October 14, 2005 4:18 PM PDT

Gates to students: Microsoft wants you

WASHINGTON--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Friday preached the "magic of software" to a packed ballroom at Howard University here and said it's up to today's generation of college students to drive innovation in the future.

"The next 10 years will change the world more than the last 30," he told an audience of more than 600 students and faculty, making a thinly veiled reference to the 30th anniversary of the software giant, which Gates co-founded after dropping out of Harvard University at age 19.

Gates' speech--titled "The Impact and Opportunity of Technology: Why Computer Science? Why now?"--marked the final stop on his three-day college tour, which also took him to Columbia and Princeton, the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

The crux of his message was nothing new, as the Microsoft mogul has been vocal about the need to boost a shrinking supply of computer science graduates. He delivered hour-long talks at five tech-heavy campuses last spring.

His appearance at Howard, which counts 73 students bearing scholarships from Gates' foundation, was part recruitment effort, part product pitch.

Gates racked up laughs when he showed the audience a recruitment video featuring the title character from the hit indie flick "Napoleon Dynamite." And he garnered a chorus of ooh's and ah's from the audience when he went through a series of demonstrations of tools developed by Microsoft, including the soon-to-be-released XBox 360 game system and a digital photo album program with three-dimensional features.

"There's nothing more fun than doing this," he said of the software profession. "From Microsoft, we need to recruit the best and the brightest and get them involved with these projects."

Gates mused about the inevitable digital turn he envisions other devices taking--the newspaper turned tablet PC, the television news broadcast that displays only what the viewer wants to see, the camera phone that can snap pictures of price tags on products and instantly flag places to find a better deal.

But he also took time to reminisce about the olden days when he was writing software to run on a computer equipped with only four kilobytes of memory.

"Very soon, having four gigabytes of memory will be quite common," Gates said. "Improving something by a power of a million is quite dramatic...We simply don't find that kind of improvement anywhere else in the world."

During a question and answer session, students dressed in job interview attire couldn't resist asking a few questions about the company's competition. Asked by one information systems major how the company keeps up with Google, Gates replied: "What we need to do is make a better search engine."

A sixth grader from Howard's Middle School of Math and Science later asked about Apple Computer's influence on the company's operations. After pointing out that he helped to write software for an early version of the rival machine, Gates conceded with a smile, "They've contributed a lot. They've done a good job."

64 comments

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Anyone see the movie "Antitrust"
Milo was recruited at college by a Bill Gates-like character (played
by Tim Robbins).

I think they did that part quite well, showing the recruitment drive
and promising the world to get fresh young talent.

The rest of the movie was a bit far fetched!
Posted by (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Like the part...
When they were discussing the constantly changing painting on the wall. Milo mentions Bill Gates has one. Tim replied his was larger, and added some comments about Bill.
Posted by gphoto45 (6 comments )
Link Flag
Anyone see the movie "Antitrust"
Milo was recruited at college by a Bill Gates-like character (played
by Tim Robbins).

I think they did that part quite well, showing the recruitment drive
and promising the world to get fresh young talent.

The rest of the movie was a bit far fetched!
Posted by (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Like the part...
When they were discussing the constantly changing painting on the wall. Milo mentions Bill Gates has one. Tim replied his was larger, and added some comments about Bill.
Posted by gphoto45 (6 comments )
Link Flag
The part about XBox demo crash edited out everywhere!
Talk about a whitewash if I ever saw one. At first there were quite a few headlines that talk about how Gates was demo'ing an XBox and it crashed. Today all that is mentioned is he is doing a circuit of speeches.

Excuse me Mr. Gates, we don't need your pathetic talk on how "PHUN" IT jobs are, showing students games as worthy as the rest of your products (CRASH!) The world needs real IT solutions that work, not virus replicating buggy incompatible Microsoft products. www.AnythingButMicrosoft.org
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Funny stuff
Why would something go through the pain and challenge of a CS degree only to go work for the most inept software company in the world?

