Bob & Yag come to MSCOM

For all the good and bad about Microsoft, the most important part of anyone's experience is the set of people you work with and for. Are they passionate, excited, and convinced they can change the world? Do they have that contagious enthusiasm that brings everyone's performance up a notch? In sports, there's a way of describing players that is the ultimate compliment: they make everyone else on the team better. They always used to use that phrase to describe players like Larry Bird or Magic Johnson, but it isn't always about all-star performance. Having that contagious enthusiasm can do that. For example, any Red Sox fan can tell you how important Kevin Millar was to their 2004 championship team, but he wasn't one of the top five players on the team--he just knew how to get the team going and believing. As a manager, the most important thing you can do is bring in talented people that have that effect.. I was fortunate enough to continually inherit great talent when I got to this position, but at some point, someone starts asking "hey, who'd you bring to the party?" Good question. We've been feeding the pipeline with some solid candidates and I feel like the collective talent gets better with every new hire (including going back to patterns & practices to bring over Jonathan Wanagel, who was the lead Dev for the "Shadowfax" project). It's always fun when you get some killer recruits and it's especially exciting when they are the ones that were coveted by the top product groups. It validates the importance of your mission when they choose you over the billion-dollar businesses that are out there. We've had a rash of these hires in the past month, including a couple that are on my management team that I am really excited about. 

  • Bob Rebholz is a social networking kingpin that understands more about community dynamics that I ever will. He came over from Windows Server because he believed he could have a bigger impact here. He worked on something called the Working Network, which has the tagline "Better Living Through RSS". He's gonna fit in real well here.
  • And Alan "Yag" Griver is a FoxPro legend who comes to us from Visual Studio and turned down some pretty cool offers from other product groups to join Microsoft.com. As I told Yag when I first chatted with him about the job, even my cousin who lives in a rural part of Northeastern India knew who he and Ken Levy were (it's amazing how tight the Fox community is). No one has a better appreciation of the community than Yag. 

I feel like a college coach that just recruited the All-American players away over Duke (yes, lots of sporty mixed metaphors--can't help it) and can't wait for the years ahead where they get to shine in carrying out a vision. Plus, as Alan points out in his blog entry, there is some pretty impressive people on this team already. I almost feel like a poser hanging with the talent here. Now, the expectations are high. For example, I love how Josh is already giving Yag requirements (for the record, I've seen the spec and it's quite impressive). We're on it, Josh.

{Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way}