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New Reality Series: Be the Next Microsoft Employee 168

theodp writes "No, Steve Ballmer doesn't swap spit with contestants in a hot tub. Nor does he present a rose to each contestant he wishes to keep at the end of each episode. But the contestants in Microsoft's Be the Next Microsoft Employee web series, which is being billed as Top Chef for Geeks, do live together in a luxury waterfront home as they compete for the chance to interview for a job with the software giant. So, what's next from Microsoft? The Real Housewives of Medina?"
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New Reality Series: Be the Next Microsoft Employee

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:11AM (#40764475)

    Any of you skinny bitches stands in my way better be ready for some hair pullin!!

    • by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:41AM (#40764927)

      So Mr. Anderson, you say you want to work for us. I only have one question:

      How well can you dodge chairs?

      • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @12:07PM (#40765327)

        It doesn't matter how well he can dodge chairs; he just has to aim for a team where everybody else is worse at it because Microsoft operates is the type of nightmare employer which operates forced ranking []. Also, being with the stupidest people is probably your best chance of getting someone intelligent to teach you something since only the suicidal would teach someone in their own team. Ideally you are looking for a team of stupid people with a recently changed, decent, intelligent manager.

        Having said that, the best thing about winning this would be the pleasure of being able to say "no thanks"

        • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @01:02PM (#40766253)

          Having said that, the best thing about winning this would be the pleasure of being able to say "no thanks"

          I got that pleasure in 1999, when I got my degree. Microsoft called my house asking if I would be interested in interviewing, and I got to say, "No, I don't work for evil companies."

          The caller genuinely didn't understand why Microsoft is evil, so I got to tell her she needs to pay more attention. It was quite the pleasant experience. I wish more people could share the experience.

          • Stack Ranking as entertainment.

            If people think that a career in Microsoft is a prize, then they are in for a surprise.

            "I see Microsoft as technology's answer to Sears," said Kurt Massey, a former senior marketing manager. "In the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Sears had it nailed. It was top-notch, but now it's just a barren wasteland. And that's Microsoft." []

            Emulating "The Real World" and a "Reality TV" meme that peaked 5 years ago is indicative that Ballmer's Microsoft is still woefully clueless - on top of being bloa

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              I hope this show fails....who wants to see grown up IT nerds arguing over whether Windows is better than Linux. Arguments over who stole my limited edition Han Solo figurine......fights breaking out when to many Red Bulls are consumed without a proper meal beforehand. Confessional video sessions that involve crying because they didn't lock their laptop when they went to take their asthma medication and someone went in and changed their background to Hello Kitty. The season ender would involve controversy w
            • by vidnet ( 580068 )

              Donald Trump isn't necessarily the next messiah, but The Apprentice was still an interesting and entertaining show.

              This could still be interesting, even if done for the wrong reasons.

        • Having said that, the best thing about winning this would be the pleasure of being able to say "no thanks"

          You almost made me want to move to the states and participate. Almost...

          And yes, I know full well how stack ranking destroys morale. I briefly worked at a company that used that system, got berated at my first review because I ranked near the bottom. The next month, I shot up to #1 with a huge lead over the next guy, and stayed there until they shuttered our regional office, a few years later. Sure, I was really good at what I did, but I had not changed the quality of my work, nor was I cheating in any

        • It's happened with all the big companies I've worked for. It does suck. It sucked for me because I had hand-picked my team and built it up. So I effectively argued that I didn't have any weak memebers, and I won that argument. The idea is that there should be a percentage OVERALL that is stacked. And the idea isn't that you just identify those who are weaker to eliminate them, the idea is to then train those people. But it's a paradox, because at some point (in theory) you won't have any bottom percen

        • by Locutus ( 9039 )
          but you can't say "no thanks" because the NDA you were forced to sign to be part of this game/PR stunt would state you must accept the position should you be picked. I might also say all your trackable movements, blinks, finger and hand waves belong as Microsoft IP and may be patented and they could be required to license them.

          • So you work for them for 2 weeks, and then say, "Ehhh, I don't think I like it. No thanks." And walk out.

            If they made you sign a fixed-term contract, then they are bound to it too (which means they hardly ever do that).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:12AM (#40764485)

    Season two will be titled "Be the last Microsoft employee"

  • Really??? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Peristaltic ( 650487 ) * on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#40764517)

    They're going to live together in a luxury waterfront home as they compete for the chance to interview for Microsoft?