I suppose the C students might opt for MS.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Xbox Problems
I don't know if the Xbox crashed at other schools, but at Michigan it did not (I attended the lecture). I did find it funny though that Gates didn't know how to use the Xbox controller. A tech guy from the back had to show him how to turn it on.
Posted by dhaynes (3 comments )
Link Flag
The part about XBox demo crash edited out everywhere!
Talk about a whitewash if I ever saw one. At first there were quite a few headlines that talk about how Gates was demo'ing an XBox and it crashed. Today all that is mentioned is he is doing a circuit of speeches.

Excuse me Mr. Gates, we don't need your pathetic talk on how "PHUN" IT jobs are, showing students games as worthy as the rest of your products (CRASH!) The world needs real IT solutions that work, not virus replicating buggy incompatible Microsoft products. www.AnythingButMicrosoft.org
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Funny stuff
Why would something go through the pain and challenge of a CS degree only to go work for the most inept software company in the world?

I suppose the C students might opt for MS.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Xbox Problems
I don't know if the Xbox crashed at other schools, but at Michigan it did not (I attended the lecture). I did find it funny though that Gates didn't know how to use the Xbox controller. A tech guy from the back had to show him how to turn it on.
Posted by dhaynes (3 comments )
Link Flag
If you're looking for a job at Microsoft, it helps to have friends inside
There is obviously a big disconnect between the idealistic speeches of Microsoft executives and the actual hiring practices of the company.

Does anyone remember the engineer who applied several times to Microsoft, and then was only hired when he made a stink with a well-covered personal protest outside the company's headquarters?

Cronyism abounds in the hiring practices at Microsoft. I know a few people who have been hired by Microsoft, all of them had friends inside the company.

Micosoft complains that it can't find enough U.S. Engineers, this so far from the truth, it is a ridiculous lie.

What's happening is people can't find enough friends (usually of the same ethnic background). That's why company's are complaining they need more H-1ber's. It's the biggest, undisclosed, employment discrimination fact, of our time.

Fortunately, I have been steadily employed for several years now, and I am probably paid more than the typical Microsoft employee in my part of the U.S.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If you're looking for a job at Microsoft, it helps to have friends inside
There is obviously a big disconnect between the idealistic speeches of Microsoft executives and the actual hiring practices of the company.

Does anyone remember the engineer who applied several times to Microsoft, and then was only hired when he made a stink with a well-covered personal protest outside the company's headquarters?

Cronyism abounds in the hiring practices at Microsoft. I know a few people who have been hired by Microsoft, all of them had friends inside the company.

Micosoft complains that it can't find enough U.S. Engineers, this so far from the truth, it is a ridiculous lie.

What's happening is people can't find enough friends (usually of the same ethnic background). That's why company's are complaining they need more H-1ber's. It's the biggest, undisclosed, employment discrimination fact, of our time.

Fortunately, I have been steadily employed for several years now, and I am probably paid more than the typical Microsoft employee in my part of the U.S.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who cares what Microsoft wants..
As much as I rely on Microsoft products when using computers, I dislike it. After 30 years of business and experience I'd expect them to have more reliable products that don't crash so often, and don't need updates to be downloaded 4 times a week. (I say that because I'm tired of seeing my download rates being affected by Windows updater in the background.) Microsoft needs more aggressive competitors against them, it would at least put pressure on them to come up with better Software.
__________________________________
R.K.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/</a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who cares what Microsoft wants..
As much as I rely on Microsoft products when using computers, I dislike it. After 30 years of business and experience I'd expect them to have more reliable products that don't crash so often, and don't need updates to be downloaded 4 times a week. (I say that because I'm tired of seeing my download rates being affected by Windows updater in the background.) Microsoft needs more aggressive competitors against them, it would at least put pressure on them to come up with better Software.
__________________________________
R.K.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/</a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, they want students ...
because they're cheaper than people with experience. After a few years your job will be outsourced.
Posted by nasser0000 (64 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, they want students ...
because they're cheaper than people with experience. After a few years your job will be outsourced.
Posted by nasser0000 (64 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why pick a career with no future in the US?
Maybe this has something to do with why students stay away from this field:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Indian+outsourcers+follow+a+megatrend/2100-1022_3-5896290.html?tag=nefd.top" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Indian+outsourcers+follow+a+megatrend/2100-1022_3-5896290.html?tag=nefd.top</a>

