The rumors are true. I will be leaving the Reporting Service team after 7 years and SQL Server after 10 years. Here is the message that I sent to my team:
It first dawned on me about 3 months ago that I had been in the same position for close to 10 years, nearly a quarter of my life, causing me to reflect on my career and accomplishments. When I joined the MS Repository team in 1997 (which soon became part of SQL Server), my goal was to join a product team building world-class enterprise software. And when we formed the Reporting Services team in 2000, I got a rare opportunity to build a product from scratch that would eventually have an impact millions of people's lives. It has been truly a magical ride. And while I still enjoy my job and love our product and customers, I came to the realization that I needed a change and an opportunity to grow in new directions.
I've decided to take a role as a product manager for a newly acquired hospital management application in Microsoft's Health Solutions Group. The fun part is that the product is built by a company in Bangkok, Thailand. Microsoft has a huge opportunity in the healthcare IT market, especially in developing countries. As some of you may know, this is a homecoming of sorts for me as I worked for a healthcare software company before I came to Microsoft and my first job at MS was technical evangelist for healthcare ISVs.
As with every transition, my move is also bittersweet. It has truly been an honor working with such a great group of individuals over the years and I will especially miss the Reporting Services team, which I helped grow from a small team to the group we have today. It may sound clichéd, but I truly believe that SQL Server is one the best engineering teams in the world and I am lucky to have been along for the amazing ride that we have had. I am also sad to leave before the release of SQL 2008, which is absolutely our best release yet. I'll be on the other side now as a customer so please look kindly on my feature requests.
I will leave you with a small mantra that I have gleaned over my years here: have fun and keep things in perspective. When we first built Reporting Services and started creating reports on the bug database, I knew that we were going to be successful because the product was a lot of fun to use. If you are having fun while you are building, testing, or using the product, it will come across to the customer. In the end, customers are forgiving if they know you have put your heart into it. I realize how painful it is as you march toward the end but remember, there will be another release, I promise. 🙂
I haven't decided what to do with the blog. I will still be following Reporting Services but I will also start to blog on HSG topics. I appreciate all of the support that you have given me over the years and hope that Reporting Services will continue to be part of your computing world.