I had the pleasure of spending last week at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. We were hosted by Rob Howard, Scott Guthrie and various members of the ASP.NET, WebMatrix, Mobile Controls and the Web Developer experience of Visual Studio .NET, C# and WebServices teams from the MS organization. While DataGridGirl has echoed most of the sentiment of the MS aura, there is one big thing she failed to mention. After a long day of presentations, we took the walk across campus of the building where most of these teams live. When I say 'live', that was the impression I got. It was nearly 7:00 pm, yet people were still in their offices - happily coding away, taking a break for a healthy game of ping pong, coming back from the gym to work more.. and no one was complaining about working late, rushing about, fussing or even had a mild grimace on their faces. Most folks even took time to say 'Hi' to the 40+ people making a ruckus, shuffling through the halls. It was amazing. I once worked for a consulting company that had a similar culture and persona about it, but it was short lived. For some reason companies tend to think that employees who take 10 minutes to relieve stress on a ping pong game or a walk around the building is not productive. It certainly seems to be working for MS.
Keep up the great work teams... As Marcie said, we really like the fact that you listen to our input and actually give us more than a number or an email address on some mythical change request log like most other companies tend to do. We're looking forward to the next round of innovation on the technologies we live in. Cheers!