Monthly Archives: September 2010

微软元老级员工Philip Su离职信:请不要在我的信里找连贯性(2010)

公  司:微软
入职时间:1998年

离职时间:2010年9月3日
离职时职务:Principal Group Manager

su

  过去的12 年里,我一直很喜欢在微软工作,但是今天是我在微软的最后一天。

  我一直是一个比较随意的人,所以我希望今天的信也一样是有个性的、有争议的、乐观的、凭感觉的,而可能没有让人读后很满意的答案。

  请不要在我的信里找连贯性,因为你是不会找到的。如果有内容冒犯了你,那你可能不太了解我,因为我经常会在无意中冒犯到别人,几乎已经成为了定律。

  谢谢所有的一切。

  上大学时,我从来没有想过在微软工作。但我1997 年的时候在微软实习后,就对它一见钟情:免费的饮料、自己的办公室、奔腾66… 一个程序员还能要求什么?几年后,我实习时的老板突然离职了。他电脑的硬盘当时发生了故障,丢失了几个月的工作。他说这是一个来自上天的征兆。我不知道他现在人在哪里,在做些什么事情。

  人们在拿到一个不好的业绩审查后总是会抱怨老板和上级不公平而且不客观。但是你不觉得,每个人对自己的评估其实是最不客观的吗?我有时会平和地告诉别人这一点,但是没有人信。

  吃点碳水化合物。吃饭时先吃甜点。

  在处理人际关系时,我们应该运用奥卡姆剃刀原理(小编注:奥卡姆剃刀定律又称“奥康的剃刀”,是由14世纪逻辑学家、圣方济各会修士奥卡姆的威廉提出。这个原理称为“如无必要,勿增实体”,即“简单有效原理”。),也就是对于别人的行为,找到最简单,最信任别人的解释。对那些爱搞办公室政治,勾心斗角的人敬而远之

  大学里的教授评估往往会参考学生在那门课得到的成绩,因为学生的成绩与他对教授的评价有很明显的关系。我一般不会认真听一个业绩不好的人对他老板的吐槽,但是如果一个业绩好的人批评他的老板,我会洗耳恭听

  不行动的话,闲聊会耗尽你的生命(Litebulb是微软内部的一个广泛话题讨论组)。

  字有表意,也有隐含的意思。

  如果你不断做公司最需要的事情,你是一定会被重用的。有人说,不是的,人际关系和在人前表现自己更重要。我不明白,如果你持续做对公司意义很重大的事情,怎么可能不被别人注意到。我很讨厌程序员问我怎么才能在人前表现自己。他们也很讨厌我的答案“把事情做得更漂亮”,觉得我是在讽刺他们。

  做一个真诚的人。给别人建议时不要考虑自己的利益。我从没有说服过任何人加入我的团队,或者说服他们不要走,仅仅因为我需要他们。

  听人说话时尽量理解,讲话时尽量容易让别人理解。

  好的创意很多。伟大的创意常常会遭受嘲笑,除非你去实现它。不要光说,用行动来证明你的点子。在大学的一门创业课里,我讲了一个网上租看和邮寄电影光碟的点子,我当时把它起名叫“NetVideo”,所有人都觉得很荒唐。以前我讲这个故事是为了炫耀我当时多么有远见(指后来用相同点子起家的上市公司Netflix),但是现在我讲这个故事是想告诉你,行动和执行是最重要的。

你  在微软最终的职位级别是什么?请不要说 CEO 或科技院士,因为我几乎可以保证你达不到。对自己能力更现实的认识会帮助你更准确找到目标,而且也会让你更加快乐。一位副总裁曾经告诉我, 他已经做到了他在微软能做的最高职位。这不是假谦虚,也不是抱怨。他对自己很自信,而且很有事业心。他只不过是对自己有很清楚的认识,而且懂得满足。不要放弃,也不要出卖自己。但是你要正确认识你自己。

  如果你只采用你赞同的反馈,那很有可能这些反馈从一开始就不是你需要的。真正有价值的反馈是那些你在一开始并不赞同的反馈。要不然,你怎么去发现你的盲点?

