Cover by Joel Spolsky

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part oneManaging People

oneMY FIRST BILLG REVIEW

FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2006

In the olden days, Excel had a very awkward programming language without a name. "Excel Macros," we called it. It was a severely dysfunctional programming language without variables (you had to store values in cells on a worksheet), without locals, without subroutine calls: in short, it was almost completely unmaintainable. It had advanced features like "Goto," but the labels were actually physically invisible.

The only thing that made it appear reasonable was that it looked great compared to Lotus macros, which were nothing more than a sequence of keystrokes entered as a long string into a worksheet cell.

On June 17, 1991, I started working for Microsoft on the Excel team. ...

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