I really enjoyed John Topley's blog entry this week about the company at which I happen to work. I enjoy getting insights into how other people perceive my group and my company, both positive and negative. Plus, it's always nice to read something you agree with. I'm sure that many of the thousands of other softies would agree with me that while we are incredibly passionate about our jobs, our products and our customers, and feel we are trying to do the right thing by all three as best we can, we do get a trifle tired of the seemingly constant hatred, the playa-hatin, etc. Of course if we only surrounded ourselves with yes-men, that wouldn't do us any good to help us improve. But as I discussed in that entry a while back, hatred by itself seems counter-productive to me. In Exchange we absolutely are aware of the range of competing products, and we are always working on ways to do better.
One of the roles I play in my current job is that I talk to customers a lot and get a better understanding of what they do and don't like about Exchange (and Outlook/SBS by extension). And many times, the discussions sent my way are written by very upset people who feel they have been wronged or slighted or otherwise maligned. Sometimes I have to separate the emotion from the discussion to make sure that I get at the core of the customer's pain or request, and I just consider that a part of the job.
But every once in a while, it's nice to get some positive feedback or an attaboy, and the responses to this post of mine on the Exchange blog have been great reading, for example. Lots of positive feedback and lots of negative feedback as well. I've been forwarding parts of them around to get various things to happen. For example, we'll be making ExMerge from the 5.5 CD more readily available, although the E2K3 version can be used from an E2K3-ESM machine against a 5.5 server, if you don't have a machine on which you can install the E2K3 system management tools, that doesn't help you that much. And the reason we're doing this is because of someone who took the time to mail me and explain why that was a problem. Of course we can't address everything, but it's always useful to know.
John, I know there are plenty of people here would hire you in an instant, and there are many jobs in the UK. And I really like how you set ALT tags on your HREFs with a short description of what the target URL holds, that is a nice, usable trick.
I'm linking to this because it deserves more exposure. It's a great piece on why hating Microsoft is counter-productive, uncool and unfriendly in this day and age. And, no, it's not written by a Microsoft guy. [ thanks to KC for the link ]...
It's not the "alt" attribute, that's only used on images I believe, it's the "title" attribute. It's not just a nice trick, it's required for the visually impared who use readers. Otherwise the reader reads out the href.
Scott - actually about an hour after I wrote this (i swear this is true!) I was thinking to myself "Did I say alt when I meant title? Should have actually looked at the html...". Then I decided that no one would call me on it, so it wasn't worth making an edit and a re-download in anyone's aggregator ;-)
I'm aware it's a necessity for those with readers - the nice trick part is that he takes the time to DO it! So few do - not including myself.
That's right, who's a picky geek? ME! Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha. I'm the champ, I'm the king. w00t! ;)