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Microsoft Businesses SuSE The Almighty Buck

MS Hires The Salesman Who Won Munich For SUSE 422

Posted by timothy
from the incentive-plan dept.
ron_ivi writes "In a move reminiscent of the 1997 MSFT/Borland Lawsuits, Microsoft has hired the SUSE sales guy who won Munich for SUSE. So if you want a job in this tough job market, just be wildly successful at your current job and Microsoft will come recruit you. (Another interesting Microsoft hire is the chair of the ISO C++ standards body as their VisualC++.NET architect.) Personally I think it's great that they recognize talented individuals and reward them well."
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MS Hires The Salesman Who Won Munich For SUSE

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  • it's war (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacquesm (154384) <j@SLACKWAREww.com minus distro> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:02AM (#8928975) Homepage
    Yes, it's war, and microsoft is not above recruiting the enemy's best lieutenants.
    • Re:it's war (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaHat (247651) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:04AM (#8928997) Homepage
      We call that corporate raiding when not referring to 'war' and it is a quite old and hated practice (at least when your offices are raided). Say all the ill you want about MS for doing this, but they are doing what any company would do, hiring the best people they can to do the job!
      • Re:it's war (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Technician (215283) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:17AM (#8929173)
        Say all the ill you want about MS for doing this, but they are doing what any company would do, hiring the best people they can to do the job!


        End snip, now to read between the lines...

        Is it hiring the best people for the job or is it removing the worst enemy from active duty?

        Someone who is honest and displays a fair comparison between products may not be your best recruit for the job of promoting spin.
        • Re:it's war (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:22AM (#8929245) Homepage
          An AC said it best. He is a sales man afterall.
          honest and displays a fair comparison between products

          When does any sales person do the above. He is out to make his companies product look better than any other, thats what SuSE paid him to do and thats what Microsoft will pay him to do. I love SuSE, it's been the only distro I use for years but even I can;t say anything bad about this or put this guy up for any honesty award.
          • Re:it's war (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Technician (215283)
            When does any sales person do the above. He is out to make his companies product look better than any other, thats what SuSE paid him to do and thats what Microsoft will pay him to do.

            Believe it or not, some salesmen only sell for companies they believe in. When I was in sales in my early years, I used to demonstrate how some pieces of audio gear were better than others such as showing RMS verses Peak power ratings. Then comparing both for a customer with test equipment to show the level clipping occure
            • Re:it's war (Score:5, Insightful)

              by E-Rock (84950) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:13AM (#8929923) Homepage
              The best salesmen actually believe their own bullshit. Doesn't make them any less slimey.
              • Re:it's war (Score:3, Interesting)

                by carlos_benj (140796)
                Yes, and all ___________ people are alike.

                When I was in marketing I developed a good rapport with my customers by being honest. When the Account Executive would try and blow smoke my customers would ask me if the claim was true. If it wasn't I told them so, but I also tried to show where their needs could be met through creative use of an existing function. I wasn't popular with management, but sales never suffered.
        • Re:it's war (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:24AM (#8930052) Homepage Journal
          Is it hiring the best people for the job or is it removing the worst enemy from active duty?

          I think it's obviously both.

          Someone who is honest and displays a fair comparison between products may not be your best recruit for the job of promoting spin.

          How do we know he's honest? How do we know he's showing fair comparisons? It's entirely possible that he LIED to Munich about the robustness of SuSE, the completeness of compatibility, the time to install, etc. It's likely that he spun the competing products as costly packages that don't innovate like Linux doeso. It's probable he spread FUD about forced paid upgrades, deplorable security, unrepaired bugs and expensive support.

          Of course, a lot of the people around here would call that an honest and fair comparison, but it's really spin in the opposite direction. There is no inherently "better" OS or development philosophy. Analyzing the software packages available and whether they meet your needs is the job of a consultant. The job of a sales person is to skew your needs and exagerate how they're met by the software he's selling. He did that for SuSE, he'll do it for Microsoft.

