On 1/10/06, I completed a whole year at Microsoft. I feel like a dog thats aged in human years, and oddly enough, it feels kinda good.
Boy, am I glad I left engineering when I did. I knew there was a whole world of something else I could do, a whole lot better. And I’m terribly glad I pursued this opportunity. A lot of people warned me about joining “the evil empire”. I heard a lot of “once you leave development, thats it, you’re going to turn in to a (bigger) dumb-ass”. Honestly, I couldn’t be more happy that I decided to really pursue a career dealing with customers, liasing with product teams, while staying extremely hands-on technical.
When I interviewed for this job, I was called out to meet our team, in front of whom I had to do a presentation. Looking back, I cannot believe how bad I was as a presenter. I didn’t have very many skills, and used to talk so matter-of-factedly. Its amazing how far I’ve come along (I’m indirectly telling you that I’m a good speaker now). Also, one of the main reasons I wanted to join this company was to fix the image perception “problem” we have, especially in the SF bay area. Its not an easy thing to fix, heck, in some people’s eyes its not even a problem. But, I’m working on it… And while I’m at it, ummm, Microsoft’s not all bad, you guys. <wink>
I started off doing several presentations to large audiences about the .NET development platform. I was doing so many of these initially, and I hadn’t presented to audiences as large as these before (some in the order of 1000 or so). Ever. So it was kinda interesting. Everytime I’d get asked a tough question, I felt like I was on Family Feud. I felt like my team of Microsofties would be standing along the side, and as I gave the answer to a question, I’d feel my team eruping “Good answer! Great answer!”, and then I’d have to read the audience’s reaction, as in my head I’d go “and the survey says…”
I’d developed interesting sleeping patterns. Somedays I’d wake up not knowing where I was. On most nights, I wouldn’t even sleep.
What a year, I mean seriously… How often does someone get to say, that they got to see Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Mario Andretti, Martin Taylor, Michael Johnson, Chris Capossela and Ray Ozzie (to name a few) in a single year? Seriously? Got to hang out with the Scobelizer. Roomed with Neopoleon. Got to launch stuff. Heard Madonna’s latest single. Got to visit Anchorage, and nearly got mauled by a bear. Well, not really, I just saw a moose cross the road, but a moose can be pretty dangerous.
I learned a whole lot on this job. And not all of it was technology related. Have you heard of the “bullsh*t flag”? For example, I’d say something like, “but, ummm, the world is square in some parts of the world”, and then someone else would say “bah! I’m throwing the bullsh*t flag”. Yeah. That’s what the bullsh*t flag is. And, Microsofties don’t call a ‘/’, a slash. We call it a ‘whack’. So, for example, you’d say something like, “get online, and go to h-t-t-p colon whack whack dub dub dub dot artificialignorance dot net whack”. That was funny the first time I heard it. But its kinda grown on me.
So, the future looks bright… I feel much older. This year just seems to have kinda whizzed away…
Song roll : “Hung Up” by “Madonna”
PS: Shout out to the guy who hired me, Paul Murphy, my ex-boss. I wonder though, if given the chance, would Paul hire me again? Hmm…
PPS: Paul, don’t answer that… <smile>