  有流程规划的人通常比没有流程规划的人能够做得更好。——布奇(美国Rational软件工程公司的首席科学家和Booch方法的主创人)

  不要害怕流程。害怕人们不能够很好的执行流程,害怕不合适的人去执行流程。

  我管理过150 人的开发团队。我估计60% 的人觉得自己应该是排名在前20%。我从来没有遇见过认为自己是排在最后10% 的人

  Mini 会怎么做?(一个经理曾经很严肃的问我,我是不是Mini-Microsoft。 等我离开微软后,你们就会知道了。)(小编注:Mini-Microsoft 是一个写微软内情的匿名博客,在微软内部有很大影响力)

  在微软这么大的公司中,你一定能够找出职位比你高,但你认为能力却不如你的人。但是你不应该钻这个牛角尖,因为这只会让你气馁。你应该做的是找到和你级别差不多的,但是你很佩服的人。你能从他们身上学到什么?你有什么他们不具备的优点?

  一个人的激情是无法替代的。一个总是需要经理告诉他去做什么的人是无法进步的

  有一次在必胜客,我看到所有签信用卡的笔上都插上了小花,放在一起的时候看起来像一束鲜花。我问服务员,这是必胜客的新政策吗?她说不是,是她自己弄的。你是不是也很想聘用这样的员工?

  愤世嫉俗者并不能够做成事业。停止和一开始就怀疑你的人讨论问题,因为他们会拖垮你

  我有一位同事,他在我1998 年加入微软的时候已经在微软干了15 年,应该有足够的钱来买一栋楼。但是他每天还是开一辆破旧的Datsun 汽车来上班,来编程。说这不是他深爱的事业,会有谁信呢?

  去读谢家华的《三双鞋-美捷步总裁谢家华自述》吧,它会改变你的一生。

  给我一位优秀的工程师,我会很乐意拿五个“还不错的”工程师跟你换。

  练习如何有说服力的表达你不同意的观点,如果你不这样做,你就会在心里暗骂与你“道不同”的人是蠢货一个。聪明人会明白为什么其他聪明的人有时会不同意

  发生问题的时候,人们总是让管理人担当责任。你什么时候见过底下的工程师说过:“这是我的错,应该写在我的业绩审查里面。我会把它修好,或者辞职。”

  你最想加入的团队就是最难进的团队。

  如果你很容易就能够得到许多很好的评价,也许这说明你进入了错误的团队。

  你还在坚持练习你的技术么?运动员天天训练,音乐家也会演练更难的曲章。你呢?

  有些新员工会问我获得职业成功的秘诀。当我告诉他们答案是“努力工作”时,他们通常会很失望。这听起来像陈腐的说教,还像是自夸。如果我的答案是“我之所以能够爬到中层管理岗位是因为我很善于给上级拍马屁”,他们也许会更满意。我来微软的第一年就带了个睡袋到办公室,而且经常加班,周末的时候,我也是在写代码,学习新技术。我会看团队管理和如何与人沟通的书籍。才智相当的人在职业生涯上会有不同的发展,主要是因为他们的付出有多有少。如果有人另有说法,那他可能是想向你“兜售”点什么。

  跟随杰出的人,为杰出的人工作。

  ”最重要的是:做人要诚信。你必须信任和你一起工作的人。罗斯福有一次开除了他的牧场主,因为那位牧场主偷了邻居的牛,然后把它们放到了罗斯福的牛群中。当他的朋友询问他为什么时,罗斯福回答 “为我偷东西的人,也会从我这里偷东西。”

  一位PM 曾经评价过一位在会议上很具进攻性的副总裁,“我宁可让他从我这边往别人那里喷,而不是从别人那里往我这里喷。”听到的所有人都笑了。我更希望谁也别喷谁。

  永远不要发出组织的架构图。-(Steven Sinofsky史蒂文·辛诺夫斯基,微软Windows事业部主管)

  你可以通过三种方法控制你的结果:1. 控制人,你可以选择雇佣谁,解雇谁,把什么人放到什么位置上;2. 行为控制,你可以告诉他们该做什么;3. 结果控制,你告诉他们需要什么样的结果而度量标准是什么。你要知道什么时候适合用什么方法。

