Larry Osterman - What's the secret to succeeding at one company for 20 years?

Download this episode

Download Video

Description

How do you succeed as a software developer for 20 years? Especially one working at a single company like Microsoft?

He tells an interesting story about when his boss yelled at him for trying to pass the buck.

Later in the video, he talks about what his first office was (back then Microsoft's headquarters wasn't in Redmond).

Microsoft was about 600 people back when he started (it's about 57,000 today).

Oh, and hear about his college interview: Steve Ballmer interviewed him. He called Ballmer a "total idiot" in the interview. He still got the job.

How many people can say they called Steve Ballmer an idiot and still got a job offer at Microsoft? (Ballmer back then was Vice President of HR, today he's CEO).

Embed

Format

Available formats for this video:

Actual format may change based on video formats available and browser capability.

    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Manip
      Did you upload the wrong video?
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      Yeah, I messed it up. I fixed it.
    • User profile image
      Rossj

       Larry's videos are so interesting, can we have a Larry Channel just chock full of Larry talking about stuff?

       And I *LOVE* the way he swears ..... by gum. Smiley
    • User profile image
      AT
      Channel9 Website wrote:
      Microsoft was about 600 people back when he started (it's about 57,000 times today).


      Using calc.exe  600 * 57000 = 34,200,000

      Pretty impressive headcount for one Corp. Wink
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      Darn, who did this post today? Thanks, fixed it.
    • User profile image
      AT
      scobleizer wrote:
      Darn, who did this post today? Thanks, fixed it.



      Wink Looks like very early anoucement ? Not yet public information about new 30.000.000 hires ??

      Now I understand why Moon Gals from JobsBlog are busy Wink
    • User profile image
      Greater Monster
      scobleizer wrote:
      Darn, who did this post today? Thanks, fixed it.


      Hah, never put a mathematical challenge in front of a geek crowd. One mistake and it's tar and feathers Big Smile But those are just virtual and come of with a bit of virtual Woolite Wink
    • User profile image
      Greater Monster
      scobleizer wrote:
      Yeah, I messed it up. I fixed it.


      Still got your job? Wink
    • User profile image
      rasx
      Larry keeps it real. I'm liking it. We need more people like him---especially in IT shops for entertainment companies.
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Beer28 wrote:
      can you guys just hide at microsoft?

      Like do your work in a few minutes and spend the rest of the week at the bowling alley or playing video games?

      Is microsoft big enough where nobody would find out if you kept up with the meetings and your work was marginal enough to get by?

      Does anybody physically check to see if you're actually there?




      The answer to all three questions is No.

      Charles
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Rossj wrote:

       Larry's videos are so interesting, can we have a Larry Channel just chock full of Larry talking about stuff?

       And I *LOVE* the way he swears ..... by gum. Smiley


      The Larry Channel. I love it.


      Charles
    • User profile image
      AT
      Charles wrote:
      Beer28 wrote: can you .... ?

      Like do ... ?

      Is microsoft ...?

      Does anybody ... ?




      The answer to all three questions is No.


      If 1+1+1+1 == 3 then No == Yes ? Wink
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Smiley

      I took the liberty to combine question 1 and 4, resulting in three distinct questions.


      Charles
    • User profile image
      ZippyV
      Can we get a reaction from Steve B?
    • User profile image
      Larry​Osterman
      ZippyV wrote:
      Can we get a reaction from Steve B?


      I suspect he doesn't remember any more.  Although I did ask him about it about a year or so later.

      Please note: I did NOT and DO not believe that SteveB is a total idiot.  He's anything but.  He may have been incorrect in this case, but he's not an idiot.  That part was what they call hyperbole Smiley

      Steve's really the only really senior exec that knows me by name, to be honest - Bill has no clue who I am, for example.  But Steve and I say hi to each other when we see each other.
    • User profile image
      Rossj
      LarryOsterman wrote:

      Steve's really the only really senior exec that knows me by name, to be honest - Bill has no clue who I am, for example.  But Steve and I say hi to each other when we see each other.


      Well let's hope Bill watches these videos because he *should* know who you are Smiley.  I expect the Larry Channel to be imminent. 

      Larry, ever considered podcasting?
    • User profile image
      cbrousseau

      In this video, Larry mentioned "The 12 Great Principles" of working for Microsoft. where could I find such a list?

      I think everybody agree. Larry is a really fascinating guy to listen to...

      Hope to see more in the future.

       

    • User profile image
      Larry​Osterman
      cbrousseau wrote:

      In this video, Larry mentioned "The 12 Great Principles" of working for Microsoft. where could I find such a list?

      I think everybody agree. Larry is a really fascinating guy to listen to...

      Hope to see more in the future.

       


      They're not "principals" they're "core competencies".  Eseentially the competencies are an internal tool that can be used to help with your career growth (oh, and it turns out that 12's not the right number).  But the core competencies are things that represent the attributes behaviors of successful Microsoft employees. 

      It's a tool, nothing more, and nothing particularly exciting Smiley

    Comments closed

    Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.