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Charles Simonyi

Hi Joel,

Did you had a chance to work with Charles Simonyi while you were at Microsoft.

He has got the reputation of being a Maverick programmer!
(or used to since nowadays I believe he's into research)

So would you hire a Charles Simonyi profile at Fog Creek Software ? He has got a Phd but seems to get things done too ...

I for one would love to hear some more cracking stories from your days at Microsoft.

I have enjoyed reading your articles!
Keep the good & Fine works from yours.

Best Regards,
Tarek Demiati

Tarek Demiati
Saturday, December 1, 2001

As smart as Charles Simonyi might be, I would never hire him. He has not contributed to a shipping product in years.

Sunday, December 2, 2001

Unfortunately, I imagine Simonyi would bust a gut laughing about not being hired to work on some software project.  Plus, he's probably still working on intentional programming, which is a research project.

But anyway, there are many interviews of him on Google, and they're interesting to read.  I just read part of one right now, and it reminds one that MSFT's main strength is what most other companies lack -- a community.  An internal one, with a good deal of institutional memory.

I would wish to know if Microsoft gave Joel any interesting books to read when he was an employee.

Sunday, December 2, 2001

It's not about ability, or being smart. It's about having a passion for building and shipping products.  If an individual spends years away from products, it's a good indicator that the passion is gone.

Everybody at a small company like mine needs to be focused on product.

Unlike my company, Microsoft has the resources to support a research effort. Mr. Simonyi is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. His non-product work is obviously valued there.

Sunday, December 2, 2001

After a certain point, the only way to have an effect on building and shipping products is to engage in research that scales programming.  Intentional programming's point is to increase programmer productivity.

Of course, you've worked at MS before, so I'm not telling you news.  Frankly, Simonyi is probably overrated, but he's a fun read.  Joel could pull a few strings and open up Joel and msftpCharles on Software. 

Sunday, December 2, 2001

Charles was among the greatest programmers of his time

Check an old interview from the 80's here :

Monday, December 31, 2001

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