neilcummings
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Anatomy of Stasis: The Day I Lost My Job at Microsoft

As I entered the conference room, I took a deep breath. When I saw an invite for an early morning meeting with HR and my supervisor and a vague subject the night before, I knew precisely what was going to happen. The housing bubble, the subprime mortgage crisis, and banks crumbling all over the place made 2008 a bad year. After 11 years with Microsoft, I was about to lose my job in the midst of one of the worst global recessions in history. As I walked into the room, I gave a faint smile.


Manu Cornet deserves credit for this masterpiece.

This tale was important to me for three reasons.

I believe there is a shame associated with being laid off. That is something I would like to challenge. On January 22, 2009, I was part of a major layoff at Microsoft that affected 5000 people. It wasn't due to my performance: I'd only been promoted two months before. And things worked out fine: I've progressed six Microsoft levels since then.

I am certain that awful things happen in order for wonderful things to happen. Being laid off from Microsoft led me to Amazon, where I began an 11-year odyssey that would change my life.
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I only realised I had let fear and inertia pull me into stagnation through the soul searching that the thought of unemployment imposed upon me. In years, I hadn't progressed in my career. When I joined Amazon, this provided me the motivation and enthusiasm to supercharge my career. I was too afraid to leave Microsoft, despite my severe dissatisfaction.

To be honest, I despised Microsoft.

But I didn't always despise Microsoft. It was the most incredible place to be when I arrived in 1997 as a fresh out of college job. There was a lot of enthusiasm and talent all around the place. Microsoft was incapable of making a mistake. I felt honoured to have been a part of it all. At a dizzying pace, the stock was increasing and dividing. “Memories from working at Microsoft in the nineties,” “The night I pulled an all-nighter for Bill Gates,” and “Bunnies and Bees, Patenting at Microsoft” are just a few of the sentimental stories I posted on my blog about the good old days at Microsoft.
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I am grateful for what Microsoft has taught me. My first five years at Microsoft were formative in my development as a software engineer. You work on small projects for a week or two in college, give them in, get a grade, and move on. You work in groups at times, but the most of the time you work alone. You usually don't have to cope with the consequences of a faulty technological decision for years. However, when I joined Microsoft in 1997, I was thrust into the vast codebases of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows, where I was working with thousands of engineers on multi-year projects worth billions of dollars. I was also surrounded by some of the world's brightest software developers, all of whom were far smarter than me. I was so alert, taking everything in. I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

Nonetheless, the company's collapse began when Bill Gates passed the reins over to Steve Ballmer. It was dubbed the "Lost Decade." Steve lacked commercial skills and embarked on a series of doomed purchases, including a $7 billion blunder in purchasing Nokia's handset business. Steve exuded testosterone and promoted and rewarded competitiveness both inside and outside, so he (maybe unwittingly?) cultivated a culture of backstabbing and cutthroat behaviour. It was a poisonous environment. Microsoft was in a bad way. It showed in its stock price, which has been unchanged for a decade, as well as in its lacklustre software releases. While Apple was wowing the world with the iPod and iPhone, Microsoft was releasing Windows Vista, which was buggy and unappealing.

[Before I get flamed by current Microsoft employees, let me say that I admire Satya Nadella's efforts to turn the firm around.] It's a completely different planet now! However, Steve was not a good fit for the corporation, and that decade was not Microsoft's best.]

I joined Microsoft's Rich Media Group in 2007. (RMG). RMG was a software development organisation, and photography was a pastime of mine, so integrating a hobby with my day job sounded like a good idea. I was ecstatic at the prospect of working in space!

However, I had forgotten to account for some wind.

To begin with, supporting a place indiscriminately is a dangerous thing to do, and the team was actually over-funded.

Amazon (the firm I'd join after leaving Microsoft) understands this to the degree where one of the Leadership Principles that codifies Amazon's DNA is "frugality." “Achieve more with less,” according to the official description. Constraints encourage resourcefulness, independence, and innovation. Growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense do not earn extra points.” Amazon's least popular leadership value is frugality, which is frequently used to explain being stupid. Yes, Amazon is cheap in a lot of ways, but there's a lot of wisdom behind that leadership principle. Getting fewer resources to build something forces you to be laser-focused on the things that matter and build value incrementally to earn trust.

Microsoft’s RMG provided a textbook case study on the opposite. We were going to compete with Adobe Lightroom. Adobe constructed it in 18 months with the help of 18 engineers? We were going to swarm the problem with 35 people! There was an impressive cast of Senior and Principal Engineers that essentially spent two years debating each other and bike shedding and ended up shipping exactly zero code. There were little fiefdoms even among the 35 engineers. We even began purchasing businesses in order to “speed up” the process. None of these acquisitions accomplished anything other than adding to the administrative burden. Today, I am convinced that we could have shipped a product if we had funded a team half the size.

We had so much spare cash that we launched a programme called "Icons of Imaging," in which we collaborated with world-renowned photographers such as Bambi Cantrell, Reed Hoffmann, Denis Reggie, John Shaw, Matthew Jordan Smith, and Art Wolfe. One of our team members was chosen to accompany Art Wolfe to Antarctica to film the public television series Travels to the Edge. We spent an afternoon with Bambi Cantrell doing a private shoot. We had a lab stuffed with high end printers (in the tens of thousands of dollars) so that we could test the product’s printing capabilities. We had a full collection of Canon “L” lenses that we could borrow anytime, like the $2000 70–200mm f/2.8L. Photography was my hobby, so in a lot of ways the perks of the job made it a dream job.

But in terms of software engineering, I learned nothing. I didn’t grow my career. The team was doomed from the start. The fact I was having so much fun with all the perks obscured this fact for a long time.

The second headwind I failed to take into account is that we simply didn’t have it in our corporate DNA to make the right product.

Companies have specific things they do extremely well. Apple does beautiful designs. Microsoft does serious enterprise. Amazon does online services. Google does ridiculous scale. When these businesses stray from their essential DNA, they become more shaky and uncomfortable. Amazon's Alexa is a fantastic tool, but it lacks the aesthetics of Apple's devices. At the same time, I wouldn't expect an Apple web service to have the same level of reliability as Amazon AWS. This isn't to suggest that Apple or Amazon can't create beautiful interfaces or fantastic web services, but it goes against their essential DNA, so there's some resistance.

Adobe was the king of the castle when it came to photography and art. It was ingrained in their DNA. It has been a tradition of theirs for decades. Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom were all really stunning. This kind of beauty and creativity will appeal to photographers and artists if you're creating a product for them.

Instead, Microsoft offered Windows and Office, which were both utilitarian and corporate in nature. Today, I use a Mac, and I gag every time I see Microsoft Windows. It's extremely serious and businesslike. The user involvement isn't at all amusing.

In September of 2008, I had that insight in Köln (Cologne), Germany. We were to Photokina, a well-known photo industry exhibition, to debut Microsoft Pro Photo Tools, a product we had developed. All of the major players were also present. Our stand was immediately close to Adobe's. You could literally glance at one booth, then the other, back and forth, because our DNA differences were so obvious. Even their display was lovely, with bright primary colours, artful curves, and a joyful, inviting atmosphere. Our booth was black and white, with sharp angles and an uncomfortably business appearance. We were dull businessmen, but they were a lot of fun.
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Kpop Relatables for every Kpop fan. You do this too, don't lie.
Hey everyone! In honor of today being my birthday starting.. 3 hours ago, I have decided to post these relatable and fun kpop pictures I have found and wanted to share with you all. I wanted to make sure you all got a couple laughs and know that you are absolutely not alone in this community. I just found some of these while I was looking up kpop things( like I always do) and stumbled upon them. Thank you all for always being there and tagging me in things i may like. It always makes me feel wanted and like I'm part of something which is something I have always wanted. If any of you ever want to talk or let me know what you want me to post about, you can always message me or comment, my inbox is always open!! Enjoy guys!!! I'm pretty sure most, if not all of us have done this at one point or another. Even I did it yesterday when I watched the end of the dance for EOEO by Uniq when they are grinding on the floor- yes I literally said "I wish I could be that floor." This is true in a lot of ways. Having a bias sometimes does seem better than having a boyfriend. Having a bias as a boyfriend would be AMAZING!! But also I've set my boyfriend bar so high to match my bias, so that's one reason I will never have a relationship. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ! Am I the only one that does this? Ah eye smiles. They hit you right in the feels! The eye smile isn't iconic just because our idols are so adorable when they do it (although it is a big part of it) but it's that they happiness that shows on their face that makes their smiles huge and their eyes sink away to tiny adorable slits. Haha. I think we can all agree eye smiles are dangerous, heart melting things. Who do you think has the best eye smiles in kpop? ^ㅅ^ This couldn't be more true to me. What people who aren't kpop fans don't understand is, we have all joined together and not just became friends and fellow fans, but we have also become a family who support each other and each other's fandoms. Yet another statement that couldn't be more true. Before kpop, I wouldn't have met so many people both here and outside of the Vingle kpop community. Before someone mentions they like kpop i find it hard to take a lot of interest in them but once the word kpop comes up, I break into my kpop loving self. And a lot of the time, we become friends and continue to stretch kpop love across the world. These quotes just make me smile and are over all inspirational to me. I really enjoy how wise and knowledgable our idols are. They are more than people may think. I've heard people say, "yeah they are good at singing and dancing, but that's all they are good for." But we all know that's not true. Our idols rank high in sports, school, languages, performing and so much more, which makes me happy when I read these amazing words they say in their music and in real life. Being a kpop fan takes a special kind of person. We are able to look past the language barriers, the distance, the age differences, the unnecessary and sometimes hurtful remarks from others and still support and love continue to love Kpop and idols with all our hearts. No matter how hard it may be to be a kpop fan, international or not, we still stick it out and support that Hallyu wave all the way!!! As I said before, we have some of the most wise people as idols. This quote from CL makes me incredibly happy and I couldn't have said this better myself. I get bashed all the time by people I don't know, non-kpop friends and even my family always saying there is no point to listening to music that you can't understand, but what they don't understand is music truly IS universal. You don't have to know the words to a song to be able to jam to it. Honestly, since I'm so used to kpop, even though I can't understand what they are saying, it doesn't seem like a foreign language to me. So there is no point to the hating on kpop music and it's fans, because to us, we can enjoy the music just fine without knowing the words. And we are proud of it!! And yes, I have thought about this a lot before. My parents don't really get why I like kpop, but I even said to them, "it could be worse, I could be drinking, doing drugs, partying and hooking up with guys like most kids my age." But I don't really do that. My social life is