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In those times of gloom and doom where software development jobs are hard to find, it’s interesting to read this old Usenet post which is an ad for programming jobs at Microsoft.
You can see that there are hints as to why Microsoft became what it is today.
Since the very beginning they were offering great work environment, it was a company of programmers ran by programmers (who also understood business side).
And they wanted to be great from the very beginning.
As always, it doesn’t mean that having those characteristics is good enough for Microsoft-sized success. Tthere’s much more to it, like lots of hard work, but it seems to be necessary.