My Last Day at Microsoft


Wow – I can’t believe it has already been 13 years at Microsoft.  I have had a great time here and learned so much from the smart and passionate people I work with as well as the incredible developer community around .NET.  But I have decided it is time for me to try something new – so my last day at Microsoft will be Friday, April 23rd . 

While I am leaving Microsoft, I continue to have a positive view of the company.   No other company has the footprint that Microsoft does on the industry.   I am confident that the company will continue to have an impact in the years to come.   I will be looking forward to watching the next release of .NET from outside. 

Of course, there is never a good time to leave, but I feel a great sense of accomplishment shipping Silverlight 4 and Visual Studio 2010/.NET Framework 4.  The technologies I have been most closely involved with have found amazingly good homes.  MEF and RIA Services are in the right teams and on the right track long term and I believe those technologies will have great futures.  

What I loved most about my time at Microsoft is the opportunity to work with some of the smartest, most passionate people in the industry to ship some great software that customers LOVE.   As I have been thinking about this transition, I have reflected on a few of the releases I have been a part of and what I learned in the process.     Hopefully you can take these learnings as my last words of wisdom to you. 

  

  • MS-Travel  (later spun off as Expedia )  – My first experience at Microsoft as an intern in Test.  I landed the job because I was able to help my future boss debug a VB issue in the interview ;-).  I learned what it was to be a PM and I fell in LOVE with it. 
  • VB 5  – I came back the next summer as a PM intern and found my sweet spot – PM in the developer space.  I was a PM on the Control Creation Edition of VB 5 and learned the blocking and tackling of consensus building, prioritization and specing! 
  • IE4 and  IE4.01 with Win98 -  It was so energizing to be involved in the first browser wars.   At the time, I think we had IE4, 5 and 6 all going in parallel!   As Release PM I learned a ton about shipping: balancing priorities, triaging, war rooms, and working very broadly across teams. 
  • Common Language Runtime (“Lightning”) and overall .NET Framework (“Project 42”).  In the 4+ years incubating the first release I got my taste for “doing a V1” and I loved it!  We all *knew* we were changing the industry with our work as much as we knew the project could be canceled at any time.  After PDC2000, when we came out of the veil of secrecy, I learned about how to listen to customers and got hooked on bringing customer feedback into the product with the DOTNET@DISCUSS.DEVELOP.COM email list.  If you were on that email list at the time, you helped shape what become the glasnost of Microsoft that lead to weblogs.asp.net, blogs.msdn.com, and eventually channel 9 and the whole community arm of MS.   
  • .NET Framework 1.1   (“Everett” ) and .NET Framework 2.0 (“Whidbey”)  – Between these two releases, I learned about the “V2 trap”.  That is, the critical importance of having a clear vision for a release rather than just “make stuff better”.   It is so much more valuable to customers, and therefore more satisfying for engineers,  to work on “3-big bets” rather than peanut-buttering our efforts over a bunch of small “rounding out” features. 
  • .NET Framework 3.0 with Windows Vista (“WinFX”)  – Back to my “V1.0 passions”, with this release we aimed to make .NET the most important programming model for Windows.  With broad new technologies, WF, WinFS, WCF and WPF there was a LOT of new stuff.  I was asked to bringing this work together to a coherent whole.  I learned a TON about how to develop software at scale and what works (and doesn’t) across such a large organization. This experience also gave me much deeper insight into executive decision making and what works (and doesn’t) to get the most effective decisions made.  
  • ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET AJAX and ASP.NET MVC – I learned a whole new development area – AJAX and the web.  This time lit my passion for the web development area that I continue to believe is a game changer.   I learned the value of shipping out of band releases to clearly address customer scenarios as they emerge.  I also learned the value of small, lightweight (download size, concept count, etc) frameworks. 
  • Silverlight 2, 3 and now 4 That rate of maturation of Silverlight has been amazing.  From the first release where there was literally no button, to Silverlight 4 where we have a viable line of business platform.  Here I learned a lot about how to do small, frequent,  incremental releases.  
  • MEF – This technology has a huge potential to change the core patterns the average .NET Developer uses to build their applications. Through this release, I learned two big things:  The value of a close customer (eg VS) shaping and guiding requirements and how to work diligently with the community in a very transparent way (shipping source, open license, etc).   
  • WCF RIA Services – The thing I love about RIA Services is that we tackled an end-to-end customer scenario that crossed database, mid-tier, client and tooling to deliver really compelling customer value.   While this sort of end-to-end thinking forced us to work very closely with many teams, the results were fantastic!   Out of this release I learned the value of focusing on the end-to-end rather than just one small island.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had at Microsoft in working with such an amazing set of co-workers and vibrant community.