          Which is why I prefer to avoid salesmen and "partnered" consultants wherever possible. If a guy's got a big Cisco logo on his business card, chances are he's not going to sell you a D-Link hub, even if that's what you need.
    • Re:it's war (Score:2, Funny)

      by elwell642 (754833)
      The name "Anakin Skywalker" comes to mind... =)
    • Re:it's war (Score:5, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:08AM (#8929056) Homepage Journal
      Of course, it doesn't help that your girlfriend/wife is really a secret spy for Microsoft, and the agent who offered you an alternative was really an early warning system to have you bumped off. It gets even worse when they start killing your best friend Open Source programmers! What has this world come to!?

      Side note: After we saw AntiTrust, my wife kept trying to convince me that she really *wasn't* a spy for Microsoft. Seems the movie hit a little too close to home. :-)

    • Re:it's war (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kiwimate (458274) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:47AM (#8929553) Journal
      Yes, it's war, and microsoft is not above recruiting the enemy's best lieutenants.

      Oh grow up. You could just as easily spin this as Linux's best evangelists are mercenaries with no integrity; they can be bought by the enemy.

      It's business. RTFA and don't skip the bits about Juniper recruiting from Cisco, EMC recruiting from HP, etc. Guess what -- for all the childish railing against MS, they actually can't force someone to work for them. Can MS throw money at someone? Sure. Can a target of their recruitment strategy say no? Of course.

      And, by the way, I'm guessing MS probably didn't ring him up and offer him a job right away. Usually you start by feeling out if someone is interested before you start talking dollars. You can be aggressive in your negotiations, but he could always have just said no right at the beginning. Right? So why isn't this story headlined Traitor defects to the enemy MS camp?
  • by Morganth (137341) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:02AM (#8928981) Journal
    Don't be successful.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:03AM (#8928992)
    Of $0, but he opted to go with Microsoft anyway.
  • by jaf (121858) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:03AM (#8928993) Journal
    Anyone know if they're happy with Linux in Munich?
  • by john_sheu (755802) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:03AM (#8928995)
    they hire Linus as head Longhorn coder?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:05AM (#8929013)
      What?! And put all the antivirus companies out of business witha secure os?
  • Makes Sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stormcrow309 (590240) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:04AM (#8929002) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is well known for their great hiring practices. I know quite a few of thier employees and they all are some of the best in the fields they specialise in. MS is pretty good at weeding out the chaff.

    • Re:Makes Sense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kainaw (676073) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:18AM (#8929195) Homepage Journal
      Microsoft is well known for their great hiring practices. I think you mean hiring choices. When I interviewed through their hiring practices, I went through two phone interviews and then an in-person interview on a golf course (I don't play golf, but the two interviewers do). I was told that I would be considered if I agreed to quit college and to never attempt to get a degree. I stuck it out, got a degree, and now I'm making about $30k less a year than if I had went with Microsoft. I feel that I learned a lot in those last two years of college - a lot more than I learned in the first two. A hiring practice that asks college students to quit school just seems like a bad practice to me.
      • by Dot.Com.CEO (624226) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:43AM (#8929511)
        As you grow older you'll regretably see that, all things considered, you learn as much working for two years as you do at University. Plus, you probably pick other things up, like not writing "if I had went". :-)
      • Re:Makes Sense (Score:3, Insightful)

        by secolactico (519805)
        I was told that I would be considered if I agreed to quit college and to never attempt to get a degree.

        [...]

        A hiring practice that asks college students to quit school just seems like a bad practice to me.

