How to make bad software? Just hire too many people!

The most impressive thing about Microsoft is that they manage to just about hold on to their marketshare while never leaving the bad headlines. Here is just one recent example. Just goes to demonstrate the old adage, “it doesn’t matter what they write about you, only how many column inches you get”. I’d had a suspicion for a while that Microsoft goes for quantity over quality of coders, and there was a comment somewhere recently saying that Microsoft was the only company recruiting by interview rather than code review (and they use those idiosyncratic questions including how to get A, B, C and D across the bridge fastest, or how to figure out which of three switches turns the light on). Microsoft has over 71,000 employees, which of course does include sales and marketing people, but still. Apple has about 18,000 full time employees. Yahoo has 11,000 and Google 10,000. I see a pattern. (BTW, since I wrote about Adobe recently, they have about 5,900.) You can look up those figures on Wikipedia.