It seems only a few years ago that I was a graduating senior at NDSU.
It was late in the last week of finals and I was working with my team to finish my senior project for one of my engineering classes before graduating (with a BS in Electrical Engineering with Computer option).
I previously had a few interviews but hadn't really started looking for a job in my field when I had heard there would be interviews for work at Great Plains Software. One of my team was currently working there as an intern - she said she liked working there. So I thought, what the heck, might as well interview.
The interview went well even though my lack of preparation was evident when my interviewer asked me "Do you know what we do?" and I didn't really know anything other than "accounting software". But I suppose my charm, my degree in Computer Engineering, and the accounting class I had taken at one point all factored into getting a position supporting Great Plains Dynamics.
I have to tell you, the first 6 months were pretty rough. People asked me "accounting" stuff - ouch. But with help, I sort of got comfortable with what I was doing but I much preferred working in Report Writer. Much more interesting to get whatever data the customer wanted on the report than figuring out what should be on the report. Worked a bit with the Migration tool back then as well - that's been so long I don't even recall what it looked like anymore.
After about 18 months in, the "Dex team" was looking for a guy to join the team to be the "import guy" using the Import Utility. I thought that sounded good as it would get me closer to programming and applied for it and soon found myself working with what ended up being called the "Tools Team" working with smart guys like Kevin Kidder, Scott Stephenson, and Dana Nelson.
Those were the days, re-write the SDK, add a bunch of content, learn the Import Utility and then the Modifier tool and then Mod/VBA when VBA was released with v4.0.
By that time I had been writing stuff in Dexterity and right before 5.0 shipped I was offered the opportunity to be "Dexterity Support". That was really cool to be working with all the GP developers in the world - I was able to learn so much and help so many people.
Dexterity grew to offer new features and I (hopefully) grew with it. More tools were offered such as eConnect, Web Services, and Visual Studio Tools and I loved it all.
Then my world expanded again with the merging of the "Tools team" and the "Escalation team" and I was able to work more closely with talented engineers like Aaron Donat and Chad Aberle (and many others!). I learned the process of being an escalation engineer and in turn was able to help them in learning the tools side and debugging/supporting of the GP Tools.
But as time marches on, the team evolved and changed. Kevin Kidder had left the team for "individual contributor" work to leave the team in the capable hands of Scott Stephenson. My good friend Dave Dusek left the company about a year ago. Aaron Donat left to the team to be a Principle Engineer in CRM (with some focus on GP yet). Chad Aberle switched to take up the battle in AX. And then Scott Stephenson also left Microsoft somewhere around this time as well.
And now it is my turn. After 19 years working at Great Plains/Microsoft, I've also left the company. My last day at Microsoft was officially this last June 24th.
It was a difficult decision to make and I don't know if there would have been a better or worse time to do this.
So I've embarked on a new journey and I've decided to take the same path as a well established and well respected ISV in the Dynamics GP community. This last week (7/7), I've started with eOne Solutions down here in Fargo. It's sure strange being the "rookie" and not knowing what's going on. But I'm very excited to be working with eOne as Product Support and QA. I have a lot of learning and work to do - but I'll enjoy the new challenge.
Now that I'm not Microsoft, I will not be posting here myself in the future. However, I had a number of things I was thinking of posting that I hadn't gotten to, so you might hear from me once in a while as I can ask David to publish them for me.
I wish you all well and good luck in the future.
Edit: Thanks Pat for all your support over the years, David.