In Defence of Microsoft Programmers
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Thread: In Defence of Microsoft Programmers

  1. #1
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    In Defence of Microsoft Programmers

    Some people on this site seem to have the misconception that Microsoft programmers are all useless VB kludging lamers. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is completely untrue. Microsoft has one of the most rigorous employee selection processes in the industry. It is not uncommon for a potential employee to have to attend over 10 interviews just to get the job. They are quite selective about who they choose. So I don't think that the reason that Microsoft has had so many issues with buggy code is because of lack of expertise in the programming department.

    The way I see it is that there are two distinct parts to Microsoft (this is a bit of a simplification but it help to make my point):

    1. Microsoft the Corporation
    2. Microsoft the Programmers

    The main reason that Microsoft keeps releasing dodgy code is that Microsoft the corporation (who is all about keeping the shareholders happy) has put in place so much needless beaurocracy that programmers are prevented from doing a decent job. Programmers are so pushed for time that they are often forced to put code into a release that is not up to scratch.

    Microsoft is not the only company that does this. This is a world wide problem that exists within most large corporations. People should think about this before they jump in a start abusing programmers. They're just the little guys.
    OpenBSD - The proactively secure operating system.

  2. #2
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    Hear Hear! i have to agree... let's give the programmers some respect. these guys are expected to bang out an os in very little time. that is the only reason for bugs... not shitty code, just a lack of time.
    Learn like you are going to live forever, live like you are going to die tomorrow.

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  3. #3
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    Hmmm,
    Interesting idea,
    But I think, as smirc said, it does take a lot to become an m$ programmer, but you also have to know all that they do is write just a small part of the OS. The major planning, building and Visual production is all already laid out to the programmers. And what I would be willing to bet is, that to be a programmer at m$ you do have to be very good, but all you do is follow the guidlines preset by the ""smarter"" stock-holders, and corporate jack asses. To conclude I think the programmers are very smart, but incredibly restricted to exactly what they are told to do.
    \"To follow the path:
    look to the master,
    follow the master,
    walk with the master,
    see through the master,
    become the master.\"
    -Unknown

  4. #4
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    also there is a lot of recomendation going one a ms, phone call from an old buddy college helps a lot too....
    but they do desrve credit , solitaire has never died on me i admit it !!!
    no seriously they try to do a good job ... but the core is crap so it's like when you start a prog and it's shitty from the beg.... most of the time it's better to start over ...
    assembly.... digital dna ?

  5. #5
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    I agree with this thread. But m$ lack of good products is also because they wave around so much money to kids that have hardly any experience in the field. This is like, right after they finish college, which is good for them but bad for the public i guess.
    script language=\"M$cript\";
    function beginError(bsod) {
    return true; }
    onLoad.windows = beginError;

  6. #6
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    Normally, I'm anti-MS all the way, no holds barred, I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks and all that crap when dealing with MS and their lame excuse of software, however, I'll just highlight the points and post my opinions on the matter. Some of this is based on my opinion and some is based on actual fact from people who've worked directly with or for MS.

    Some people on this site seem to have the misconception that Microsoft programmers are all useless VB kludging lamers.
    It's not a misconception when your basic problems stem from buffer overflows and unchecked variables. If a programmer can't figure out how to error-check his/her code, then they have no business being a programmer. I'd understand if it were in some random program that's not inherent to the stability of the system but time and time again, we read of new buffer overflows in regularly used programs. Why has Solitaire or Minesweeper never crashed? 1: they're very small and individual .exe's and 2: they were 'perfected' veritable years ago and haven't changed versions, much like Wordpad.


    Microsoft has one of the most rigorous employee selection processes in the industry. It is not uncommon for a potential employee to have to attend over 10 interviews just to get the job. They are quite selective about who they choose. So I don't think that the reason that Microsoft has had so many issues with buggy code is because of lack of expertise in the programming department.
    If that's true, then why do they sweat-shop their programmers to death? A coworker used to contract for them and he saw the 12 hour days they were putting in with deadlines around the corner and very little time to do things in. I'll give them the point that they've got little time to check everything but not to the degree to forgive them of their repeated offenses.
    As for the lack of expertise, that's because they DO hire right out of college "programmers", people taught the wrong methods (I know some VB programmers who think VB is object-oriented) and some of these people think they're the shizzit because they're VB programmers working for MS.