Initially, I am going to take some time off to enjoy the wonderful spring weather in Seattle and visit Legoland with the kids before starting my next endeavor.  

While I will not be as deeply involved in the .NET Developer Community – I will be keeping up and enjoying the successes I know you will have.    Good luck and have a great time! 

I’d love to stay in touch:

Email: BradA42@gmail.com

Blog: http://bradabrams.com

Twitter: @BradA

Facebook:  Brad Abrams


Comments (122)

  1. KevDog says:

    You’ve been a great member of the community and very open. I’d say you’ll be missed, but I suspect you will still be around in one form or another.

    Good luck with whatever comes next!

  2. Mahendran Shanmugham says:

    Very Shocking.

    All the very Best wishes.

  3. A Brad Fan says:

    So long Brad! Thanks for everything, and best of luck to you on your future endeavors. 🙂

  4. Chris says:

    Good luck and STAY IN THE OPEN!, you have taught me so much! 🙂

  5. jp says:

    could you tel us where you are going?  google?

  6. You have wrote many, many interesting posts in this blog! Well, I wish you good luck at your new endeavour! Stay in touch with .NET community.

  7. Adam Kinney says:

    Wow, congratulations and thanks for all of your hard work!  I look forward to hearing about your next steps after vacation.  Would be great to end up on a tour again sometime, I am missing me some airport food, that’s for sure!

  8. Haacked says:

    Good luck Brad. I’ve enjoyed working for you when you were a GPM and having you as a mentor at Microsoft. 🙂

  9. John Papa says:

    I am very happy for you and your new adventures! Glad to hear you are taking some time off with the family too. I enjoyed working with you over the years both in and out of Microsoft and wish you the best of luck in your future!

  10. Jon Galloway says:

    Best of luck in your next endeavor. Thanks for all you’ve done to make .NET development productive and just plain fun.

  11. Wishing you the very best bro.

    God’s blessings,

       Mark Wisecarver (Johnson City TN.)

  12. Good luck with your next steps. You were a very influential person on the .NET Framework life cycle and all Microsoft developers owe you something for this great experience that they’re having.

  13. MithunDhar says:

    Congratulations & Good luck! Very happy for you, Brad. It’s been a pleasure to work with you and I hope we cross paths again.

    -Mithun Dhar

  14. Rich says:

    Been reading your blog for quite a while and will miss your insights and teachings. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

  15. Keith Rull says:

    Thanks Brad for being a good leader and bringing all those technologies in our hands. I know you’ll still be around and we, the developers community will surely miss your expertise if you dont. I, for one found your site in 2004 and it has served me as a tome for new found guidelines and knowledge regarding whats new, whats hot and whats not at MS.

    Hope to still see your blogging and being active with the .NET Community.

    Wish you all the best.

    -Keith Rull

  16. JasonBSteele says:

    Really sorry to see you go – your blog has been incredibly useful.

    Good luck,

    Jason

  17. Raj Kaimal says:

    Wish you all the best!!

    Love your book and your videos on the .NET framework!!

    http://www.amazon.com/Framework-Design-Guidelines-Conventions-Libraries/dp/0321545613/

  18. Todd Anglin says:

    Best of luck, Brad! Your contributions to .NET will have a lasting impact. Look forward to seeing what you do next.