just a relationship between me and my cell phone. And all of you of course. I really gotta get out more, but I like staying in and doing nothing. Who else has had this problem where your family just really doesn't get that this is a good thing and you could be doing MUCH worse things? This is just a relatable kpop thing that I thought many of you would know about and have also done. There are so so so many pictures of my biases on my phone of the EXACT SAME PICTURE!! I just never know if I had saved it or not. There are times where I'm like "I know for a fact that I have seen this picture," so I screenshot it and when I go through all of my pictures later on, It turns out I have seen it before (a few times apparently) and thought the same thing back then too, so I have multiples of the same pics. These are just things I feel that I want to happen just because I am a fangirl and I do honestly think I can end up with my bias someday. It's true. There have been times where I needed to focus on my studies so I tried to leave the kpop world and I couldn't even do it for a day, let alone forever. Kpop is just to Fantastic to even try to leave. Once we got you, you ain't ever gonna be able to leave. You're in for life. I've done it. I bet some of you have too. Kpop does take over your world, but it's actually a good thing. Since I became a kpop fan, my life has become better and I've met some really good and dependable people who can relate to me as well. 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Kpop has the ability to bring different people together and give them something in common that most people can never relate to. It makes me really happy when I randomly think about the people I have met from being into kpop and the thing I have learned. Since I started listening to kpop and learning about korea in general I've learned to be more considerate of people and to try and understand people more for what they like and not judge them for it. Kpop has absolutely changed my life for the better and I can't and don't want to imagine what my life would be like without it.
Raising Sharp Readers
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201-450-deutsch Prüfung, 201-450-deutsch Fragen und antworten
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National Library Workers Day!
Hey guys! This isn't a holiday most people know about but its SO IMPORTANT! It's National Library Workers Day! Alright so you might not be thinking this is a huge deal BUT librarians, library technicians, and library aides all around the world (right this very second!) are helping someone learn something new, discover a new world, and best of all, to fall in love with reading. If that isn't enough for you - Why you should love libraries: 1. Libraries serve a vital social service by helping bridge social gaps. No matter what your background is, if you have access to a library, you have access to literacy and computer training. They give you resources to learn as well as people to teach you! 2. Libraries have been around for 5,000 years. They contain a TON of info as well as trained people to help you find whatever you're looking for. 3. Libraries can act as safe havens for students at school. For those with anxiety or for those who do not feel comfortable around their peers, the library is a peaceful escape. 4. Libraries provide support for job seekers via free access to the internet to search for and respond to job applications, and by helping them to improve their employability skills. Among a thousand reasons why you should be proud of library workers, I'm especially fond of this day because my mom is a public school library tech! She worked at the elementary and middle school levels and has been changing kids lives for almost a decade! (Actually, maybe more than a decade?!) It was her dream job since she was little and even though it took her a while, she finally got her own library :) Look! She's even holding a ridiculously large book as a small child! She is never without a book in her hand, car, or purse haha! (But really that's a bible my grandpa had to swear on to become fire chief, but that's besides the point) Also, my mom has a Tardis in her school library. PLUS! She puts in the extra effort to keep her library up with the times. That means focusing part of the small budget on graphic novels since that has proven to be the best way to get middle school boys excited about reading. Or focusing on responsible internet use, how to do research on and offline, and of course, how to find the books you won't want to put down! So if you see or know someone who works or volunteers in a library, thank them for everything they do!
Female Idols in School Uniforms Before & After Debut