        At first I was like "WTF?!" when I read your post. But it does make sense. They were looking for someone who could dedicate themselves full time to work and they believed that someone still going thru college wasn't going to be able to, so the only way they would have considered (not even accepted
        • Re:Makes Sense (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kainaw (676073)
          They were looking for someone who could dedicate themselves full time to work and they believed that someone still going thru college wasn't going to be able to

          You are absolutely correct. I edited my post repeatedly to ensure that it wouldn't be taken as a generic MS slam. I knew at the in-person interview that the job I was being considered for was full time. In the phone interviews, I thought it was an internship. I just found it strange that they would ask a college student to quit college. Of co
      • I call bullshit. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IANAAC (692242) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:07AM (#8929837)
        A very brief peek of Microsoft's career website shows that that's probably not Microsoft's standard practice. For one, do a job search on their page. A LOT ot bachelor's degrees there. Second, have a peek at their tuition reimbursement page.
      • Re:Makes Sense (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ninejaguar (517729)
        You're also less desirable without a degree by other companies (try to get a perm job with Amgen straight off the street without a degree), and less likely to get promoted from within M$ to a high level position. Sad that M$ practices employee lock-in as well vendor lock-in. This is not a healthy practice for a company in America to Americans.

        = 9J =

      • Re:Makes Sense (Score:3, Insightful)

        A hiring practice that asks college students to quit school just seems like a bad practice to me.

        Not really, dumb people with no prospects are more apt to take salary abuse (work 70+ hrs/week and we pay you for 40.... ok 35).

  • In Sales (Score:4, Insightful)

    by millahtime (710421) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:05AM (#8929005) Homepage Journal
    In sales it's all about making the money. I bet M$ will pay him better then anyone else has the ability to. Not a bad deal for him.
    • Re:In Sales (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wintermind (160780) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:13AM (#8929120) Homepage
      Commissions are based in large part on the size of the market into which you are selling your product. The opportunity to earn large commissions is far greater for a salesman working for Microsoft than one working for SuSE. We as a community may not like that, but ultimately the only way to change that is to put our money where our mouths are.
  • Good job offers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrWhizBang (5333) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:05AM (#8929006) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how many good job offers MS has floated by Linus?
    • Re:Good job offers (Score:3, Insightful)

      by osewa77 (603622)
      There are no job offer NDAs; so Microsoft wouldn't offer Linus a job they were not pretty sure he would take. It would be a PR nightmare. Besides, it's pretty clear, thanks to the GPL, that the only thing Linus can do for Microsoft is to stop working on Linux... sure as hell he won't
      • Re:Good job offers (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kalidasa (577403) *
        IANAL, but I believe that anything Linus himself has written (unless it is work for hire) he can fork on a different license at whim - he just can't revoke the GPL on code already released under it.
      • PR Nightmare? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bonch (38532)
        Steve Jobs talked to Linus Torvalds about hiring him. He mentioned it in an interview. It's no big deal, and not a "PR nightmare"--well, on Slashdot everyone would suddenly claim it's a PR nightmare, but outside this little niche nobody else would care!
    • Re:Good job offers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:19AM (#8929207) Homepage Journal
      Probably none. I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but Linus doesn't *care* about Microsoft or taking over the world. He just wants to hack his kernel. If Microsoft removed him from the process, the Linux community would have to reorganize. In the process of reorganizing, they'll probably make several decisions that will make Linux more competitive in the marketplace (e.g. allow binary kernel modules).

      I have nothing against Linus, but he makes decisions for Linux primarily based on the idea that it's a "hacker's OS". Givin Linux's rising popularity, anything that makes it more market focused is a bad thing for M$.
      • Re:Good job offers (Score:5, Informative)

        by mav[LAG] (31387) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:46AM (#8929548)
        Probably none.

        Microsoft did try to hire Alan Cox [essential.org] though.
      • Re:Good job offers (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bogie (31020) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:09AM (#8929863) Journal
        "I have nothing against Linus, but he makes decisions for Linux primarily based on the idea that it's a "hacker's OS""

        I think that's a bit of a stretch. Linus isn't dumb you know. He is well aware where Linux is being used and is very much interested in getting Enterprise Level features into the kernel. Look at all of the scalibility work that's gone on since 2.0. Do you think that Linus thinks this is so that some code junkie can mess around with his machine at home? Contrary to what you implied the Linux kernel is driven by market forces. Look at the impact that SGI, IBM etc have had since they got involved. Big business has made it very clear what they need and the kernel hackers have answered. I'm not implying that they or Linus are some sort of corporate lacky, but they are not coding with blinders on either.

