Teaching and talking and traveling

I don't write much about my job at Microsoft. I'm in a weird role (weird for me, at least) where I'm not working on a product - I work in an organization that primarily does technical training for engineers within the company and works on various cross-company initiatives (bonus points for anyone reading this blog long enough to remember what I worked on before I joined this team). I've been at Microsoft for 12 years now, and after spending the first 10 embedded in the ebb and flow of product development and ship cycles, it was a bit of a shock to my system to take on this role. I like the job, but it's missing some of the excitement of working on products. Adam Barr talks a bit about the org in his blog.

I guess I've settled into the role. I keep myself busy and continue to find new challenges, and get to work on a lot of cool projects. When I'm teaching, I get to meet testers from all parts of the company. I spent the past week teaching testers in Japan and met some fantastic people. I have been to Japan at least a dozen times (both for work and pleasure), and it's definitely my favorite place to travel. The people are always friendly, and are happy to deal with my limited Japanese vocabulary. Some students this week even gave me some impromptu Japanese lessons during one of the lunch breaks. Real, human interactions like that are some of the highpoints of this job, and the definite highpoint of my week was when my students  eagerly volunteered to become my teacher for a while.

Someday, I'll go back to working on a product. I love what I'm doing, but I miss being involved in ship decisions and ship cycles and finding bugs and all of the other random things that makes working on software so much fun. Luckily, in this position I'm expected to go back to work on a product some time. I still have a lot to accomplish, so I haven't set an end date, but I'm thinking as soon as a year from now I'll be done with this group. I guess I'll have to link to this post when I do make that choice.

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