WW 711: A Double-Edged Fork

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Just how old are our cohosts exactly? 70s? 80s? Full on “get off my lawn” age? that vibe has been strong for awhile but “I never want to see my manager or hear from them” pushed me over the edge on this one. In the modern workplace, it’s rare for every employee to be an expert of every part of their job, and I can’t think of a better way to have a bunch of crappy employees than to never have them interact with their manager and learn how to do the job. It’s a nice idea that coworkers would help, but they’re usually already overburdened, and in most jobs I’ve been in, the person who could’ve taught me about my job already left. I’m not asking for a micromanager. But if you never want interaction from your manager, you’re probably that employee everyone hates working with because you “just want to do your own thing” and “be left alone” and never think about how your actions impact the rest of us and our work. I’m older than the “participation trophy” generation, so I don’t think it’s anything to do with that. To me that’s just describing being a functional member of society and of a team. And if your IT organization isn’t working as a team, I can almost guarantee you’re dysfunctional and constantly undoing each others’ progress.


Well I’m glad you have a fantasy, but in my entire working life my manager has barely had a clue what I do let alone how I do it. Usually my manager has been responsible for project planning meetings and occasionally also trying to make me feel incompetent so he wouldn’t have to give me a raise. For this reason, I’ve never felt that my manager brought anything of value to the workplace, and I was happy to only interact with him once a week at status meetings.

Eventually we “improved” our system toward Agile, and then we had daily meetings. Our SCRUM master knew how to code, and knew the legacy code because he wrote most of it. Mostly we made him interact with our manager. This system made for a job where you felt no attachment to success or progress, and luckily so for management, because they were unwilling to provide raises or any money for training or advancement.

Not every workplace is or has been like mine… but I bet more are than are not, certainly in larger organizations with lots of legacy code.


I was so disappointed by this episode, particularly the segment covering Viva, that I created a Twit community account to communicate that back the overlords over at TWiT LLC.

I work as a mechanical engineer for a large corporation, and I’m also between the age of 25 and 40. I also develop Windows applications in my free time. While I am very interested in Microsoft products like Windows I no longer think I am the target demographic for this show. I’ve been listening for years and I think this episode was the straw that broke the camels back. I think it is time to unsubscribe.

No problem. Thanks for putting up with us as long as you did.

– The Overlord


What, in particular, was so disappointing?

I’ve often thought WW could benefit from someone with field experience. MacBreak Weekly is a better show by having Alex and his considerable real-world experience using technology in the field, and with clients. Same with Jeff on TWiG; his being a journalism professor, and being media-adjacent, brings a different and valuable perspective. I love Paul and MJ, but they’re career writers who largely work alone. It would be interesting to have someone whose career is based on actually using Microsoft products in enterprise (could be developing, IT or even a knowledge worker now that Office 365 is the third leg of the Microsoft stool), maybe someone with enough expertise to be recognized as a Microsoft MVP. It would be helpful to have someone who has worked in a 10k+ employee company talk about how Teams is working (or not), or be able to talk about where Yammer can still fit (or not), or what they are seeing people do with power tools or low/no code solutions inside Office to solve client needs.


Coverage of enterprise focused features is usually pretty basic because no one on the show has ever worked for the companies who would use a product like Viva or Yammer. Instead of acknowledging the gap in understanding and taking a good faith effort to understand the product, the show took this tangent down the road of perpetuating tropes about young working professionals. This is not a rare talking point on WW, but it is never productive and usually makes the hosts seem jaded and ignorant.

A major sticking point in this latest episode was Leo saying that employment is slavery… which is wrong on so many levels. I consider myself very capitalist and to hear an employer describe working a simple middle class job as slavery is cringe worthy. I mean… come on. Working a job is not the same as being enslaved.

At the end of the day I realized my major drive to listening to WW was community driven and I felt connected to the hosts. Nearly all of the information I gathered during listening I already knew from Microsoft or reading blogs. So as the connected feeling fades, I’ve decided there was not much else keeping me listening.

And yet you felt connected enough to come here, create an account to whine? The lady doth protest too much, methinks - Wikipedia

I am not a cold hearted robot, I will miss listening to the show. It has been a part of my podcast listening for a long time. But what are you going to do, change is inevitable.

I came here to say goodbye and hopefully TWiT can find a show to attract the younger generation of Microsoft fans. Or as you so eloquently put it “whine”

And you stayed at that company with a manager like that? I would have found another job and bailed! I spent the past 32 years at HP and Apple all in
management positions from Department Manager to Division Manager to Director, and I would never have let any manager reporting to me mistreat his or her employees like that! As a leader, your team members/employees are your literal success or failure and I always spent a great deal of my time working with individuals to develop their skills and talents to benefit both the company, themselves and me!