        Maybe somehow I'm in the wrong here, but your version of how Linus views the kernel seems like a view from 1994. Your right, he probably doesn't *care* about Microsft or world domination, but don't think that the kernel isn't very much driven by corporate and market needs at this point.
      • Re:Good job offers (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrWhizBang (5333)
        In the process of reorganizing, they'll probably make several decisions that will make Linux more competitive in the marketplace

        Possibly, but I think it would be hard to dispute that removing a project's leader would create problems for the project. Fortunately, the linux kernel team is deep enough that they problably could recover from losing Linus.

        Anyhow, that wasn't my point. Microsoft does have a great tradition of buying up the competition, and the article shows that this applies to not only compani
    • I would say that it's a bit doubtful, for a couple reasons.

      First, Linus is first and foremost a kernel developer. As far as I can tell, Microsoft does not go in for particularly heavy development on their kernel.

      Second, they know that it's unlikely that Linus would take it. Linus could make a lot more money by working at Red Hat or similar, but has chosen not to do so to avoid biasing Linux. He really likes doing the open source Linux, and it's unlikely that he'd stop doing something that he really lik
  • by EricWright (16803) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:05AM (#8929016) Journal
    Get Munich back on Windows!
  • by binbag (772915) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:05AM (#8929018) Homepage Journal
    His boss: OK, you're on probation until you get this first sale. There's this council in Munich...
  • by motorsabbath (243336) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:06AM (#8929021) Homepage
    Personally I think it's great that they recognize talented individuals and reward them well.

    Or did they hire him to make him less of a threat?
    • by ValourX (677178)

      Why hasn't anyone put forth the idea that maybe the product made the sale more than the salesman did? Microsoft should be studying the strengths of GNU/Linux and how to properly counter them with solutions instead of sales and marketing.

      The only difference between the Titanic and Microsoft is, the Titanic had a band.

      -Jem
  • by PeteDotNu (689884) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:06AM (#8929024) Homepage
    Bill Gates: "Buy him out, boys."
    • GATES: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if anything, CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet does, so rather than risk competing with you, I've decided simply to buy you out.

      HOMER: This is it Marge. I've poured my heart and soul into this business and now it's finally paying off. (covering his mouth) We're rich! Richer than astronauts.

      MARGE: Homer quiet. Acquire the deal.

      HOMER: (to Gates) I reluctantly accept your proposal!

      GATES: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!

      (g
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:07AM (#8929038)
    So if you want a job in this tough job market, just be wildly successful at your current job...

    Thanks for turning the obvious into yet another anti-MS rant. Perhaps you should go into the inspirational poster business.
  • Yeah, so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UrgleHoth (50415) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:08AM (#8929045) Homepage
    Why not hire those you think are best if you can afford them? And I'm not seeing these people being conscripted.
  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by frodo from middle ea (602941) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:08AM (#8929049) Homepage
    I managed to convert my friend to use Mozilla last week , after persistent efforts of 2 years.

    Can I expect an appointment letter ?

  • by kzeddy (529579) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:08AM (#8929057)
    If its Herb Sutter you are talking about, he's been with microsoft for awhile now. He's posted a few articles on msdn about C++ on things like conformance and feature improvements to VS.net
  • Integrity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Espectr0 (577637) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:08AM (#8929059) Journal
    So people trusted this guy to switch 10k machines to linux. Now, how will people look at his face when he is promoting windows OVER linux? Seems there isn't such thing as integrity.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:13AM (#8929111)

      Seems there isn't such thing as integrity.


      You do realize we're talking about sales here, right?
    • by spiritraveller (641174) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:25AM (#8929271)
      Do you honestly believe he was working for SUSE because of the wonderful greatness that is Linux and the Open Source community?

      Sales is about selling... it has precious little to do with making the world a better place.

    • Re:Integrity (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sir_cello (634395)
      >> Seems there isn't such thing as integrity.

      You missed philosophy 101. It's not that simple. Integrity can only be measured under a broader scope against his longer term behaviour.

      It's certainly possible he has a lot of integrity in being a salesperson: integrity to the sales process, to taking on a particular assignment, and using respectable(!) sales techniques to make the sale. To assess this, we need to know more about the guy, his history and the tactics he uses.

      Equally, I'm an engineer. I'd
    • Uh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:06AM (#8929832)
      It's called having a job. If you're a salesperson, guess what? You sell what you're HIRED TO SELL!

      Only on Slashdot, made up mostly of college students and unemployed, would it be considered a bad thing and a "lack of integrity" to sell things for one company and then go over and sell things for another.

      It's not like the rest of the world views everything as "Windows vs. Linux" like you do. It's just another product the guy's gonna be selling. More power to him! The anti-capitalism mindset that permeates around here is so silly sometimes.
      • That's all fine and good to call people naive, but the reason no one believes sales people is that sales people don't even believe themselves, and this proves it.

        Of what use is the opinion of someone who is paid to think a certain way?

        being anti-capitalism doesn't have anything to do with it.

      • Re:Uh... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @01:49PM (#8932007) Homepage
        Only on Slashdot, made up mostly of college students and unemployed, would it be considered a bad thing and a "lack of integrity" to sell things for one company and then go over and sell things for another.

        Depends on the job, and how you sell things. If you're selling second hand cars and you move to another state to sell them for a better salary, most people would not consider you lacking in integrity.

        What we have here is different - only somebody incredibly naive would think that this guy made the sale of SuSE without once trashing or mentioning the bad points of Windows: seeing as how they are the closest competition and all. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the main selling point: Linux is better than Windows because (a) (b) (c).

        Now the guy is going to be telling people the exact opposite. In other words, at one or other of the jobs (most likely both) the guy will have been flat out lying.

        To be frank, I don't give a toss that the guy is in sales. There's right and then there's wrong, and if you are are lying through your teeth to make a sale you're still a lier. If you are influencing huge, important decisions people make on the basis of things you don't believe yourself .... well, in my world view you have no integrity and your job position does not excuse that.

        I'm not saying this guy has no integrity! I don't know what his sales technique is like. It's possible all he did was point out how great SuSE Linux is, and how it'd meet their needs better and didn't mention Microsoft once. It's possible, but unlikely.

        In other words, ad hominem attacks lack honour and integrity - and by the way bonch, that holds true whether you're attacking products, people or places.

  • by tomhudson (43916) < ... <nosduh.arabrab>> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:09AM (#8929062) Journal
    Funny how, just after this:
    Your Rights Online: Few Takers For Microsoft's Settlement Cash
    we see this:
    MS Hires The Salesman Who Won Munich For SUSE
    Guess they found one taker for Microsoft cash after all :-)
  • by mr_luc (413048) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:12AM (#8929104)
    Microsoft actually does have a pretty good hiring process, if a little brutal. But a lot of people are saying things like "well, at least somebody recognizes that exceptional people are worth it" -- I don't think that these examples are exactly displaying that. Microsoft has been hiring relatively exceptional people for a long time now; the only difference is that these people already have multinational acclaim in their profession.

    Just thought I'd point that out -- this is a good move and everything, but hiring people that are already well-known in their field is neither A) necessarily good news for those of you stumping for MS jobs, or B) particularly cost-effective for Microsoft.

