by Bob Walsh
It’s a thought that goes through every microISV’s mind at one time or another: would going back to work for a large software company like say Google really be that bad? There are definitely days when your servers aren’t serving, your have a tech support nightmare ongoing and nothing seems to make sales jump that going back to the CubeLand is alluring.

There’s a great memo – Life at Google, the Microsoftie Perspective – by a microsoftie posted as a one entry blog on what the inside of Google looks like. It’s a very interesting perspective – the unnamed Microsoft re-hire had left to build a startup (a microISV? – sounds like it), got bought by Google. He then worked at Google as a Senior Software Engineer II / Technical Lead for some period and now has gone to back to work at Microsoft.

Three things stand out from this memo – assuming it’s true:

  1. Google is designed in many ways like a post-degree on (Stanford) campus tech program. Everything is included: three meals a day, health care, clothing, gym, private bus service, an IT Stop on every office floor that makes the pain go away. Managers don’t manage 10 people, they manage 100, more like professors and students. I wonder how long before Google builds dorms?
  2. Google hasn’t read Joel. The memo asserts Google treats programmers as interchangeable cogs in its Web 2.0 factory and doesn’t put a lot of stock into getting the environment right.
  3. Microsoft, from an organizational point of view, started out in some ways where Google is now, but has evolved as it matured.

The thing that struck me is that Google by design or accident might be the corporate software model in coming years: Hire them young, provide a 24/7 (including housing) environment that frees employees to concentrate on their work and incidentally makes leaving the Mothership more like leaving the cult compound than switching jobs.

Maybe the grass is not greener afterall on the other side of the economic fence.

[tags]Google, corporate cultures[/tags]

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