It's hard to expect any career longevity for software engineers in the US. It's like telling people to get into the TV manfacturing business 30 years ago. Why do it when it's moving to other countries? Companies aren't able to offshore all of software engineering yet, so they still have some of that here, but they can't wait to move more of it out of here. A career is 30-40 years. Does anyone really believe that anyone should embark on a software engineering career in the US at this time and expect it to last? Where are Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Intel, etc. doing most of their hiring these days? Clue: not in the US.
Posted by visualguy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow!
Someone actually agrees with me. If I had kids I would steer them away from any career that can be outsourced.

In 20 years, peak oil will really be hitting and things like this won't happen. It will be too expensive to outsource like this, manufacturing will have to come back to the US as transportation costs will be too high (and companies will regret the fact that they mothballed all those factories) and places like India (I ALMOST hate to gloat) will be in BIG trouble as they don't have the infrastructure or the land to be able to feed what will then be a population beyond the ability of their country to feed.
Posted by nasser0000 (64 comments )
Link Flag
Software has many manufacturing parallels
I we can expect several things to occur in the 10 years:

- The value of the dollar will plummet, as resource exporting countries see only equal relative value in our manufacturing exports.

And

As more countries have dollars, dump them, and drive dollar inflation.

- The cost of oil can only go higher. Pushing things back into the local markets.

- Software engineers will increasingly have to look for small companies for work. Benefits will decrease along with salaries.

- The U.S. economy will resemble that of the rather dourful 1980's, Reaganomics.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah, and the cheaper products will be the result?
Not only is it crazy to embark on a career that is being shipped to other low cost countries. But can anyone tell me what product(s) are now cheaper because of it? Economists say that the consumer will be better off because of outsourcing. I think in this case that is a load of crap. CEO's and politicians are the only ones making more money because of this new "MegaTrend."

So lets recap: 2/3 of the US economy is related to GDP. Companies are outsourcing some of the best paying jobs. Therefore disposable income is loosing ground and the government can't figure out why the economy hasn't come back yet? Morons! As we outsource more and more we are killing our middle class...and since 60% of our GDP is built into that equation...well, I think first year econ students could explain the rest of it...

TELL me what products are cheaper today because of outsourcing...what products tomorrow will be cheaper? Maybe these CEO's who are busy stealing everything they can (Enron, Worldcom) can explain why the products they make aren't cheaper...maybe they can give that interview from their new Porsche?

Vote incumbants out of office no matter their persuasion.

MKJ
Posted by juchestyle (21 comments )
Link Flag
Civil Service Is Hiring CS Majors
But Civil Service pays next to nothing and the turnover rate for Computer Specialists in Civil Service is astounding. No commercial business in the private sector could survive such a turnover and losses. That's why the Feds are so far behind in IT systems - they can't hold on to qualified people and have to contract out. Once new systems have been installed, Civil Service doesn't have enough qualified people to manage and maintain these advanced systems. I know, I was one of them who voted with his feet. Civil Service paid me $37K/yr for a $65K/yr job. But not for long!
Posted by Des Alba (68 comments )
Link Flag
Why pick a career with no future in the US?
Maybe this has something to do with why students stay away from this field:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Indian+outsourcers+follow+a+megatrend/2100-1022_3-5896290.html?tag=nefd.top" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Indian+outsourcers+follow+a+megatrend/2100-1022_3-5896290.html?tag=nefd.top</a>

It's hard to expect any career longevity for software engineers in the US. It's like telling people to get into the TV manfacturing business 30 years ago. Why do it when it's moving to other countries? Companies aren't able to offshore all of software engineering yet, so they still have some of that here, but they can't wait to move more of it out of here. A career is 30-40 years. Does anyone really believe that anyone should embark on a software engineering career in the US at this time and expect it to last? Where are Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Intel, etc. doing most of their hiring these days? Clue: not in the US.
Posted by visualguy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow!
Someone actually agrees with me. If I had kids I would steer them away from any career that can be outsourced.