    Disclaimer on above: I know there are good programmers in MS that are severely restricted (Like 3ntropy said) in what they can do. I know of one example of a programmer changing some of Dave Cutler's code (the guy who headed up the NT dept. I think) and almost got fired for it. It would have run better, faster, more efficient but because Cutler's a jackass in concern with his code being changed, it got changed back to the original buggy lame crap. I hope that programmer got a better job somewhere else. Also note that some of the smartest people I've seen doing win32 applications have been people not at all associated with MS.

    *skipping the corporate lines*

    Microsoft is not the only company that does this. This is a world wide problem that exists within most large corporations. People should think about this before they jump in a start abusing programmers. They're just the little guys.
    Yes, you're right, they're not the only ones doing this. It's a world wide problem out there and there's tons of crappy code all over the place. Problem is, when it's your OS and it's built-in-snazzy programs are the ones dying on you and having security breaches every day, it might pay to SERIOUSLY reconsider your gameplan. As for 'abusing' programmers, I've been reamed for a 5 minute fix because it had security holes in it too because it fell under the Q&D (that's quick-and-dirty) dept. What happened? I then immediately fixed my issue with it, and after that I never did a Q&D ever again for that department, making all my code as bug proof as I could. I installed CVS on the linux box and put everything in as version 1.0. Within a few months, I had updated versions that were rdist'd/rsynced out when something was found.
    It's constant error-checking and getting better as a programmer, now some of those things are just second-nature.

    And before I blame the programmers at MS, I blame the corporation. The managers who push because their 40k bonus is on the line for a release date and other crap like that. I also blame the programmers who never think twice about the crap they release with their name on it or the ones who don't want to learn or change for the better. I bet there's a lot of dead weight in there too.

    MS and Congress...we should kick everyone out and start over.
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.

  7. #7
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    I know a few people at msoft. Programmers, mgmt, sales, mktg etc. Most of them are ok. I don't blame the little guy. It is the chiefs that should be called to account. I have been much less impressed with the help desk "help" of the programming division. Often it's "ok so you applied the hotfix we sent you and it still didn't work? Well just reload the OS" Bang. Without a real solution we still pay. grrrrrr
    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

  8. #8
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    Re: Voilin's reply

    It's not a misconception when your basic problems stem from buffer overflows and unchecked variables. If a programmer can't figure out how to error-check his/her code, then they have no business being a programmer
    Point taken. But no one writes perfect code the first time round, or the second, or the third. That's why the testing phase is often the longest and most expensive phase in the software development life cycle. I don't think the problem is that the programmer's haven't figured out how to error check their code. The problem is the testing phase is not being implemented properly due to unfeasible time constraints. This has nothing to do with the programmers. Testing is done by another department altogether and program testers are constantly being given unreasonable demands as well. This all comes back to Microsoft the corporation getting in the way of progress again.

    I'll give them the point that they've got little time to check everything but not to the degree to forgive them of their repeated offenses.
    Ah yes, you'd think they'd learn from their mistakes. These errors reappear with alarming regularity all through MS's software. I also fail to understand how they can keep on making the same mistakes so many times.

    I saw a book the other day called, "How to write secure code". I thought, "this could be interesting" until I saw who the publisher was. I LOL'd when they said that the most common errors are buffer overflows.

    As for the lack of expertise, that's because they DO hire right out of college "programmers", people taught the wrong methods (I know some VB programmers who think VB is object-oriented) and some of these people think they're the shizzit because they're VB programmers working for MS.
    I'm don't think it's the fact that college programmers are taught the wrong methods. It's just that, at university, everything is taught from a theoretical perspective. In practice things are very different to say the least. I've seen some hacks on SAMBA that are definitely not A+ material but they worked and they were damn clever. Ugly but clever .

    MS and Congress...we should kick everyone out and start over.
    Hehe, if only .
    OpenBSD - The proactively secure operating system.

  9. #9
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    If and when their pre release code goes to nonm$ programmers before final version being shipped, it'll be better. Until then....
    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

  10. #10
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    I was listening to a Microsoft employee give a lecture yesterday at uni. What she said gave some interesting insight into how Microsoft works internally. I'm paraphrasing here.

    We look at a bug and if it will take too long to fix or if, by fixing it, we run the risk of creating more bugs, we usually just leave the bug in.
    Yes, she said that! She also went on to give some background information about Microsoft's recent security crackdown.

    During the month of February, production has stopped. Pretty much everyone in the company has been spending the entire month fixing bugs and dealing with security issues.
    So it would seem that Microsoft are making a sincere effort to follow through with their promises of being more security focused, sort of. She also said a whole bunch of other stuff that was very interesting but not really security related so I'll leave it there for now.
    OpenBSD - The proactively secure operating system.

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