Moving on from the Debugger Team

Here is a (slightly redacted) email I sent to the C# team recently:

I have accepted a dev position on the Windows Media team, on the the "Professional Content Group". I have worked on the debugger for over nine years (my entire time at Microsoft excluding the first 3 months), so I hope you will appreciate this was a very hard decision for me to make.

Being Acting Dev Mgr for the last few months taught me a lot, and the most important thing it taught me was that in fact I don’t want to be a dev manager. This caused me to re-evaluate my career plan and my priorities, and when I saw a position open on the PCG team I put a lot more thought into it. As many of you know, if there's one thing I'll rattle on for ages about apart from debuggers, it is audio-video stuff. My Acting job also taught me that I need to code at least some of the time, so I am returning to a individual contributor position.

The team have done great stuff for Whidbey and it will delight customers when they get it. The plans for Hawaii look exciting too, and I look forward to being a customer of all of your bits. I will fight all attempts to use windbg, I promise.


I can't go into details about the product I am working on, except that is is new, so please no questions about Movie Maker or Media Player, I know less than you do most likely about those products. I will continue to be an avid customer of the VS debugger, and it will no doubt take many years for my cranium to truly empty of the debugger arcania that currently pretty much fills it right now.

Comments (6)

  1. Hey Andy, welcome to my building 🙂 If you’re on my floor, stop by 🙂

  2. Hi Andy, any chance to know why you don’t want to be a dev manager? I’ve been there and I’ve done that too. Just curious to know if there might be a common pattern among developers, here.

  3. Dmitriy Zaslavkiy says:

    Good luck

  4. Yes, any insight in being a dev mgr might be helpful.

  5. Andy Pennell says:

    During my experiences as a dev mgr, I found that I was "too far away" from the code. As a lead with a team of eight, I did a bit of coding. Not much, but enough to keep my hand in. However as a dev mgr, there was no chance of coding, and I realized I needed at least some.

    As this had been my career goal all along, it caused a complete rethink, so I decided to try being a dev again, and get real amounts of coding done.

  6. I started at Microsoft the day after Labour Day, 1995 (which I soon learned was spelled Labor Day)….

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