In 20 years, peak oil will really be hitting and things like this won't happen. It will be too expensive to outsource like this, manufacturing will have to come back to the US as transportation costs will be too high (and companies will regret the fact that they mothballed all those factories) and places like India (I ALMOST hate to gloat) will be in BIG trouble as they don't have the infrastructure or the land to be able to feed what will then be a population beyond the ability of their country to feed.
Posted by nasser0000 (64 comments )
Link Flag
Software has many manufacturing parallels
I we can expect several things to occur in the 10 years:

- The value of the dollar will plummet, as resource exporting countries see only equal relative value in our manufacturing exports.

And

As more countries have dollars, dump them, and drive dollar inflation.

- The cost of oil can only go higher. Pushing things back into the local markets.

- Software engineers will increasingly have to look for small companies for work. Benefits will decrease along with salaries.

- The U.S. economy will resemble that of the rather dourful 1980's, Reaganomics.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah, and the cheaper products will be the result?
Not only is it crazy to embark on a career that is being shipped to other low cost countries. But can anyone tell me what product(s) are now cheaper because of it? Economists say that the consumer will be better off because of outsourcing. I think in this case that is a load of crap. CEO's and politicians are the only ones making more money because of this new "MegaTrend."

So lets recap: 2/3 of the US economy is related to GDP. Companies are outsourcing some of the best paying jobs. Therefore disposable income is loosing ground and the government can't figure out why the economy hasn't come back yet? Morons! As we outsource more and more we are killing our middle class...and since 60% of our GDP is built into that equation...well, I think first year econ students could explain the rest of it...

TELL me what products are cheaper today because of outsourcing...what products tomorrow will be cheaper? Maybe these CEO's who are busy stealing everything they can (Enron, Worldcom) can explain why the products they make aren't cheaper...maybe they can give that interview from their new Porsche?

Vote incumbants out of office no matter their persuasion.

MKJ
Posted by juchestyle (21 comments )
Link Flag
Civil Service Is Hiring CS Majors
But Civil Service pays next to nothing and the turnover rate for Computer Specialists in Civil Service is astounding. No commercial business in the private sector could survive such a turnover and losses. That's why the Feds are so far behind in IT systems - they can't hold on to qualified people and have to contract out. Once new systems have been installed, Civil Service doesn't have enough qualified people to manage and maintain these advanced systems. I know, I was one of them who voted with his feet. Civil Service paid me $37K/yr for a $65K/yr job. But not for long!
Posted by Des Alba (68 comments )
Link Flag
LOL ... RIGHT!
MS wants you? Good luck! A good friend of mine, whose a guru at most things never even got a reply from them.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
To get hired at Microsoft, you need to have a friend inside
There is a big disconnect between the executives at Microsoft, and the actual hiring practices of Microsoft's hiring managers.

They get thousands of resumes from qualified candidates, but these get chucked.

Microsoft doesn't have any right to hire a single H-1b, until they open up the actual hiring practices of the company. Do some auditing, and you will improve your company from the bottom up.

If they did, they'd find out that there are more than enough engineering candidates out there willing to work for the company.

I have known dozens of people who despite being well qualified engineers, with degrees from Stanford or several years of experience who have not even been given a phone interview.

Yet at the same time, I have seen a few get hired, all of these said they knew someone on the inside. 2 of the 3 were just QA testers (and rather lame), hired into advanced development positions.

