I would have been perfectly happy to leave it at that. If the Apps
Architecture team needed care and feeding and wanted to argue about stuff,
that was OK, I would argue with them as much as they wanted as long as they
left the programmers alone to do their work. But then something even more
interesting happened that blew my mind. I was sitting at lunch with some
coworkers, in the Redmond sun, when Pete Higgins came up to me. At that time
Pete was the general manager for Office -- I knew who he was, of course, but
didn't expect that he knew me very well.
- "How's it going, Joel?" he asked. "I hear you've been having some issues
with the App Architecture group."
- "Oh no!" I said. "Nothing I can't handle."
- "Say no more," he said, "I understand." He left. By the next day the rumor
had gotten back to me: the App Architecture group was disbanded. Not only
that, but each member of the group was sent to a different department at
Microsoft, as far apart as possible. I never heard from them again.
I was blown away, of course. At Microsoft, if you're the Program Manager
working on the Excel macro strategy, even if you've been at the company for
less than six months, it doesn't matter - you are the GOD of the Excel macro
strategy, and nobody, not even employee number 6, is allowed to get in your
Joel Spolsky, "Two Stories", http://xrl.us/i8ef