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Bill Gates Out, Lotus In

As everyone already knows, Bill Gates steps down. Ray Ozzie, former Groove Networks which was acquired by Microsoft almost a year ago will become chief software architect.


Joel Spolsky comments on this:


"Ozzie is smart but not in the same class as Bill Gates. And it's really Ballmer that needs to go."


In his next post Joel also tells a very interesting story he experienced during his work in Microsoft as a Program Manager for Microsoft Excel called My First BillG Review. About his own experience with Bill Gates and working on the specs for the new programming language for Excel.


Speaking of which, the most interesting in this story as I think of this is that back then, Excel and Lotus Notes were competitors. More than that - Ray Ozzie worked on Lotus during these years. So I remembered one amazing article posted a year and a half ago. Get it - Formula Engine Rewrite by Damien Katz.


"This is the story of when I re-wrote the Lotus Notes Formula Engine."


I mean there is supposed to be programming engine behind Lotus Notes as there is one called Visual Basic behind Microsoft Excel (see the story by Joel). And Damien rewrote the engine that was originally written by Ray Ozzie. And the code was not maintainable at all, according to Damien:


"But I spent my first couple of months just on the bugs, and I learned C and I learned the engine and I learned the joys of rampant pointer arithmetic and two letter variable names and no comments."


Because of that it was cleaned up and rewritten by Damien. Ray Ozzie also comments on the story. 2 letter variable names ? I don't really like that. What do you think ?


Related Posts:

Saturday, June 17, 2006 9:41 AM

Comments

# re: Bill Gates Out, Lotus In
Why would a person's coding habits from a couple decades ago mean anything about their managerial skills? :)

6/17/2006 12:06 PM by Omer van Kloeten

# re: Bill Gates Out, Lotus In
Omer: Why not ? After all you are going to manage a software company and not McDonalds. If you don't write comments means you don't really care about people working with you or come after you.

And yes it was a couple decades ago, so ?

6/17/2006 4:01 PM by Anatoly Lubarsky

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