Microsoft can't find any engineers, because their first-line managers are busy rejecting any candidate who is not a friend. It's a big political mess within Microsoft.

The only thing Microsoft has is mass.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Link Flag
HA, guru whatever!
You kidding me? Not only have I been contacted by Microsoft, but so has a good friend of mine. I don't know what kind of guru your buddy must be, lol.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
That should have told you..
how much of a guru your friend is. doh!
Posted by vikram.s (10 comments )
Link Flag
LOL ... RIGHT!
MS wants you? Good luck! A good friend of mine, whose a guru at most things never even got a reply from them.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
To get hired at Microsoft, you need to have a friend inside
There is a big disconnect between the executives at Microsoft, and the actual hiring practices of Microsoft's hiring managers.

They get thousands of resumes from qualified candidates, but these get chucked.

Microsoft doesn't have any right to hire a single H-1b, until they open up the actual hiring practices of the company. Do some auditing, and you will improve your company from the bottom up.

If they did, they'd find out that there are more than enough engineering candidates out there willing to work for the company.

I have known dozens of people who despite being well qualified engineers, with degrees from Stanford or several years of experience who have not even been given a phone interview.

Yet at the same time, I have seen a few get hired, all of these said they knew someone on the inside. 2 of the 3 were just QA testers (and rather lame), hired into advanced development positions.

Microsoft can't find any engineers, because their first-line managers are busy rejecting any candidate who is not a friend. It's a big political mess within Microsoft.

The only thing Microsoft has is mass.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Link Flag
HA, guru whatever!
You kidding me? Not only have I been contacted by Microsoft, but so has a good friend of mine. I don't know what kind of guru your buddy must be, lol.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
That should have told you..
how much of a guru your friend is. doh!
Posted by vikram.s (10 comments )
Link Flag
Who cares?!
The computer world is not all Microsoft. Students should consider a career in open-source development, for better experience.
Posted by wakizaki (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open source "career"
And they should live on air... and sell unicorns...
Posted by bobsil1 (13 comments )
Link Flag
Who cares?!
The computer world is not all Microsoft. Students should consider a career in open-source development, for better experience.
Posted by wakizaki (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open source "career"
And they should live on air... and sell unicorns...
Posted by bobsil1 (13 comments )
Link Flag
graduate from college, immigrate India/China and work for food ...
right on, Bill.
Posted by Lolo Gecko (131 comments )
Reply Link Flag
graduate from college, immigrate India/China and work for food ...
right on, Bill.
Posted by Lolo Gecko (131 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"Starvation?"
Um, actually India's the fourth biggest economy in the world by GDP. You have your head up your mass.
Posted by bobsil1 (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"Starvation?"
Um, actually India's the fourth biggest economy in the world by GDP. You have your head up your mass.
Posted by bobsil1 (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Everything will be outsourced, get over it.
Everything in the US will get outsourced over time, unemployment will become reality, growth will stop and deficit will rule. In counterpart all the devolping countries will fall into dirt also.
Developing countries will be the future of outsourcing look at food and tecnology (all the equipments come from taiwan/china and all the food from Brazil and developing countries), India is taking the lead in software outsourcing and software outsourcing will be pretty big in a couple of years from now.
Why lawyers can't be outsourced? Why can't support, telemarketing, teaching, secretary, etc. all be outsourced?
Your world will become outsourced.
Peace
Posted by ramonklown (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Everything will be outsourced, get over it.
Everything in the US will get outsourced over time, unemployment will become reality, growth will stop and deficit will rule. In counterpart all the devolping countries will fall into dirt also.
Developing countries will be the future of outsourcing look at food and tecnology (all the equipments come from taiwan/china and all the food from Brazil and developing countries), India is taking the lead in software outsourcing and software outsourcing will be pretty big in a couple of years from now.
Why lawyers can't be outsourced? Why can't support, telemarketing, teaching, secretary, etc. all be outsourced?
Your world will become outsourced.
Peace
Posted by ramonklown (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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