline. I saw a section of the adjunct to a house with eight...