  当你被介绍认识同事的孩子或者配偶时,这种感觉是不是很好?在一瞬间,工作和生活之间的隔阂消失了,你会联想到篮球,音乐会,庆祝晚宴等。当我对同事不满意的时候,我就会用这些提醒自己。

  我喜欢看到有才能的人们做他们最擅长的事情,因为这能够很好的激励我。我在上海的一个胡同里面看到一个大厨把一个篮球大小的面团用手拉成了8 个人吃的面条,而且整个过程都在一分钟内完成。我们每人都具有惊人的潜能。

  当我编写的Dr. Who 网站(微软内部查询人的工具)受到了法律事务部的一些抗议时,有人把一个两英尺高的“Dalek”塑像放在我的办公室里,表示支持。我现在还不知道这是谁做的,但是如果你在读这封信,谢谢。

  花时间和其他人在一起,无论他们对你是不是“有用”。

  回复所有人的邮件,无论他是副总裁还是一名大学实习生。这条建议你可能认为并不是特别“有效”,但它却是条好的建议。

  我们以前经常会有免费的啤酒和吃的,基本每一个产品的大小里程碑都会有一次庆祝。我们为什么现在没有了?(我知道财政上的原因,但我想知道更深层次的原因。省那点钱值得吗?现在的微软比从前更好了吗?)

  有一天, 一个标贴出现在微软雷德蒙西区的冰箱上,它是这样写的:“你知道微软每年在饮料上要花费掉几百万美金吗?饮料是公司的,请不要带回家”。这使我非常郁闷的原因很多,简单说几个:

  1.有人有足够的时间去把这些标牌做得很专业并且贴到了冰箱上。

  2.有人在领每周40小时的工作薪水,竟然有做这个事情的工作岗位。

  3.有人认为带走几瓶饮料会是一个很大的问题,是值得微软去注意的事情。

  一个人能带走几瓶饮料?同样一个人每小时的薪水和福利是多少?我们最大的盈利是来自于我们的潜能最大化,而不是我们的成本最小化。我相信,财务人员看到这段话会揍我,这只会让我更沮丧。相信我们赚钱的能力,把注意力放在赚钱上面,而不是省钱。

  带领和管理的艺术是让人们想去做你认为必须要做的事情。这句话是我从别人那里批发过来的,不幸的是,我不知道这是谁说的(小编注:据说这句话是美国第34任总统艾森豪威尔说的)。

  你在微软最开心的是什么时候?是什么让你这么开心?你怎样可以做得更好?

  如果中了彩票大奖,你会做什么?当中有什么是你现在就能动手做的呢?

  所有发生的一切都是从个人开始的。

原文:

Microsoft has been an awesome place to work over the past twelve years.  Today is my last day。

I’ve always been somewhat random, so I’d like to end this whole adventure true to form:  quirky, controversial, optimistic, seat-of-the-pants, with rarely a satisfying explanation。

Don’t look for coherence below – you won’t find it.  And if parts of this offend you, it’s probably because you don’t know me well enough – I offend people inadvertently all the time, almost as a rule。

Thanks for everything。

In college, I never thought I’d work for Microsoft.  Then I interned in 1997 and fell in love:  free sodas, individual offices (with doors!), Pentium 66’s – what more could a coder ask?  Years later, my manager from the internship quit suddenly when his hard drive crashed, erasing weeks of code that hadn’t been checked in.  He said it was a sign from God.  I have no idea what he’s doing these days。

People often complain after getting a “bad” review that their manager has a distorted and inaccurate view of them.  Don’t you think that, of all the people in the world, the person reviewed would have the most biased view of their own performance?  I sometimes gently suggest this.  People don’t believe me。

Choose carbs.  Eat dessert first。

Use Occam’s Razor in interpersonal relations:  look for the simplest, most straightforward explanation that assumes the best of everybody.  Stay away from people who always have a conspiracy theory involving twisted office politics, unfulfilled Machiavellian ambitions, and unspoken agendas。

Anonymous college course evaluations often ask for the student’s grade in the class. Turns out that there’s a strong correlation between a student’s grade and their assessment of the professor’s abilities.  I don’t listen too carefully when a poor performer tells me how awful their previous manager was.  My ears perk up when a star performer constructively criticizes their management。

