This Is Microsoft? Check Out The Macs, Hacks, And Groovy Slacks

Yammer Hackathon

Photo: Yammer

Yammer is a fun, funky place to work and Microsoft won’t change that, cofounder and CEO David Sacks told Business Insider.And he’s got the pictures to prove it.

Take a look at life at Yammer as part of Microsoft >
 Microsoft bought Yammer for $1.2 billion—both for its hot social-enterprise software, which helps employees communicate internally, and for its unique sales and product-development techniques. 

Sacks has said repeatedly that Microsoft is letting him run Yammer as an independent company.  He shared with us a few more details on how that works: Microsoft gives him an operating budget. That covers everything from food to salaries. 

As for salaries, Microsoft is known for paying well. This has been helpful in retaining the 450 people hat Yammer employed when Microsoft acquired it, now that they can’t get equity stakes in a hot up-and-coming startup.

“Microsoft is intent on keeping Yammer’s talent,” Sacks said. “They want to maintain our innovation. Microsoft pays quite well. So far retention has been very good. We’ve had to make sure the compensation picture is right and there are multiple currencies we can use now.”

For instance, Microsoft routinely grants employees stock awards—grants of shares which vest over time. (These are less subject to the ups and downs of the stock market than stock options: For example, stock awards can’t go “underwater” and lose all their value as options can.)

Sacks also insisted that Yammer is still a really fun place to work, which is just as important for attracting top talent and keeping them. He was wiling to prove it, sharing photos with us of Yammer’s most recent Hack Day.

Hack Days happen about every three months or so. It’s a big 24-hour coding party where people come up with new features or idea for the business, and then present them to the crowd. This one was held on September 5, a month and a half after Microsoft completed the acquisition. It included 115 participants across 65 teams, including a group of engineers from Microsoft.

A Yammer employee joins the Hack Day party. Appropriate dress includes face paint.

Burritos, beer, a big 'fro, and an even bigger belt buckle helps these employees get into the hacking groove.

Yammer's mascot, Yammy, gets down with Godzilla during halftime.

Yammer's user-experience team presents their hack.

Yammer cofounder and CTO Adam Pisoni, in the wig, gives feedback on presentations.

Here's a look at the judging table. Nothing is sacred. The guy on the left is dressed up as Adam Pisoni.

Yammer engineers are whispering about their secret Hack Day project.

A software engineer is dressed up as Bill Gates's mugshot—a crowd favourite! (Gates was arrested in New Mexico in in 1977 for a traffic violation.)

The judges of the hacks, naturally, had to look like judges.

Yammer's recruiting team showed some team spirit.

No Windows? No problem, not even for a Microsoft company. Macs were everywhere.

One of Yammer's IT pros, dressed as a hot dog, reviews her hack before presenting.

A fun culture is incredibly important, even at enterprise-software companies ...

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