    -Todd

  19. Tyler says:

    Brad, you will be missed. Best of luck to you! -Tyler

  20. Shocking, indeed. I wish you all the luck in the future, sorry to see you go.

  21. Adwait Ullal says:

    Best wishes on your next venture and thanks for the all the contributions

  22. You’re probably the first ".NET face" I’ve seen when I went to Redmond for my first MVP Summit and reading about your leave is like loosing a fundamental reference to all technologies i use in my daily job.

    …but I’m also happy to know that you’re going to have a new job that it will make you happier 🙂

    Thanks for being part of this huge industry change and let us know how it goes!

  23. Karthik says:

    Really Shocking!,   All the very best in all your future endeavours…

  24. Kelly White says:

    Wow.  Legoland.  All I can say is that I’m jealous.  🙂

    Hopefully we’ll see you in Portland when the apples are in season.  Congrats and good luck!  You’ll be missed.

  25. Green Williams says:

    So, you want a kiss goodbye or something? There are over 90,000 of you buggers at Microsoft, and losing one will not make the sun stop.

  26. DEvHammer says:

    Thanks, Brad, for all that you’ve done for the .NET developer community. You will most certainly be missed at Microsoft.

    Good luck!

  27. Chris Woodruff says:

    Brad — good luck on your new journey. I enjoyed getting to know you and have learnedso much from your blog and talks.

    Woody

  28. Katrien DG says:

    Such a loss for Microsoft but at the same time wishing you all the best with your new endeavours.

    Cheers,

    Katrien

  29. Ken Egozi says:

    Your blog’s feed was the first on my rss reader (or maybe second to Hanselman’s, not sure …)

    Now I had to go update my reader to the new feed’s location …

    Good luck with what’s ahead, and keep on sharing your experiences.

  30. Jeremy D. says:

    THANK YOU so much Brad for everything you’ve done for the world-wide .NET community! You have consistently been near the top of the short-list of great contributors and advocates for all of us. You are, without a doubt, a complete Rock Star and I’ve always followed your contributions closely (typed while looking @ my copy of ‘Framework Design Guidelines’, of which I’ve frequently referenced).

    While it hurts that Microsoft will be losing such a values contributor, I know you will continue to do great things wherever you go. Thanks again for all you did while at Microsoft.

    Best wishes,

    Jeremy D.

  31. Brad, you were one of the very first persons I met in Building 42 back when I was still at Siemens, and we were coming to meet you guys to exchange experiences about everything .NET. I remember back then we talked about a project named… should I mention it? Well this one http://snurl.com/vnbv6

    Much water has gone under the bridges since then has it not… It is a privilege to know you, a real pleasure and an honor to have your foreword in my first book, and I hope that we have more occasions to meet soon.

    All the best my friend!

    Laurent

  32. Luke Foust says:

    For those of us who live by the motto "I want to be like Brad Abrams" are you going to name a replacement role model at Microsoft?

  33. Bill Campbell says:

    OMG!! This is like Sarah Palin leaving the RNC!! haha! We’ll really miss you Brad! Thanks for all you’ve given to the dev community.

  34. Pete Maroun says:

    Brad, you will be missed by many.  I always looked forward to reading your blog posts and watching you speak.  Best of luck.

  35. PutAbout says:

    Ohh, I’m sad, indeed.

    Good luck to you Brad!

    By.

    PutAbout,

    A man from Hungary.

  36. Best of luck brad!  You will be sorely missed.    

  37. sukru says:

    Thanks for everything so far. And good luck on your new adventures.

  38. Keith Patrick says:

    Thanks for the guidelines and books!

  39. Josh Smith says:

    Enjoy spring in Seattle!  I hope the weather cooperates.  There’s nothing better in life than doing what you want with the limited time you have on Earth.  Work is overrated. 🙂

  40. Luis Abreu says:

    Thanks for everything and best of luck for you.

  41. Brian says:

    You’re leaving on my birthday? What’d I do? 😉 I wish you a great new adventure, Brad. I’ve been following your blog posts ever since .NET 1.1 in 2003!

