I love reading stuff form "unbiased" companies and news journals – which only interview those groups or "experts" who have an obvious bias. It’s like Fox News for the Internet. Here we have a situation where Microsoft is trying to do the right thing – they’re being very open and honest – and of course, they’re being baked by "experts" who are making comments like, "The devil is in the details," Matt Rosoff says here.
Now – I actually like Matt’s work – but the fact is no one knows what MS is going to do, except MS. No one knows what anyone in this industry is going to do, until they do it. So arm chair quarterbacking and soothsayer predicting what MS is going to do … is pretty much in the same league as Fox News "Fair and Imbalanced" — errr, "Fair and Balanced" reporting.
Let me make a few predictions – in the future, the Internet will be so full of deadline pressed hack journalist wannabes dying to come up with stories that people will read … that some of them will, just to be different from everyone else, display journalistic integrity and actually research statements with something other than guessing.
I don’t mean to pick on Matt – he’s one of dozens out there doing a fair job of displaying sides. But the point is – he has no clue beyond his opinion and should not be speaking with authority or implying he has a level of insight beyond that of any guy off the street. The implication with a statement like "The devil is in the details…" and then going on to list possible ways MS might get around their newly found principles, is that there’s never been any intention of adhering to these principals in the first place.
As someone who actually is around with a level of knowledge of what’s going on – not only is MS serious about this – but they’re pushing it down to our level in the trenches. It’s a firmly held belief by management that it is in fact possible – to be held to a higher standard, adhere to principles like these and even more (yup – the buck does not stop there) and produce a profitable and respected product. That’s the goal – the new flavor of kool-aid they want us all to drink deep from.
So before Matt and the rest of the planet begins with the criticisms – they need to take a look at the effort actually being sent down and fed into the employees. As with any effort, it’s going to take time to get total buy in I’m sure, but it will be better than some of the other IT companies I’ve worked for. For one thing, this is not some miniscule effort by management. It’s something being pressed into everyone as they come into the door and it’s something we’re seeing brought up in meetings and taken into consideration with our designs and development goals.
I can’t speak for MS as a whole, but coming from IBM – the effort is beyond impressive to me. I don’t expect others to accept or even believe it because I say it’s so… I do expect them to take a wait and see approach and provide encouragement, as well as criticisms – and do so in such a manner that displays they’re willing to be objective in jugdements and not just fire off opinions and question sincerity right from the starting line.