I sat down with an X Microsoft employee. I was anxious to find out the REAL scoop. I'll lay this out interview style...
I found out last Thursday that my last day would be Friday.
Wow, were you the only one on your team?
No, my whole team was disolved.
What group were you working in?
I was in Windows, working on .... and my whole team was considered redundant, I guess. Priorities have obviously changed as those things we were working on will be absorbed into the other teams.
So what about this bottom 10% rumor?
It's false, in our case this had nothing to do with our performance.
Do you have access to the GAL (Global Address book) for finding work?
Of the layoffs that happened last week, 95% of us do NOT have access to the GAL. A mere 5% appear to have the time to work out finding contacts and setting up internal interviews.
How's the severance?
For me I'm fine with it. I've got skills and I will be tapping various SharePoint ISVs and SIs. I have a good network.
How long will it last? Are you going to be ok?
Yes, I don't know about everyone else, but it's about 5 months worth of salary. I hope to have something lined up much quicker, but I don't know what the competition will look like.
I chatted with a Quest employee who has years of experience with severance from HP, Compaq, Intel, and a couple others. He said his average severance package was 1 year.
Seattle times reported 22 of the 30 in the DOW have announced large layoffs. 55,000 jobs and growing.
I heard a softie took his life jumping out of the Lincoln town center yesterday morning, from a construction manager at my son's pack meeting. I can see why they wouldn't publicize it, maybe I missed the news.
Back to the Interview:
His question to me. So where should I be looking?
There are SharePoint SIs that are hiring. There are SharePoint ISVs that are hiring. The Seattle area still has a lot of work, but this will dry up more as the WAMU, BOEING, Microsoft layoffs continue. Customers from sectors that are positioned well against this market are doing better. There are hiring freezes. Don't get depressed, focus on your skills and your network. Don't wait too long... Companies around in the Seattle area will be looking for talent, and this disservice of saying those getting laid off are poor performers is not going to help. My suggestion to him was to tap the TAP customers that might need his insight.
Thanks Employee X, I'll spread the word.
I'm on my way to Rochester for the SharePoint Summit. Latest stats I hear are 60% of companies have SharePoint deployments at some stage. Not last week I was at a customer who was saying how badly they needed SharePoint skilled people.
Layoffs themselves often leave work that needs to be done, and consultants and vendors are asked to pick up the pieces. The work still exists, despite the people not being there.
Sorry if this was a depressing post, I want to share the reality of the situation.
SharePoint still rocks, and Microsoft still has TONS of cash in the bank (despite missing estimates, they are making money). Open Source has said their biggest threat is SharePoint
(interesting perspective), even SalesForce.com has recently been mentioning (SDTimes trying to find the article,) their concerns over SharePoint deployments in relation to their efforts to do a Salesforce hosted offering.
Joel on aircard in taxi