    On a side note, the REAL message that this is sending to professionals around the world is this: Hurt Microsoft And Get Hired. Whether a lawyer, programmer, politician or standards' body member -- I encourage all exceptional individuals to put all of their skill towards the destruction of Microsoft. They like it! Really!
  • by composer777 (175489) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:13AM (#8929126)
    isn't that he won't eventually give it all away or do some good, I believe him when he says that he will. However, people like Gates and those that run Microsoft have very little faith in people. Their arrogance is hard to beat. Even for such wildly successful people as those new hires, I wouldn't doubt for a second that they are getting a mere fraction of what Microsoft makes off them. Why would a proposed philanthropist such as Gates withhold all that cash, even from their "wildly successful" new hires? I think the answer is simple, he doesn't have faith in people to do the right thing with that money. This is of course if we take Gates at his word when he says he wants to help people with that money. While Bill Gates may eventually give talented people a chance, the damage he has done to the system by hoarding all that cash and unfairly eliminating competition far outweighs the benefits that will happen when he does give it away.
    • by aeoo (568706) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:46AM (#8929541) Journal
      I think you make a great point. I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

      It's not just about hoarding. Many rich people don't have all that much ready to spend cash (but still way, way more than I can dream about). It's all about control. A rich person has a lot of say on who does what, what goes where, what gets developed and what is canned, and so on. They get streets named after themselves or their properties. Some use their own name as a brand name in an ultimate display of vainglory. They have the ear of other rich people and they form a social network that's not very accessible to "regular" folks. So not only do they have control over their own "domain", but they greatly impact "domains" of other rich people via their decisions and social communication.

      This kind of problem is a problem of culture in my opinion. It's only solvable via education and evolution. People have to see in their hearts the damage they do with their selfishness and unrestrained ambition. Because as we well know, when one set of people tries to control another set of people by political power, it doesn't work. That change has to come from the inside of each person.
    • If Gates tried what you're suggesting, the market wouldn't reward it -- MS stock would decline, institutional shareholders would balk and the company would suffer, depleting the very resource you want to distribute... cash.

      Companies are not in business to do good or to pay people x% of their revenues; a company is solely in business to profit. What Gates wants to do with his personal share of the pie is laudable, but if he tried to make it the company mission, he'd destroy the company in the process.

  • by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:14AM (#8929138) Journal
    Or else Msoft will get their sh!# together and there will be no reason to ever switch.
  • so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kperrier (115199) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:15AM (#8929144)
    why is this news? He quit SuSE in 2003 and he got a new job.
  • tough job market? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WormholeFiend (674934) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:15AM (#8929147)
    slightly OT, but there's so much grumbling on slashdot about not enough jobs for IT people...

    I remember reading somewhere that there was a high demand for IT guys in the automotive industry... lemme google...

    ah, there it is

    New Cars getting too expensive to fix [csmonitor.com]

    The interesting paragraphs are near the bottom:

    "There's no shortage of general technicians, but there is a big shortage of qualified people to work on drivability and emissions issues," says Robert Rodriguez of Automotive Service Excellence. The Leesburg, Va., organization certifies repair shops and technicians.

    These specialist technicians need advanced reading, problem-solving, and basic electronics skills, he says. "The best people to find are those who have worked in the IT [information technology] industry," he says.
    • Re:tough job market? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by manganese4 (726568)
      These specialist technicians need advanced reading, problem-solving, and basic electronics skills.

      Or they could hire anyone who has acquired a BS in chemistry, physics or engineering. These disciplines all train individuals to solve complex problems and to do it in a quantitative, reproducible and most importantly reportable manner. Not to call in question the problem solving skills of IT workers but hypothesis testing is not something typically encouraged in the IT world (or at least not by the mana
      • add to the fact that cars are already packed with electronics, a computer and complex software, and maybe it's time to send resumes to big car companies as well.
  • by malia8888 (646496) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:18AM (#8929183)
    My father was a salesman. Watching him has given me a love for a well closed sale. From the article: Microsoft has hired one of its worst enemies, the SuSE Linux salesman whose efforts led the city of Munich to adopt Linux and open-source software instead of Microsoft's products.

