Betsy Hjort: On Making Windows Server, Singing with Bill and Being Technical

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Betsy Hjort, principal program manager, turns the camera on Jennifer & Charles (literally!) as she tells us about her role on the Windows Server team and reflects about her tenure at the company over the last 12 years. Way back in the day Betsy was a Pascal coder, but things started to change when she got hired at Microsoft. Betsy joined the Exchange team in 1996, and in this lively interview she shares stories including how Microsoft allowed astronauts out on mission in space to have private communications with their spouses for the first time (being able to say “I love you” privately to your wife is a great example of the power of technology changing people’s lives), and how she and Bill Gates sang “Islands in the Stream” to each other (well, not really, but you gotta hear the story – it’s a classic!). This is one of Jennifer’s favorite interviews; watch it all the way through to see Charles get schooled by Betsy! It’s worth the entire 37 minutes, we promise.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Aww... How can we find out what colours we are? Is that some internal MS-only test or a widely available standard one? Big Smile

    Anyway, cool interview.
  • User profile image
    Loving it!!!!!!!!!!

    It's not a corporate thing.  It's a book called The Color Code.  If there is one book you read, make this it!  You too will go around saying "I'm a blue", or "I'm a red", etc.

    When you get the book, flip to the chapters describing the colors.  It starts with describing reds.  If you start there you will read the entire book, just read the colors, then go back to the beginning.

    To put it in a way that won't convince you to buy and read the book, it will most importantly help you understand yourself more, and secondly, help you understand other people.

    Anyway, Charles is right.  I don't care if you are male or female, of if it's doing a disservice to females.  It's not about doing what is best for females or males.  That isn't the question.  The question is: What is best for the company?  And, hiring a non-technical personal as a manager to manage a software project is idiotic.  Plain and simple.
  • User profile image
    Let me also say, that having said that, you do need someone that is also a business person, or approaches things from a business mindset. That is extremely important as well.  You need someone who understands the technology but also the business aspect.
  • User profile image

    Oohh... Apparantly I'm yellow. Hmmm...

    Right, off to see if the library has this book. Because I'm a cheapskate.

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