  42. You will be missed. You’re one of the guys who "gets it" and understands the customers. Good Luck!

  43. Thank you for all you’ve done for the community and Silverlight!  Wishing you all the best!

    -Dave

  44. Brad, best of luck with your next steps! Also, thanks for all the work you’ve done with such great products and the community around the .NET ecosystem.

    MS and the community will miss you.

  45. Brad,

    I’ve learned a lot from your postings over the years. Sorry to see you leave Microsoft. You obviously had a positive impact.

    Best of luck with your new horizons.

  46. Chris Walsh says:

    Brad,

    I’ve learnt sooo much from you!  Sad to see you go and good luck on your adventures!  🙂

  47. Wish you all the best for the future!

  48. Good luck Brad!  I hope your next 13 years are as enlightening and evolutionary for you as the last 13.

  49. Best of luck, Brad! You will be missed…

  50. contextfree says:

    I think .NET 4 is a great "rounding out" release, though.

  51. Wow Brad, can’t believe you’re leaving. I’ve learnt so much from reading your writings over the years. Wishing you all the best with what you do next and I do hope you’ll let us know how you get on.

    Warm regards and thanks. — Tom

  52. Alfred Myers says:

    Thanks Brad for all the work you’ve done. Thanks for the chance of reviewing SLAR vol 2 and for the interview. Good luck!

  53. It’s been amazing working under you. I’ve learned so much. Thanks for believing in me!

    This is a huge void you are leaving, I hope you are happy 🙂

    Seriously, you will be missed deeply across the company. Big shoes to fill.

  54. On a different note, I wish you the best in the next chapter of your life. I am sure it’s going to be great!

  55. Technikhil says:

    Thank you Brad – for all that you do. You have been an inspiration for me and a symbol of the type of engineers available at Microsoft.

    Your work on .NET alone will ensure you will never be forgotten in amongst the millions who develop on the platform.

    I wish you the very best on all your endeavors.

  56. Josh says:

    I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and learned a lot from your blog posts. Wish you all the best for your future endeavours!

  57. I’ve read and used every product you’ve ever developed.  I find your insight memorable.  I wish you well in all your travels and endeavors.

  58. Hey Brad,

    It was always a pleasure working with you back in the day on C#, PDC’s and I always loved your BCL design guidelines content.

    You’re IQ, friendliness, and customer focus will sorely be missed!

    -Dan

  59. Rob Seder says:

    Wow. This is an end of an era. After all you’ve done, I can’t imagine what you would do next. You’ve spoke at conferences, wrote books, influenced major products from Microsoft – where do you go after that, I wonder?

    Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be interesting. Thanks for all you’ve done and best of luck to you!

    -Rob

  60. Rachida Dukes says:

    You’ll be very missed, I enjoyed your blog so much. Very good luck for whatever is.

    Rachida

  61. Scott Dorman says:

    Best of luck with your next adventure. I was shocked when I saw your post.

  62. Steve Smith says:

    Good luck, you will be missed!

  63. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

  64. Thank you Brad for everything you’ve done for the community !

  65. Pop Catalin says:

    Brad, you can’t leave!! We neeed you!!!

    Well, best of luck and thanks for everything, you will be missed!

    Signed,

      A happy customer that loves all your work!

  66. josheinstein says:

    What is this salty liquid seeping from my eye?

  67. San says:

    All the very best for your future plans:)

  68. Tariq Sheikh says:

    wish you luck, are you goinh to join James Gosling? as he also left Oracle, or world going to see new something mix of java and .net , just thougth 🙂

  69. Lorenzo Van Eenoo says:

    You were the first guy I started following when I began working in the .NET space. I still remember the IDisposable video. Thanks for the great work & good luck with what you will be doing next!

  70. Good luck to you, Brad! It’s fantastic to work with .NET Framework since its very beginning about 9 years ago (for me) and each time I open VS and work on any of my managed code projects, I remember you and whole team behind the scenes – with all the rock around .NET in 2002-2004, Longhorn time, managed Explorer and Shell…

    Good luck to you!

    Best Wishes!

    All The Best,

    -Daniel Kornev

  71. Shahnawaz says:

    Really bad news for us.