    I think it would be amusing if this same salesmen, KarlAigner, can go back to the City of Munich and win them back to Microsoft products. That would be salesmanship!! :P

  • by BlueUnderwear (73957) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:18AM (#8929184)
    He began his new role April 1, Microsoft said Tuesday.
  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:18AM (#8929192) Homepage Journal
    From the C|Net article [com.com], dateline May 7, 1997:

    Yocam maintains that Microsoft is luring personnel away with huge signing bonuses, some in excess of $1 million. "They have the audacity to send limos to Borland's headquarters to take Borland employees out to lunch. I mean, this has got to stop."

    Ah, the good old days. Million-dollar signing bonuses. Limos for job prospects. Corvettes for hot programmers fresh out of college. Penthouse suites with the company logo in genuine Italian marble [gamespy.com].

    Why did it ever have to end?

    Oh, wait, don't answer that...
    • by rcs1000 (462363) * <{moc.liamg} {ta} {0001scr}> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:39AM (#8929442)
      Attn: Microsoft

      I am an *ace* Linux programmer. I have submitted thousands of patches to the Linux kernel (I'm afraid I don't understand how CVS works, so I'm not sure exactly how many were incorporated, but I'm guessing it's pretty damn near 100%).

      I am available for hire, or indeed for lunch.

      If the person I have lunch with could be female and attractive, that would be a double bonus, because I could tell my friends I had a girlfriend and get them to oogle us through the window of the restaraunt.

      Please send the limo and a million dollar cheque to ###***censored by CmdrTaco***###

      Thanks!

      Robert

  • by John_Booty (149925) <johnbooty@NoSpam.bootyproject.org> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:23AM (#8929249) Homepage
    ...next time that guy shows up in Munich on a sales call.

    "Okay, you know all that stuff I told you? Nevermind. I've got something better, now... hey! Put down the pitchforks! Aiiiiieeee!"
  • by pavon (30274) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:26AM (#8929286)
    Yeah, It's just like when Darth Vader tried to get Luke to join him. After Luke had destroyed the first Death Star, Vader and Palpatine realized what a great asset he could be. They offered him the chance of a lifetime, just wanted to reward him for his good work, and what did the whiny brat do? Goes and kills them both and destroys the empire's last change of survival. He ruined the livelyhoods of millions of innocent emperial employees, not to mention the thousands he murdered, just for some hippy idealism. If only he had been more grateful like these two guys, maybe the world could have been a better place.
  • by amightywind (691887) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:27AM (#8929305) Journal

    Herb Sutter mentions planned C++/.Net CLR extensions being discussed for later inclusion in the C++ standard in last months C/C++ Journal. (Sorry, there is no link on their site yet.) I thought it odd that the chairman of such a standards board would mention M$ proprietary software so favorably. Then I saw that he works for M$ and understood perfectly. No conflicts of interest here. Enough to make you sick. I wonder what Stroustoup thinks of this. What next? A Microsoftie on Sun's Java steering committee perhaps?

    • by pjkundert (597719) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:40AM (#8930303) Homepage
      I just attended a 2-day C++ seminar hosted by Bjarne Stroustrup and Herb Sutter (at SD Expo, in Santa Clara). Herb gave a presentation of (some of) the .NET extensions to C++. Bjarne was present, and was very forthright about what he thought might have potential as part of the C++ Standard, and what was ... silly.

      Bjarne (and the rest of the C++ Standards Committee) seem to be pretty bright boys, and Herb is no patsy. I came away from the session with a lot of confidence that the C++ Standards Committee won't turn into a pack of Microsoft zombies, and ruin the language.

