Friday, June 09, 2006

Excellence and Execution

IMAGE_097.jpgThe picture to the right is a coffee stand serving Starbucks coffee at Microsoft in front of a piece of the Berlin wall. I've never worked somewhere before where such powerful scenes jump out at you as you're walking down a hallway.

This week, I've spent a few hours attending EE/TwC sessions here at Microsoft (yes, even our internal acronyms are horrible and need help). EE/TwC stands for "Engineering Excellence/Trustworthy Computing". Dozens of the greatest leaders and individuals working at the company come together this week to present on various topics relating to job roles at the company.

One of the more inspiring talks was given by Jensen Harris, a Program Manager in Office. He has a blog, which I've just subscribed to. Jensen makes a lot of amazing points around user interfaces and the overall user experience. Everyone who designs stuff - software or other, should hear what this guy has to say.

Jensen has my respect because he:

1. Talks the talk.
2. Walks the walk.

Not only does he give an awesome story-style presentation and make great points - he also created (designs, codes, and maintains), in his spare time, an internal tool that developers, testers, and program managers across Microsoft use to track software bugs.

One of the things I've realized over the last year of my life or so is that great ideas are a dime a dozen, and talk is cheap (read: bikeshed principle). Execution is expensive.

Are you a talker or an executer?

No comments: