Going to work for Google? Be Careful of Google Dumbass Syndrome

Has anyone else noticed that people tend to turn into dumbasses after being hired by google.

First we had the case of the infamous google blogger that got himself fired for badmouthing his company days after being hired by them.

Now we have the case of Mark Lucovsky who suddenly thinks that Microsoft can't ship software and Amazon is the almightly god of software shippage:

"I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft "knows how to ship software". When a Microsoft engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? I know the answer and so do you... The software sits in a source code control system for a minimum of two years (significantly longer for some of the early Longhorn code). At some point, the product that the fix is a part of will "ship" meaning that CD's will be pressed and delivered to customers and OEM's. In best case scenarios, the software will reach end users a few months after the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) date. In many cases, particularly for users working in large corporations, they won't see the software for a year or more post RTM...

...When an Amazon engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? What is the lag time between the engineer completing the work, and the software reaching its intended customers? A good friend of mine investigated a performance problem one morning, he saw an obvious defect and fixed it. His code was trivial, it was tested during the day, and rolled out that evening. By the next morning millions of users had benefited from his work. Not a single customer had to download a bag of bits, answer any silly questions, prove that they are not software thieves, reboot their computers, etc. The software was shipped to them, and they didn't have to lift a finger. Now that's what I call shipping software." [2]

Wake up. Amazon is a web app. Microsoft has plenty of web apps as well, and I gaurentee that Microsoft can just as easily "ship" a new version of its web apps as Amazon can. But, in case you were living in a gopher hole in the middle of a field on the Microsoft campus, this ability to easily update web apps is something that everyone already knows. You aren't Einstien for noticing this. It is clear as day to anyone in the industry.

While we are on the subject, when Microsoft fixes a minor bug or makes something faster or better, it doesn't sit on the shelf for 2 years before getting shipped out on a CD. In fact, my little windows update icon flashes at least once a week telling me that Microsoft would like "ship" updates and fixes to me right now. But hey, maybe you don't have an internet connection over at Google. Maybe you've never seen that icon. Or maybe you are just suffering from Google Dumbass Syndrome and you've forgotten everything that has happened since Windows 3.1.

[1] http://99zeros.blogspot.com/
] http://mark-lucovsky.blogspot.com/2005/02/shipping-software.html


  • All Google employees that blog also seem to have to take down their blogspot blogs for some reason as well. :)

  • All Google employees that blog also seem to have to take down their blogspot blogs for some reason as well. :)

  • Mayhaps you should do a little research on the person you are shooting your mouth off too. Mark is without question one of the greatest minds in software development. You do realize you have Windows because of his code and design right? This guy isn't some joe-schmoe MS programmer, this guy is literally the architect of the Windows kernel.

    Oh and the Google blogger didn't get himseld fired for badmouthing Google on his blog. He got fired because he leaked financial information that wasn't publically available on his blog. That's a big no-no when you are a publically traded company.

  • What about that MS intern that blogged some confidential stuff about a shipment of macs and was let go?

    How many of us are waiting for useful big fixes to VS.Net, IE, etc? VS.Net has a horrible HTML Designer that will be fixed for 2005. Great.

  • I agree that Microsoft doesn't ship many software packages as fast as I would like (like a final version of VS 2005, etc.). However, Mark's giving an example of Amazon updating a performance issue in a web app and implying they are somehow superior to Microsoft for it is just rediculous. Again, if we are talking about frequency of updates, Microsoft is shipping quite a bit of software. You may not have a final of VS 2005, but you can download the beta (in fact, a fresh new beta of the express products is out and a new beta of team system is just around the corner). This only 2-3 months after the last build was release in december. You can download SQL Server 2005, Avalon, etc. and begin projects that use them today. Microsoft is shipping the software. Mark's statement "in best case scenarios, the software will reach end users a few months after the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) date." is just false. This software isn't even close to RTM yet, but it is reaching as many customers as want to have it.

  • Yes, MS is slowing down on shipping software. That's a good thing! Take your time, make it as good as possible and fix as many bugs as possible before it actually goes out.

