CyberTech Rambler

October 16, 2006

Bill Gate displaying leadership quality

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:39 pm

While reading up more about Microsoft Calendar, I came across this post by Joel Spolsky discussing how the problem originated. That article shows that while both Microsoft and Lotus has to deal with the fact that 1900 is not a leap year, MS took a different design decision from Lotus, its contemporary competitor: Lotus choose to sacrifice 4 years to deal with the “abnormality” of year 1900 and their decision made deciding leap years easy (by simply looking at the bit pattern of the year), but Microsoft choose to sacrifices incorrect results for two months and was clever enough to use Dec 31st 1899 to simplify computation of dates. This article demonstrate the trade-off faced by programmers at the time, and to this day and in retrospect, nobody can say which solution is the better one. The question to answer is whether year 1900 to 1903 are important dates. Although I doubt that they are at that time, on the grounds that are not a lot of computerized data that needs dates within 1900-1903. Nonetheless, there may be sufficient number of them for vendors to have to deal with.

However, I felt that the most important point in Spolsky’s post is the way Bill Gate handle Microsoft affairs. He demonstrated clear leadership by preparing for review meetings, challenging staffs with difficult questions but, and this is the important bit, let them go on if they can demonstrate that they are capable of handling the task. Although I do not like his profanity language, and find it humorous that someone is assigned to count how many times he use the F word and how the frequency of him uttering that word become a statistical yardstick on the presentation, he deserves the credit for displaying leadership. Nough said.


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