When I used to work on the XML team at Microsoft, there were a number of people who I interacted with who were so smart I used to feel like I learned something new everytime I walked into their office. These folks include
Michael Brundage - social software geek before it was a hip buzzword, XML query engine expert and now working on the next generation of XBox
Joshua Allen - semantic web and RDF enthusiast, if not for him I'd dismiss the semantic web as a pipe dream evangelized by a bunch of theoreticians who wouldn't know real code if it jumped them in the parking lot and defecated on their shoes, now works at MSN but not on anything related to what I work on
Erik Meijer - programing language god and leading mind behind
X# Xen Cω , he is a co-inventor on all my patent applications most of which started off with me coming into his office to geek out about something I was going to blog about
Derek Denny-Brown - XML expert from back when Tim Bray and co. were still trying to figure out what to name it, one heckuva cool cat
Anyway that was a bit of digression before posting the link mentioned in the title of the post. Michael Brundage has an essay entitled Working at Microsoft where he provides some of his opinions on the good, the bad, and the in-between of working at Microsoft. One key insight is that Microsoft tends to have good upper management and poor middle management. This insight strikes very close to home but I know better than to give examples of the latter in a public blog post. Rest assured it is very true and the effects on the company have cost it millions, if not billions of dollars.