From the first day I came to work at MS I heard over and over, "We make software that changes the world.". Yeah, yeah, yeah … and my mother made cookies that could stop the monster in the closet dead in his tracks – that was the official party line and I never doubted Mom’s cookies ability to fend off the paranormal and/or drop them dead either. (She, btw, really did have cookies that would do that – She was a great mother, but her cooking? Potentially lethal in the wrong hands. God bless her.)
Fact is any time you have a phrase like, "We make (fill in product here) … that changes the world…" you hear it so much the jaded cynic in me translates it into, "PR/HR speak – blah – blah – blah – have pride in your work".
Weird thing about Microsoft is – almost every employee really believes in it with the kind of fervor usually reserved for people who have seen the face of some religious figure on a tortilla or something. When you express any doubt, they all kind of look at you with the same compassion reserved for one of the unwashed who hasn’t seen the light yet – but will of course – because everyone does. Frankly … it’s a little creepy … but you get used to it.
Anyway… the "You’ll change the world for the better with what you do…" philosophy that employees have here always seems like a good PR phrase, and then one day you get your "Wow" moment is what they tell you. It’s that moment when suddenly you realize it’s not all hype – and you really are changing the world. Got mine this morning, right after coffee.
Email comes flittering across my desk from one of the Dev’s from a project I worked on called "CLIP", or Captioned Languages Interface Pack . Essentially it’s a simple add-in that when you hover over items – it provides you with translations – not exactly HALO 3 … but hey… it’s still pretty cool. Anyway – email comes across my desk and there’s a link to a TV news cast in France about it. Bottom line… you know you’re actually affecting the world in better ways, when a TV station on the other side of the planet is talking about something you just did.
Congrats to the DOME team – my buds on the LocFutures team – and everyone who worked on it. I finally got my "Wow" on. 🙂
For those who want to know more about CLIP … here’s a long link: