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Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: What I Learned in Ten Years as a Microsoft Programmer Paperback – December 26, 2000
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Author
Top Customer Reviews
At exactly page 146, I felt like I was reading a different book. Unfortunately, it was a book that I did not enjoy nearly as much as the first 145 pages. From this point onward, Mr. Barr felt the need to write a long drawn out essay about the history of the computer industry peppered with comments about how it affected Microsoft.
I have read this history countless other times in books much more entertaining and comprehensive (i.e. Fire in the Valley) than this book.
The author supposedly worked on two different versions of Windows NT and Windows 2000, but there was no talk whatsoever of what it was like to work on those teams. I definitely expected more information about what specifically went on inside Microsoft (from an insider's point of view) rather than Microsoft's relation to the industry which is public knowledge.
The book is in four parts. The first is a look at MSFT hiring and interview processes, which is followed by a description of his time at Softimage (which includes a brilliant dissection of type-1 through type-4 demos), then a long and meandering recounting of his early involvement with computers and then an equally meandering final part which is a compilation of his observations about MSFT and the industry in general. I found the first two interesting enough to read, but found the final two not as compelling. He completely mis-understands the point about middleware and Java (see Lou Gerstner's book "Who said elephants can't dance?" for a different definition of middleware and business strategy). Perhaps his narrow, unappealing and unfocussed second half meanders so much because he didn't take his chances to widen his own career within MSFT as a manager or PM.
Like Adam with his interviewees, I agonized over whether or not I should give this book a "four" or a "three" star rating :). Ultimately, I had to go with the lower rating because as a developer, I was hoping to read about what "he" had actually "learnt as a developer" when I picked up the book. Unfortunately, while he talks about a whole lot of things (such as the importance of testing for product quality, and the importance of programmers getting a 'life' as they mature, the contributions of MSFT to the open source movement, etc. etc.Read more ›
The author includes a history of the personal computer industry and some thoughts on the problems facing Microsoft now, from court battles to public opinion. If you want to get a sense of what it's like inside the company, this is a really good book. I enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Barr acknowledges some well-known Microsoft idiosyncrasies, such as the overemphasis on puzzle-like tests during interviewing and the management affection (not so unusual among... Read morePublished on June 26, 2006 by calmly
I thought this was a great "trip down memory lane" in regards to the birth of the PC and Microsoft. Adam does a great job of providing history and context of the era. Read morePublished on December 8, 2004 by Belfast
don't bother buying this book.
For me, it was a bummer, too much ado about hiring practices, and the author does not escape his bias after having worked for Microsoft 10... Read more
I enjoyed the early pages of the book, highlighting the workings of Microsoft, but felt the author could have provided more insight into what it was like working with his team and... Read morePublished on February 19, 2002
This book really answers some great questions for those interested in learning more about Microsoft.
First hand accounts of intereviewing and recruiting. Read more
It would be a wonderful book if you consider reading 1/3 of the book, where the author talks about recruiting in Microsoft, as well as his experience working at Softimage (bought... Read morePublished on September 11, 2001 by Duong Do
I was really enjoying it up until it started to get into the history of the Altair and DOS. That section is huge, if i wanted a computer history book i would of bought one... Read morePublished on July 6, 2001
Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: What I Learned In Ten Years As A Microsoft Programmer is a revealing account of Adam Barr's personal and professional experiences while... Read morePublished on May 19, 2001 by Midwest Book Review