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I’ve seen videos about life at HP… you have nothing to brag about.

And we all know how wonderfully Jobs didn’t treat his employees… also nothing to brag about.


Well, I was talking about my own experiences as an actual HP and Apple employee - but I guess your hearsay trumps my 32 years experience


Paul @thurrott is very much a Microsoft consumer reporter. He says this regularly on his site.

Mary Jo covers everything Microsoft, but has little practical experience on many of the things she reports on. She is a journalist first and foremost. I don’t mean that as a put down, just a statement of fact, she is a journalist, not an IT professional.

Windows Weekly is basically a consumer show, with a little high level corporate news summary. It has always been that way, since Mary Jo joined the show, before that, it was almost purely, a consumer orientated show. @MaryJo brings a good overview of what is happening on the corporate side, but this isn’t the show for Microsoft professionals.

There is no way the show can cover consumer and professional sides in detail, and it doesn’t try to. It sticks to its strengths.

If you want more information on corporate IT, there is an extra show for that, This Week in Enterprise Tech.

I find it frustrating at times, when Paul reports on corporate things, but doesn’t have the knowledge of that field to do it justice, but I also recognise, that that is not his strong point, he is an expert on the consumer side. I go to where the experts are for corporate reporting.

That doesn’t make WW bad, it is an excellent show for consumer users. But it has never pretended to be a show with detailed reporting for professional users.


I love that this is a consumer facing show but since I work outside the home I do enjoy hearing about things that are affecting corporations as those are things that may come down the line may way later. Personally I feel Paul, Mary Jo, and Leo do a wonderful job of accurate reporting.

I do enjoy the occasionally visit from Jason, Ant or Mikah but none of them have become a 4th host to this show. If I had to choose I’d probably say Mikah simply because he is the most like the “average consumer” He input isn’t super technical and he tends to bring the topics down to everyman’s level with out making everyone else on the panel feel annoyed or silly.


Thanks, all, for weighing in on this. I admit to being old and jaded. I had, in the early part of my journalism career, a couple of fantastic managers. Without them, I never would have progressed in my career. So I should not have been so cavalier about the value a good manager can provide to an individual or a team.

I have also had some very very bad managers. One was so bad that I almost quit the field entirely instead of continuing to work with him and his team. Shortly after that, I became a full-time freelancer and for me, working as a team of one has made me very happy.

I think many – not all, of course – in the writing field tend to be more solitary types. I know that I am not a good team member. I expect that everyone in my team will work as hard as me, and that’s not always the case. I also know (after a brief attempt) that I also am a poor manager for a similar reason. I acknowledge that for some people – regardless of age – good management and collaboration – can be beneficial. For me, it has not worked out that way. But I should not have been so dismissive of the positives of that experience for others.

Thanks, as always, for listening and watching. We appreciate it. MJ


For sure, you guys have hit a relevant topic. Better get ample resonance than none at all. You’ll probably have a third of people sharing horrible management stories, a third “meh”, and a third positive experiences. Same with everything.

But I’m just listening cause I like you guys and it’s fun to hear you talk about stuff that fascinates and/or frustrates you. MJ getting excited for notepad, Paul losing his nerve over MSFT communication policies. And every other week, there’s a borked update to huff about. If that’s not entertaining, I don’t know what is. Personalities I can get interested in - Microsoft is just your topic. Gladly, Microsoft screws up enough for you to have plenty of material. Imagine you did Mercedes weekly. There’d be hardly anything to talk about.

You’re like the the queen and two kings of planet Windows I little asteroid can swing by every week to pick up your strange and wonderful transmissions.

That said, the segment went a bit overboard with entertaining cynicism and age-pride for my taste as well. There was a full angle of culture and overreaching of management that went undiscussed. But hey. The stuff I miss sometimes…


Yes, love Windows Weekly. My main computer is a Mac now, but still have a Windows desktop. I love hearing about the steps and missteps of Microsoft. Very entertaining, also to hear the snark and sarcasm - it speaks to my British sense of humour :smiley:


Over the course of the last year my main computer has also become a Mac. Originally a used Mid-2009 Macbook Pro and now a 2019 Macbook Pro. However I still have my Windows laptop that I purchased back in 2015 that I still use as well. I fire it up weekly/bi-weekly and check for updates and tinker around on it. I have Pocket cast installed on it so I often will stream my shows there and do my reading and work on the Mac. However if I’m working with numbers it’s Windows 100% of the way. Nothing beats a built in trackpad when typing in a bunch of numbers.

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Work is all Microsoft for me as my work as I use Visual Studio, SQL Server, Team Foundation Server etc.