1. A recruiter called me with a Mac developer job in the Bay Area.
2. I said sure, what the heck, put me up for that.
3. I’m scheduled for a phone interview. Two hours before the call, the recruiter tells me that the employer is Microsoft.
4. I do not immediately tell him to forget it. Mainly because I sort of felt sorry for him. People from this company have been calling me for four years now, dozens of times, and this is the first phone interview. I just didn’t have the heart.
5. I stew for two hours. I imagine what Microsoft developers must be like. Do they have horns? Red skin? What sort of animals do they sacrifice?
6. Despite extreme trepidations, I go through with the interview.
7. It is in fact the most pleasant first contact I’ve ever had with any potential employer, ever. I was babbling like a giddy schoolgirl ten seconds after being asked the first question. The guys I was interviewing with really, really get it. We spent a significant amount of time discussing industry gossip, like the recent debacle at Danger, which was acquired by Microsoft a while back.
This might not seem so strange to you if you don’t know me well. You have likely never met anybody more virulently anti-Microsoft than I am. They have done more to retard innovation in my chosen field than any other company in history, in my opinion. One of the reasons I am a Mac user today is because I made the decision to live a Microsoft-free life, over ten years ago. And now I am seriously considering moving to the Bay Area to work for them.
The job would be slightly north of six figures. That’s not so much in the Bay Area. That’s like 70 grand in Nashville. I would get my own office with a door and a window. I would be allowed to use a Mac. I would program for other Macs. I would not have to sully myself with Windows.
Working for Microsoft’s MacBU is major-league stuff. There is nobody in the Mac programming field who doesn’t know about them. They make Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for Macs. I would guess most of my peers have at least a grudging amount of respect for the MacBU. Once you are in the big leagues, it’s a hell of a lot easier to jump to another major-league company.
Hundreds of famous high-profile companies that make software for Macs, and the one that contacts me out of the blue is Microsoft? The only company in the world I dislike enough to instigate a decade-long boycott against?
It’s cute, the way fate conspires to make me look stupid.
update 1: Made it past the phone interview. Not sure what happens next.
update 2: Told the recruiter I’m really not up for doing the all-day code-on-the-whiteboard interview that I would inevitably have to submit to. Perhaps I’d be willing to go through such an inhumane process for some other company, but definitely not for Microsoft. He says I still have to go through at least one more level of phone interview, to save face with the people who feed him leads. Okay, fine.
update 3: I’m told that the second phone interview will be four hours long. What have I gotten myself into.
update 4: Was supposed to have the four-hour interview on Tuesday, but they stood me up. I’m guessing incompetence on the part of the recruiter. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’ve gotten that vibe from them.
update 5: Interview rescheduled for Wednesday. I’m told that I will have to download and install some kind of teleconferencing software beforehand. Funny that they didn’t tell me that before the first scheduled interview. Later, there’s an email with details: the software they want me to use is Microsoft Windows Live Meeting! Remember, I am interviewing for a Mac job. The urge to tell all these idiots to go fuck themselves is nearly overpowering.