      The .NET GC-specific extensions (the ^ and % operators, which are the GC-safe version of the * and & operators, for example) seem pretty silly (to me), and didn't seem to impress Bjarne too much, either. He seemed to indicate that it was unlikely that they would form part of the language. There are much more interesting directions that he would like to take the language...
  • by HisMother (413313) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:29AM (#8929329)
    Did you ever see the movie "The Devil's Advocate"? Same principle in operation here.
  • More /. FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m00nun1t (588082) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:31AM (#8929336) Homepage
    "In a move reminiscent of the 1997 MSFT/Borland Lawsuits..."

    This is *nothing* like the Borland lawsuit. Your own link says that's about hiring a large number of key staff thus draining the business.

    This is about hiring one key person. Apart from hiring from a competitor (standard practice) there is no resemblance at all.
  • Typical MS Mentality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tritone (189506) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:34AM (#8929388) Homepage
    MS seems to assume that they lost the sale because the Linux side had superior marketing instead of a superior product.
  • by ader (1402) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:38AM (#8929434) Homepage
    Munich decided that Linux was cheap, extendable, powerful and usable enough to suit their purpose...so Microsoft hired the guy who told them all this?

    If I write a database engine that even an idiot can administer, will Microsoft then hire the idiot?

    Ade_
    /
  • What to call this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raider_red (156642) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:41AM (#8929476) Journal
    There's a very simple term for this kind of hiring. It's called "smart business". If somone proves that they can do something great for your competitors, like pull off a massive sales coup, then that's the kind of guy you want on your staff. The same applies to engineering, politics, and a host of other enterprises.

    For example, the guy who designed the S2000 for Honda designed the 300ZX turbo for Nissan. (Both are benchmark designs for the auto industry.) David Gergen worked for both the Nixon and the Clinton administrations. (He may have worked for Reagan, but I'll need to check to be sure.) Hilary Clinton was president of her college's chapter of the Young Republicans, and technology companies exchange employees regularly.
    • by Petronius (515525)
      Yeah, and he'll be highly credible when making his sales pitch next time, selling just about the opposite. The new prospect will simply have to ask: "Office? .Net? just like you recommended the city of Munich, I see.". I think Microsoft simply recruited him so that he keeps quiet. It's money well spent on their part, nothing else. But we already knew they know how to leverage their free capital position, nothing new here...
  • by krygny (473134) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:56AM (#8929694)

    Sales guy:

    "All that stuff I told you when I was working for SuSE was BULLSHIT. But now, you can believe everything I say. We ... ah going to pump ... YOU up!"

  • by hak1du (761835) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:05AM (#8929817) Journal
    Personally I think it's great that they recognize talented individuals and reward them well."

    Yes, that is great. There is also nothing wrong with taking such an offer.

    But the effect is still anti-competitive. Microsoft has the money to buy up just about any talent around the world they like to. Where would the computer industry go if everybody who knows how to do anything gets hired by Microsoft? Because that's where this is going.

    The people to do something about this are not Microsoft or the individuals involved, but government regulators.
  • by $criptah (467422) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:50AM (#8930463) Homepage

    I remember laughing at Microsoft's posters at school. The company wanted to hire some inters for the summer, then, as the poster promised, the good ones would be offered full-time positions. At that point of time I said, "Bullshit, I am never going to work for them. I am a Linux geek. I hate that company!"

    I have been out of college for almost a year. I wish I had applied to Microsoft and interned there instead of different small companies around New England. Why? Well, first of all, they offered a good paycheck, secondly, the company did not have major layoffs compared to some other IT giants. Finally, with $50K in loans, I could use a job that paid well.

    Do not get me wrong, I still like Open Source and none of my home (and work) computers run Windows. However, paycheck is a paycheck. I am sure that sales guy felt the same way too. It is nice to do what is right, but sometimes you have to do what you must in order to survive. Good for him, I hope he does a good job and then gets out when shit hits the fan.

  • by JohnnyCannuk (19863) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @01:53PM (#8932050)
    "Keep your friends close ... and your enemies closer"

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.

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