Ello mates! School uniforms in Korea is very popular and pretty! We probably always wanted to wear them right? We see our favorite idols wearing them either for a drama or a CF. Here are some female Idols before and after debut pictures with school uniforms! AOA - ChoA ♡ APink - Eunji ♡ KARA - Hara Girl's Day - Hyeri ♡ Sistar - Hyorin ♡ IU ♡ Rainbow - Jaekyung ♡ Lee Hyori ♡ After School - Nana ♡ Girl's Generation - Seohyun♡ AOA - Seolhyun ♡ MissA - Suzy ♡ GFriend - Yerin♡ Girl's Generation - YoonA ♡ 4minute - HyunA ♡ Before and after they all look pretty :) Linku: (Credit to Allkpop) http://www.allkpop.com/article/2016/04/then-and-now-female-idols-in-school-uniforms-before-and-after-debut *Kpopint does not own any of these photos. Reporter @parktaemi KPopINT Chairs: @bbyitskatie @MichelleIbarra @Sailynn KpopINT Fam: @amobigbang @daniimals @elaynethtrumpet @Gaarita100 @JohnEvans @Insfired @KpopBeat @krystalrikpop @LenaBlackRose @LexiMintkgtopty @ParkHwaYoung @reyestiny93 @Stefany17 @tayunnie Tagging more of my fam @mercii @kpopandkimchi @ercurrent @PrincessUnicorn @roxy1903 @yongsongmi @sarangseoltang @nnatalieg @allobaber @creetheotaku @poojas @lextay327 @veronicaartino @deniecesuit @beckah1327 @mellyortiz @nicolejolly @drummergirl691 @crystalguerra @carleB @eliseB @raquelarredondo @erinee @sarahdarwish @xxygxx @jennyyang143 @geetanjalirao @toppdogg @donnalykaroxas @aegyoxprincess @ninjamidori @hayleyyates @ayannawelch @yaya12 @ladeda7 @maddie27 @danamichelle @brisalopez @aliciazitting88 @sashalove @shadowcyrmbbcl @neoisrealo @taisa @sabrinasakura @kpossible4250 @topstarlight @jjrockstar @marisamusic @izzy987 @shinoyuki @starbell808 @maricelvaromero @sugamint @thetrillestkid @stephaniepoore @nicolejolly @polarstarr @pamelapenaloza @lexxcisco @rebeccalondon @vickyle @JiyongLeo  @JinsPrincess @KaeliShearer @JadeOwens @BBxGD KpopINT tag list: @krystalrikpop @DamarisCisneros @KDSnKJH @ortizwendy17 @MelissaGarza @FannyWard @StefaniTre @Kieuseru @GDsGF @Sammie99522 @izabelpillado @drummergirl691 @P1B2Bear @LizaNightshade @ScarletMermaid @AnaP @ArhenBurris @CallMeMsDragon @AyameTenchu @Pickles440 @VeronicaArtino @aliahwhbmida @ShinoYuki @ShyrllBorden @TiffanyBibian @Jasminep96 @ESwee @CloverShadows @mellyortiz @ekahjw @moonchild03 @NykeaKing @AubriePope @maldonadosonia1@monikad @mycreativename @AaliyahNewbell @Swhitta @Jasminep96 @xxkkarlah @jenjenkhreim @JessicaVang @SatinSkies @BluBear07 @ninjamidori @CamrynCherry @Jinnyrod3 @MadAndrea @imiebegay14
After School is One of The Hardest Working Groups Out There
I was revisiting some older Kpop tracks and came across the magic that is After School. And it struck me just how hard these girls work for each comeback. Check it out below! Their first three songs were instant hits and blasted them to stardom. 1. Ah! 2. Diva 3. Because of You** ** You hear remixes and covers of this song on Korean TV all the time. Before their debut, Pledis said that their concepts would be heavily influenced by the Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls must have loved their style because when they had their Asian leg of their world tour, they had After School open for them! They were already known for their amazing performance skills (((did you see the choreography in the When I Grow Up performance?!?!?!??))) They then began to commit heavily to concepts, starting with BANG. The girls learned how to play the drums to fit into the marching band concept of Bang! And they basically killed it. The next few years were spent making Orange Caramel a HUGE success and becoming mega-famous in Japan. Then they came back with Flashback which is still such an iconic Kpop song today. Every Korean probably could sing this chorus :) Like with Bang! the girls decided to commit to an entirely new concept: They all learned how to pole dance. Nana even showed off the ridiculous bruises she got from training for 6 months. Various members have "graduated" or been added, including Kahi who went solo after her long stint with After School. (She actually founded the group^^) I hope that these girls get the attention they deserve! I love how much they put into their work :)
Things To Say To Our Idols On Twitter, Instagram, etc.
안녕하세요! So, I've been on Twitter and for the past few days, I've been seeing fans replying to idols' tweets, saying, "F*** me." or "Daddy." I think this is extremely disrespectful to our lovely, hard-working idols. Here are some nice things to say to our idols on Twitter and Instagram. ^^ (This ___ means someone's name goes there! ^^) ___ 사랑해. (I love you, ___.) 화이팅! (Fighting!) ___ 힘내. (“___, I support you." or "___, feel better.”) ___ 힘내고 사랑해. (___, feel better. I love you.) 항상 응원해. (I support you always.) ___, 생일축하해요. (Happy birthday, ___.) 건강하고 행복하세요. 좋은날을지내요. 사랑해요. (Always stay happy and healthy. Have a good day. I love you.) 이런 소문에 휩쓸려 맘아파하지말아요.사실이 아닌걸알아요.우리가 항상 뒤에있을께요. 힘내요, 알았지요? (Please don't let rumors get to you. We know they're fake. We're always here to support you guys. Keep your heads up, okay?) 본인을잘챙겨주세요. 힘들게노력하는것을알고있으니까 많이 걱정하기도하지만 뿌듯해요. 당신이 건강하고 행복할때 우리팬들도 가장행복해요. (Please take care of yourselves, we know you work very hard and this makes us both very proud and worried. Your fans are happiest when you are happy and healthy.) 기쁨가득한날을 보냈으면 좋겠어요. 많이사랑해요. 건강하고 많이쉬세요. (I hope you have a wonderful day full of joy. I love you very much. Stay healthy and rest lots!)