    I'd rather compete for a chance at North Korean citizenship.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Unless you're from US or South Korea, North Korean citizenship is quite easy to obtain.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Thank you, Sheldon.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're going to live together in a luxury waterfront home as they compete for the chance to interview for Microsoft?

      I'd rather compete for a chance at North Korean citizenship.

      At least in North Korea you aren't forced to use Windows phones ...

    • is healthcare included?

      #include "suresureifserious.jpg"

    • They're going to live together in a luxury waterfront home as they compete for the chance to interview for Microsoft?

      I'd rather compete for a chance at North Korean citizenship.

      No, no, it's the loser who gets the interview!

  • Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maxsthekat ( 1275608 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:15AM (#40764523)
    You could just go to a college career fair, like I did, put in your resume, interview, and get hired. There was really nothing magical about it-- just another interview. For what it's worth: they were a great college internship, too-- paid very well, and the work was fairly challenging.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:19AM (#40764575)

    Episode 3 will feature the chair throwing contest, Episode 4 the run-around-the-stage-like-you-just-snorted-two-lines-of-coke, the final episode will have the remaining contestants try to convince the audience why they prefer the Metro interface on their 3-monitor setup over the regular desktop; the only rule is that they're not allowed to laugh.

    • by TummyX ( 84871 )

      Don't forget...

      Sneaking into Apple HQ and steal the most ideas without getting caught.
      Most seem-less cover-up of system crash during an on-stage demo.
      Number of Word documents that can be written on a Microsoft Surface tablet before running out of battery life.

    • Developers, Developers!, DEVELOPERS!!

  • I'd rather (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather dip my balls in honey and sit down naked on a nest of fire ants. Just sayin'.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:24AM (#40764649)

    Whoop-tee-do. I could do that without having to compete in a reality series. Just send a flowery resume to land the interview.

    This would be more impressive if they were placed as Interns *inside* Microsoft, and competing to impress the boss to be hired permanently.

    • by jhol13 ( 1087781 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @12:02PM (#40765253)

      I think the point is to get into the reality show. Seems that this alone is good enough for some, to become "famous".

      This would be most impressive if they were inside Microsoft competing to get out.

      • This would be most impressive if they went all Big Brother and featured a bunch of talentless bimbos trying to get famous by flashing their tits in the hot tub.

        Now, reread that sentence without thinking of Steve Ballmer.

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      Exactly, these guys have like 15-20 years of experience, and in theory were selected from hundreds of appliants. They could get the job on an interview anytime they wanted to. Now if the job was a top position or something very prestigious i could understand, but that's not the case. The show is just a thinly veiled advertisement with MS products placed in every corner of the screen.

    • You don't even have to send a flowery resume. They're cold calling people on linked-in lately. Several times they have found me, I even went on the interview once, just for shits n giggles.

      All you have to do is look at the office environment to say "yeah, thanks, but no thanks, I'll try McDonalds"

      I've worked at several soulless companies before, I'm no stranger to cubicells, idiotic HR policies and the large amount of doublethink that is required to survive large company management. MS is the worst, you can

    • Do you use actual flowers on the resume? Seriously, I need to know.

  • by sglewis100 ( 916818 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:27AM (#40764683)
    You don't win money, or a job? You win the chance to interview?
  • When I interviewed at Microsoft, I spent most of the time in windowless cubicles. How come I didn't get to see this great waterfront villa? On the other hand, I got the job. Of these contestants, all but one will get nothing but a view of the waterfront. Maybe I got the better deal after all...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:37AM (#40764847)

      Windowless cubicle at Microsoft?

      That's too bad. I can't believe they make you run DOS!

      • by slew ( 2918 )

        Windowless cubicle at Microsoft?

        That's too bad. I can't believe they make you run DOS!

        Just be happy that they didn't make you run xenix... That command-line version of unix was so "good" that even though SCO bought it, they eventually threw it away ;^) :^p

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      I guess they couldn't fit all the lights and cameras in the basement.

  • by korgitser ( 1809018 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:32AM (#40764771)

    ...has tried to make microsoft look sexy for how long? And how come he always tries to do it with stuff over a hundred years old. First he was selling Vista with Seinfeld. And now this. Reality TV must be older than ms-dos 6.0! Who even watches that crap anymore? Certainly not young programmers. This guy wouldn't know sexy if it hit him on the head with a chair. Face it, there is nothing cool about the legacy wintel platform and the company associated with it. Pack your bags and move along.