    The standard complaint for years about MS was that they shipped buggy software. So they eventually listened to your complaints and slowed down the process to ensure a better final product.

    Now these same people whine that its taking too long.

    Don't listen to these people. They want 100% perfect software but they don't want to wait for it. To modify an oft-quoted bromide:

    "You can have it on time or correct. Pick 1."

    In the case of things like a compiler or OS, you can't throw more budget at it to make it faster.

  • Jesse, Mark is right. Not that Microsoft fails, but their paradigma of delivering software: installed on the client, is not the fastest way to get software delivered. What Mark means is that if you place the functionality on the webserver, you can deliver software much faster. And in that case, he's absolutely right.

    Too man people misunderstood what he meant, which is sad. He even had to post a followup to explain that he didn't mean to hurt MS. It's sad to see that people like Mark are so often misunderstood.

  • "Mayhaps you should do a little research on the person you are shooting your mouth off too. Mark is without question one of the greatest minds in software development."

    Who cares. Even smart people say and do dumb things, and I wouldn't withhold my opinion for this guy, Bill Gates, Bush or if he were alive, Einstein.

    I haven't been to Amazon.com today. Does that mean they didn't ship anything? For as long as Windows has been around, we've been shipping runtimes and components with our products, and the .NET Framework is no different.

  • <NotAFlame-AtemptAtALogicalTrainOfThought>

    Everyone has the right to complain. Other people listening can ignore or agree.

    If I thought that MS wasn't capable of shipping any more software, I'd high-tail it to Java right now. But that isn't the case.

    Microsoft isn't the government, either, and we can't lobby MS and vote on its executives to do what _we_ want. Our vote is with our money. If we don't like what MS is doing, we don't buy from them. We use another product. Then it is our choice if another vendor has a product (and shipping schedule) that satisfies us more.

    The statement "MS can't ship software". Wow, if that were true, then it's about to go out of business. Maybe it should read: "MS isn't shipping the software it has told us about as quickly as I would like."

    I think of the scope of the projects that I work on in my enterprise and the schedules we stick too, and I can't _imagine_ how MS ships it's software so _quickly_. The scope of it's software is _huge_.


  • Jesse, I think you're right when you say that his post really meant nothing more than that he prefers the ease of "shipping" updates for web apps. However, I don't see why that makes him a dumbass (because it is true) nor do I see where anyone said he was Einstein for stating the obvious (and it is an obvious point).

    In my opinion, Microsoft does know these things. They have wanted to move further in that direction for years but every mention of it is met with an uproar of about Ms "wanting to turn software into a service so you have to continuously pay them and own nothing." That negative feedback is what makes MS ship software the way they do. MS would love to run most of their software as web apps. The world (and technology) isn't ready for that yet and the those who hate MS were able to easily frame the debate in order to make MS and the whole idea look bad.

    Companies like Amazon and Google are able to produce web apps because they had no history and did not require any transition, no current users who would feel like something was being taken from them, no zealots who've spent years hating them publicly. If Amazon had been a desktop client/server app and they announced they were moving to a web-based app, they would have gotten the same backlash and would be stuck in the same ship MS is currently in.

  • Why does everyone waste their breathe arguing with Jesse. You will always be wrong and he will always be right... just ask him, he'll tell you. Not sure if you notice a trend in Jesse's blogs, but all he does is rant. Maybe it makes him feel better about himself or that he is mentally superior (i.e. calling people dumbasses, idiots, ridiculous, or saying that they are making obvious/trivial statements)... I dunno. The facts are this: Jesse is a very smart person, but not smart enough to see the big picture in life; part of that being that he doesnt know it all and that the people who post here have some great thoughts and ideas that he just discards while he argues with ya all.

    Oh look.. now I am ranting... I better go, but then again, this seems to be the blog appropriate for ranting! heh


  • Dear me,

    Actually, the statement that "all I do is rant" is quite rediculous and just plain false. Maybe the only posts you notice are those that contain rants, but that is your failure, not mine.

  • 385257.. Corking :)

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