Academia meets Industry

Doctors (not the real kind) are in fashion.


I've always been impressed by the success story of Adam Kolawa, Parasoft co-founder and CEO, who “came to the United States from Poland to pursue his Ph.D. In 1987, he and a group of fellow graduate students founded Parasoft to create value-added products that could significantly improve the software development process.“.


NY Times reports “Working in Google's favor is its practice of putting new Ph.D.'s to work immediately in the exact areas where they have been trained - in systems, architecture and artificial intelligence. Google, the company, may falter, but Google, the human resources experiment, is unlikely to be the cause.“


However, it seems Microsoft has a different understanding.


“Microsoft has yet to disavow old templates for hiring. Its chief college recruiter, Ms. Roby, says that among computer science Ph.D.'s, "it's less likely to find someone with the desire to work on projects that will ship every 24 or 36 months.“


And as Joel Spolsky in his recent essay mentioned:


“A very senior Microsoft developer who moved to Google told me that Google works and thinks at a higher level of abstraction than Microsoft. "Google uses Bayesian filtering the way Microsoft uses the if statement," he said. That's true. Google also uses full-text-search-of-the-entire-Internet the way Microsoft uses little tables that list what error IDs correspond to which help text. Look at how Google does spell checking: it's not based on dictionaries; it's based on word usage statistics of the entire Internet, which is why Google knows how to correct my name, misspelled, and Microsoft Word doesn't.“


If Microsoft doesn't shed this habit of "thinking in if statements" they're only going to fall further behind.

For further reading Joel's essay, click here.

PhD hiring at google answers

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