    All the best.

    –Shahnawaz–

  72. Tonci Kucic says:

    Good luck to you!

    Best Wishes!

    Finally enjoy time with your family … 🙂

  73. Henrique says:

    Oh my god. You will be missed. I loved your articles and tutorials. You are my online mentor. Best wishes and good luck. Thank you for everything.

  74. Thanks for all your hard effort and great work throughout the years, especially within the .NET space. Your contributions have been invaluable.

    I wish you the best of luck on your next venture.

    Thomas J

  75. Andrzej says:

    Hello Brad,

    do You planning finish article series about Silverlight 4?

  76. Brad,

    Best of luck, and I learned a great deal about bringing together the ASP.Net and Silverlight platforms with the WCF RIA Services tutorial series.

    By simplifying n-tier patterns, WCF RIA Services is ideal for line-of-business web applications.    

    Rob

  77. Meysam Javadi says:

    All the best…

    Good luck man

  78. Andrew says:

    Best of luck at whatever you decide to do next and thanks for all the hard work you’ve done!

  79. Arne Madsen says:

    All the best Brad,

    Thanks a lot for your blogentries, which has been appriciated.

  80. Hope to hear you back in North Carolina http://www.trinug.org

  81. Matt says:

    Brad, that sucks that you’re leaving!!!  However given your talent I’m sure it’s for something awesome, so good luck!

    Quick question, will your blog stay online?  I often use your previous entries for reference.

    I wish you well in all your endevors.

  82. Kamran Shahid says:

    Wish you success for your future plans.

    Have read lots of your article and implemented lots of technique invented and suggested by u

    Thanks for all those stuff.

    Kamran Shahid

    Karachi, Pakistan

  83. You deserve a big gold medal, Brad. Thank you a ton for your participation and passion for this community.

  84. Mike says:

    Hugely honorable and loyal to MS. Much appreciated. Thanks for your efforts!!!

  85. shailesh says:

    One day I ended up to your blog and found interesting article(specially your tips for interview at Microsoft) so I added your blog rss in my list and continue reading your blog.  so I am losing one more guy from Microsoft from my rss list.  Good luck to you

  86. Let me know about your next step when you can, Brad.

  87. David Ing says:

    Good luck Brad. Thanks for all the great work over the years – appreciated.

  88. Afif Gazdar says:

    congratulations and thanks for all of your hard effort and great work throughout the years!

    I have learnt a lot of stuff by your blogs………….

    I’ll be waiting for your next step……..

  89. Imran BAlch says:

    Second Shocking News after Rob Conery.

    Best Of Luck

  90. Michael Bedwell says:

    Thank you for all the PM tips and stories you have offered over the years, they have been helpful.

  91. I wish you all the best with all the endeavors you’re about to take.

    Grz, Kris.

  92. kalam says:

    Brad, I still remember the first interactions with you were in the .Net Fx design principles training and that was pretty awesome. I wish you all the best with your next gig, you will be sorely missed at MS…

    Good luck!

    /Kashif

  93. All the best for your future endeavors Brad.

  94. Homer says:

    Wow, shocking, your blog is my first stop every morning.  Best of luck, hope you will share where you are going so we can continue to follow.

  95. Sadegh says:

    Shocking news from an elegant .NET man, I have learnt a lot of tips and stuff by your blogs.

    Wish you the very best for your future success

  96. This is a shocking news to hear! I never thought this would happen. Wish you luck for any next path you choose, Brad.

  97. Ryan says:

    The FDG books helped me a lot.  Thanks!

  98. B. Mavi says:

    We miss you a  lot, especially on each new release of .Net. Thanks for all your contribution and wish you all the best !!!

    Thanks

    Bhupinder Singh

  99. So long, and thanks for all the bits! I’ve learned a lot through your blog and the annotated references, and deply appreciate the thought you and the rest of the team put into each and every decision. Best wishes for whatever you’re planning as your personal vNext.

    Cheers,

    -Eli.

  100. Just got wind of the surprising news this evening!

    Thanks for all of your support out here in the field the past few years!  Best of luck on your next endeavor.  Can’t wait to hear what it will be.

    -Peter Laudati

  101. Joe McBride says:

    Brad,

    Thank you for all of your contributions to the .NET Community over the years.  You have been an indispensable asset to Microsoft and to those of us on the front lines.  I wish you prosperity, enjoyment, and a little bit of luck in your future endeavors.

    Warm Regards,

    Joe

  102. rxwen says:

    I’m a huge fan of your framework design guidelines. I learned a lot from it.

    All the best wishes for you, and hope still we can learn from your knowledge and experience.

  103. Ali says:

    Just wanted to thank you for the great things you did and wish you all the best. 🙂

    BTW, I knew you by WCF Ria Services.

  104. @brad.. i have landed to your blog from dzone. thnaks to those dzone guys who shared your blog link. i see you are receiving all the comments & feedbacks from ms community, no wonder at this, but i would like to welcome you to the Ope Source world now. what are you planning next? a little bit of your thought will be warmly welcomed. good luck.

  105. Dan Wahlin says:

    Best of luck Brad! I’m shocked to hear you’re leaving but certainly wish you the best of luck in your new endeavors.

  106. Oh I dont believe this. A full2 follower of Brad’s blogs and shocked to see this article. I became a follower from the days of Silverlight Business App demos and videos of mix etc. And I always recommend brads blogs in all the forums. I cant believe how disappointed I am at the moment. its like losing a part of Knowledge reference to me. I am kind of lost now coz I dont have my favourite Silverlight blog anymore. But on saying that I do really miss your talks and your posts and "I wanna be PM" posts. All of them were such a learning experience. I am sure to follow you now on twitter or what ever blog rolls.

    Your were one of the best Microsoft had for sure. Thanks a lot and all the best for your future endaevours.

  107. Kathy says:

    I am sad and happy at the same time. You’ll be missed at Microsoft, but I am sure we’ll keep in touch! 🙂

  108. A big move in a career is the best way to progress. Good luck !

  109. Thank you for all ! You will be always one of the best for me. Your books that I have read are brilliant !

  110. Brad, you’ve been a great inspiration to a lot of us, we’re very grateful you’ve shared your wisdom and experiences with us over the years of .NET’s evolution.  You’ve always made it such an exciting platform to develop on; it was difficult not to catch your enthusiasm.  I wish the best for your future endeavors.

  111. Jon Davis says:

    Dude, we’ll miss you. From Silverlight to Control Creation Edition of VB 5, your indirect involvement in my life was profound.

  112. asifkazi says:

    Good show+move Brad.

  113. Vishal Sood says:

    I hate to see you go but wish you good luck in your new role. You will be missed.

    Regards

    Vishal

  114. Chen says:

    Thank you!.NET is a great work!

  115. Geek Blogger says:

    Hey Brad, where ever you go, keep in touch with this blog if you can, we have learned so many things from your. wish you best luck and great time off with your family 🙂

  116. Greg Hollywood says:

    Hey Brad, you have done a great job there at Microsoft and you have personally help me many times with your many blogs, videos and books. You leave behind a legacy.

    Thanks you so much for all of that and may you find what you are looking for in the next stage of your life.

    Greg

  117. Tamir Khason says:

    Good luck. Thank you for your job done in MS and hope for you to bring a light with Goog now

  118. Nk54 says:

    Oups i missed this last post 🙁

    We already miss you Brad !

    Love all your article and the way you talk with passion.

    Good luck and i hope you’ll see amazing things !

    ++

  119. 赵子建 says:

    Brad

       Wish you all the best !

  120. Sunny Oludayo says:

    Brad, thanks for all your contribution and your insightful teachings on this blog, I hope you'll continue to share with us and i wish you all the best in your next undertaking.

  121. Thanks for your contribution to the world best technologies and for your time you have spent to make Microsoft products better!

  122. David Fauber says:

    Wow, this is bigger news than I was expecting to see while checking the blogroll.  Good luck Brad, big loss for MSFT.

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