They’ve got SQL smarts and the certification to prove it. But do they have what it takes to be the next Microsoft employee?Watch the challenges unfold on our website beginning July 24, 2012: http://aka.ms/bethenext
For this week’s challenge we took a beautiful ferry ride across the Seattle harbor to Bainbridge Island. The views were great - the Olympic range on one side and the Cascades on the other. Rainer stood off in the distance like a lone sentinel. Seattle is awesome! The ride over was easily the best part of the day because the challenge was an epic fail in the eyes of the judges. And, to quote a classic, The Pokey Little Puppy, they were “very displeased.”
The ferry ride was the ‘clock’ for the challenge. Just a 33-minute ride, so we had to work fast. The challenge was an error statement submitted to MS by a customer. The whole team immediately jumped in. It was chaos. I can’t read well when people are going nuts like that. I find it to be very distracting. I asked Stacy to read the entire challenge and be the lone voice. After she finished, the discussion erupted. Evidently, Alex pointed out the issue fairly quickly, but none of the rest of us heard him. I feel bad for my part in that. I distinctly remember telling the group that I had seen this issue before. In explaining what I thought was the issue; I evidently restated what Alex had already brought up. The judges told us afterwards that the correct technical solution was brought up FOUR separate times, but the group never came to an agreement on it. I really can’t understand why that is. What was wrong with our dynamic that we couldn’t get the correct answer to stick when there were FOUR separate conversations about it? We were flawed as a team when it came to communication everyone contributed to the failure. None of us were blameless. The Judges were NOT happy. So much so that they didn’t award a collaboration winner, only a technical award to Alex for being the first to state the issue.
I feel like my biggest part in the failure came when I “let” Stacy present. The judges were super-pissed (especially Buck!) about the roshambo (rocks-paper-scissors) to determine the presenter. I was pretty well taken aback when Stacy REALLY wanted to do it. I thought I was a good choice for presenter, but I didn’t want to offend her. Instead, I took an easy way out and left it to “chance.” In hind sight, I could have dropped a ‘Spock’ on her Sheldon Cooper style, a la Big Bang Theory; to ensure a win, but what I really should have done is be more insistent.
Congrats to Alex for the technical win this week. He has very good technical skills and was able to show them off this week. We pretty much all apologized to Alex afterwards for not listening better. Our team got the message loud and clear, though. It’s awesome to be a superstar, but it’s even more awesome to be on a team of Superstars! We’ll grow and bounce back from this. #BeTheNext.
Here are a few pics I snapped of the ferry ride for your enjoyment.
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