Bias towards action.  “Litebulb” will drain your soul。

Words matter.  Connotations matter。

If you consistently deliver what the business needs most, and you do it well, it’s impossible not to get promoted. People tell me this isn’t true, that it’s all about the people you know and about “visibility。”  I have no idea how to consistently deliver impactful business results without becoming visible as a side effect.  I hate it when developers ask me how to become “more visible。”  They hate it when I tell them to “do great work。”  They think I’m mocking them。

Be genuine.  Never give advice for your own advantage.  I’ve never once counseled a person to join my team or to stay on my team because I needed them。

Listen to understand.  Speak to be understood。

Good ideas are a dime a dozen.  Great ideas are usually laughed at.  Neither sees the light of day without you taking action.  Do the work to prove your idea, or stop talking about it.  In an entrepreneurship class in college, I pitched the idea of an online grocery delivery service and got laughed off stage.  Hurt, but convinced of my great genius, I returned the following week to pitch the idea of online movie rentals using the postal service.  I called it NetVideo.  Everyone thought it was absurd.  I used to tell this story to bolster what I thought was my streak of unrecognized, prognosticating technical genius.  These days, I tell the story to remind myself that in the end, only action and execution matter。

What’s your final level at Microsoft?  Please don’t say CEO or Technical Fellow – I can almost guarantee you it’s not.  A realistic appraisal helps you aim for the right things, and is also essential to happiness.  A VP once told me that he had already attained the highest position he’d ever reach at Microsoft. It wasn’t false humility.  It wasn’t sour grapes. He was confident in his abilities and ambitious about doing great work.  He was just more grounded and self-aware than many, and thus more content.  Don’t give up or sell out.  Just know yourself。

If you only ever implement feedback that you agree with, you probably don’t need the feedback in the first place.  For feedback to be useful, you must at least occasionally consider implementing feedback that you don’t initially agree with.  How else will you discover your blind spots?

Good people with good process will outperform good people with no process every time.–Grady Booch

Don’t fear process.  Fear bad people dictating process.  Fear process trying to make up for bad people。

I’ve managed almost 150 people across dev/test/PM. I estimate about 60% of employees think that they belong in the top 20% when ranked against their peers. I have never once had a person say that they belong in the bottom 10%。

What would Mini do?  (Incidentally, one of my managers once asked me, in all seriousness, whether I was Mini-Microsoft.  I guess you’ll find out after I leave。)

In a company as large as Microsoft, I guarantee you’ll find someone higher level than you who you think is worse than you.  Don’t get stuck in this mental trap – it won’t motivate you to be your best.  Look instead towards the person you admire most at your level.  What can you learn from them?  What unique strengths might you have which they don’t have?

A person is either passionate or they’re not.  People who expect their manager to make their jobs fun and interesting won’t get far。

Once, at a Pizza Hut counter, I noticed that all the pens meant for signing credit card receipts had little flowers attached to their tops.  Stuck together in a cup, the bunch of pens looked like a bouquet.  I asked the cashier whether this was a new Pizza Hut policy.  She said no – she had done it on her own.  What would you pay to have her in your company?

Cynics don’t get anything done.  Stop talking to people whose first response is always skeptical.  They will crush you。

I had a coworker in Money who, by the time I joined in 1998, had already been at Microsoft for 15 years and could probably buy the county I grew up in.  He drove a beat-up Datsun and coded every day in his office as an individual contributor.  There is no doubt in my mind that he knows what he loves。

Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness.  It may change your life。

Offer me one great Microsoft engineer for five “solid” ones:  I gladly take the exchange。

Practice articulating positions you disagree with faithfully and persuasively.  Unless you can do this, you’re implicitly assuming that people who disagree with you are idiots.  Smart people understand why smart people disagree。

People keep asking for executive accountability when something goes wrong.  When’s the last time you saw a line engineer take accountability – real, public accountability, the type that says, “I screwed up. This needs to go on my review.  I will make this right, or I will find another position”?

The team you want to join is the one that’s hard to get into。

If it seems easy getting a bunch of great reviews, you’re probably working on the wrong team。

Do you practice specific skills with repetition and intent?  Athletes do drills.  Musicians hone difficult passages.  What do you do?

Mentees sometimes ask for the secret to my moderate career success.  They’re disappointed when I tell them that it’s partially due to hard work.  It sounds trite and preachy, like a public service announcement, like I’m commending myself for breaking a light sweat.  As if they’d be more satisfied with an answer like, “I clawed my way up to middle management through shameless brownnosing。”  My first year at Microsoft, I had a sleeping bag in my office and worked all the time.  On weekends, I still write code to learn new technologies.  I regularly read books about leadership, communication, management, and technology.  Equally smart people fare differently in their careers partly based on the amount they’re willing to put in.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something。

Follow great people.  Work for great people。

Above all else:  Integrity.  You must be able to trust who you work with and for.  Theodore Roosevelt once fired a rancher who stole some neighboring cattle and added them to Roosevelt’s herd.  When asked about this by incredulous friends, Roosevelt simply replied, “A man who steals for me will also steal from me。

A PM once remarked of a former Microsoft VP known for being ultra-aggressive in meetings: “I’d rather have him pissing from my tent than into my tent。”  Everyone within earshot chuckled at this witty political insight.  I’d actually rather not have anybody pissing on any tents, mine or otherwise。

Organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.–Conway’s Law (Melvin Conway)康威定律(Conway’s Law):

Don’t ship the org chart.–Steven Sinofsk

You can control outcomes with three types of approaches:  a) People Control, where you decide who to hire, who to fire, and who to put in what positions;  b) Action Control, where you tell people what to do;  and c) Results Control, where you define the metrics of success.  Know when to use which。

Isn’t it a neat feeling when you’re introduced to a coworker’s kids or spouse?  For a moment, the bubble of work is burst.  You imagine baseball games, music recitals, anniversary dinners.  I remind myself of this when I get frustrated at people。

I love watching exceptional people do what they’re good at.  It amazes and inspires me.  I once saw an alleyway chef in Shanghai turn a basketball-sized clump of dough into hand-pulled noodles for a table of eight, amid a blur of arm movements in under a minute.  Ever watch speed stacking?  We each have astonishing potential。

Amidst some LCA controversy around “Dr. Who(m),” a site I worked very hard on creating after hours, I arrived at my office to find a handmade two-foot-high Dalek.  Someone had taken the time to print, cut, and tape together a mascot to support me. What inspires people to this sort of kindness?  I still don’t know who did this for me – but if you’re reading this, thank you。

Spend time with people whether they’ll be “useful” to you someday or not.

Respond to emails whether from a VP or from a campus hire.  This advice will likely make you less “efficient。”  But it’s good advice nevertheless。

We used to get Dove Bars and beers all the time.  It felt like free food was on offer at least once a week, usually with a pretense of some small milestone to celebrate.  Why did we cut stuff like this?  (I know the boring fiscal reasons why.  I’m asking the deeper why, as in, “Was it worth the savings?  Is Microsoft better now that we’ve cut these costs?”)

One day, a sign appeared on a soda fridge in RedWest saying something to the effect of, “Did you know that drinks cost Microsoft [ed: millions of dollars] a year? Sodas are your perk at work.  Don’t bring them home。”  This depressed me on too many levels to enumerate, but I’ll toss out a few:

1.Someone had enough time to get these signs professionally printed and affixed to our fridges。

2.It was someone’s salaried, 40-hour-a-week job to do things like this。

3.Someone thought soda smuggling was a big enough “problem” at Microsoft to draw attention to it。

How much soda can a person steal?  How much does that same person cost the company per hour in salary and benefits?  Our most interesting profits will come from capitalizing on huge opportunities, not from micromanaging costs.  I’m sure some finance person will lambast me for this, which would only further depress me.  Believe in our upside.  Focus on our upside。

Leadership is the art of getting people to want to do what you know must be done. This was told to me third
hand; I’ve unfortunately lost the attribution。

What have you enjoyed most in your time at Microsoft?  What made that experience great?  How can you do more of that?

What would you do if you hit the lottery?  How can you do some of that right now?

Individuals are the sole cause of anything that’s ever happened。