    And don't let me get started on the fact that nobody in their right mind would ever hire the kind of people who go on reality TV shows.

    • by Jon Abbott ( 723 )

      And then there was the public debut of Windows 95, where they used the song Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones... they conveniently omitted the part that said "You make a grown man cry."

  • Honestly, I tried to watch the trailer and stay serious, but I was smiling the whole time, as if I was watching a new comedy show. After years of M$-spoofs, jokes and parodies, my brain seems to have associated a certain kind of expectation with watching Microsoft-related media that might not quite be the kind of reaction MS is looking for here.

    Still, I'll tune in and abuse my Pavlovian conditioning. Haha.
  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:39AM (#40764891)

    LOL in this reality TV show the winners are the ones who escape.

    There was a cheesy "human hunting" reality TV show awhile back, where dudes in matrix style men in black suits chased contestants around and tried to catch them, it may be something like that. If you didn't get captured in 30 minutes by the MIB then you "won". It was pretty intensely FOX network style, all arguing and yelling instead of cooperating, probably because if the contestants cooperated like a US infantry squad they'd have easily wasted the MIB. I don't recall the name.

    The point of the reminisce is getting caught by guys in suits leads to a SERE like cubical environment?

    I would watch just to see poor editing, maybe a contestant pulls out a iphone or an android phone. That would be funny.

  • I know if I was a software company I'd want to select for the sort of people who would go on a reality TV show. Wait...

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:50AM (#40765081)

    How many bugs can you swallow?

  • by Howard Beale ( 92386 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:53AM (#40765109)
    Steve, Steve
    Steve of the Ballmer,
    A guy who has no hair.
    Watch out for that chair.

    Steve, Steve
    Steve of the Ballmer,
    Lives a life that's free.
    Watch out for that chair.

    When he gets in a scrape,
    he makes his escape
    with the help of his friend,
    a guy named Bill.
    Then away he'll schlep
    on his elephant Shep
    While Fella and Ursula
    Stay in step.

    Well....Steve, Steve
    Steve of the Ballmer,
    Friend to you and me.

    Watch out for that chair.
  • Second place prize is a two-year contract ...
  • Stack Ranking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dartz-IRL ( 1640117 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @12:03PM (#40765259)

    Contestants rate each other on tasks, filling mandatory slots from most valuable to least valuable, with the bottom 10% being fired Backstabbing and politcking ensue between the contestants as they fight tooth and nail not to be dumped down the bottom, while forgetting entirely about the task at hand and just half-assing it finished.

    Perfectly preparing them for the working environment at MS...

  • that job was CEO.

  • This is beyond a silly idea for a show. "Top Chef for Geeks" only works as an analogy if Top Chef (which I don't watch, so...) represents to chefs something that was always of questionable merit, hotly debated in the past, and is now on a rapid and obvious decline from which there most likely will not be a recovery. What talent anywhere is still dreaming of a job at Microsoft?

    As old as it is, they'd still have a more popular show if they had a competition to become a developer at Blizzard for World of Wa

    • Besides, Top Chef For Geeks was Good Eats. Alton Brown regularly explained the science behind cooking.

    • You're right.

      Now if the reality show was to land a job at Blizzard for Diablo 3, all they'd get are a bunch of indians from elance.

  • Wait, I thought that was Walking Dead?

    Bah ha ha ha ha ha! Ballmer! Ha ha ha ha!

  • sounds like something that will be shown in small bits and clips as part of mainstream media, and maybe played in full lengths at career fairs, MS HQ during interfests, etc...

    There is no way we're going to watch programmers on mainstream TV, there is just nothing interesting about it to average people, and those who do it for a living will do nothing but be aggravated by it.

  • ... I'm speaking of Microsoft

  • by Wee ( 17189 )
    Why the hell would any sane person want to work at Microsoft? Their corporate culture is absolutely terrible, and the company's ethics on the whole are intolerable.

    Also, you might have to talk to Steve Ballmer. The thought makes me wince.

  • For this challenge you can gain immunity by building a .net application Steve would be proud of.

    Feel free to use any .net language for this challenge since they are all just VB with a different syntax.

    In the end we will grade your shiny new version of notepad and declare the winner which will gain immunity in the next round.

  • But what does the winner get?
  • Seriously... SQL and DBA guys grow on trees... I don't see why Microsoft doesn't just raid the high schools and make them instead o hiring them with years of experience.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27