From little things, big things grow

I have had to make a big decision recently.

One that impacts many many people, including my family.

I have decided to leave Microsoft Australia and head back to Microsoft Corporate.

This means packing up the house, selling the cars, taking the kids out of school and moving across the world.

It means leaving a group I have been with since 2001.

It also means leaving behind a great team of people that I have hired, including a bunch of newbies that have just come on board in the last few months.

So, why have I done this? Is it just a case of my midlife crisis? Am I doing this to be noteworty for Wikipedia? Is it in protest over the lack of Tech.Ed Flair?

To be honest, it hasn't been one thing, but rather a number of different aspects of my life aligning.

It all started with a management training thing I did back in February. Part of the exercise required I get people to provide words to describe me. One word really hit me - 'wasted'. Was I in a comfortable place, doing a good job, but maybe not doing an excellent job. Was I striving for mediocrity??  

It got me thinking. A seed has been planted.

I then had a trip to the US, which involved interactions with lots of people, lots of teams, and a realization that maybe I could make a difference.

However, I needed to know if my family were up for a move. My wife was supportive, so we hatched a plan. A couple of weeks later, we were in Disneyland, and then we spent some time in Seattle. The kids were sold.

The desire was there, the support was there - time to find a job.

This bit happened pretty quickly. Conversations turned into a series of interviews, which turned into a job offer.

Time for that big decision.

I have accepted a new role which is still with DPE, but as part of the Field Strategy Group. It's an internal focused role which acts as the business operation team for DPE. It's purpose is to assist all the DPE teams around the world to 'win hearts and minds' of all the different technical audiences we work with, such as Developers, Designers, Architects and IT Professionals.

From a timing perspective, the time is as good as it good be. All positions in the group are filled. The Australia team has had a series of good (and in some cases world leading) results. We have a pretty healthy developer community in Australia, great community leaders, active user groups. Things are in good shape. I wont say the job is done, but the foundation is there for the team to build on.

This is the week when the news gets out. I have already told me team, as well as  my manager and the people I work with on a regular basis. I have also been dropping hints on Twitter over the past few weeks and some folks have started to piece it all together - I guess letting folks know that my house was for sale was a bit of a give away.

I am looking to Tech.Ed on the Gold Coast as my final Australian commitment. Tech.Ed is going to be a blast and for me it will be a special time to catch up with members of the Australian Technical Community on last time.

After Tech.Ed the family and I will head over to Seattle to start our new life. That's just 5 weeks away. It will come quick. very quick.

From the seed being planted in February, to making the move in August, it's been a life changing 6 months.

I guess Paul Kelly says it best:

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

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Comments (53)
  1. ScottIsAFool says:

    Good luck with it all dude πŸ™‚


  2. Garry Trinder says:

    We’re gonna miss you Frankie.

    I’m beginning to think that we should keep your <a href="">shame</a&gt;  alive to preserve your memory.

  3. Frank, you’ll definitely be missed. If there was ever a spokesman for the Microsoft developer community in Oz it was (is) you, so we’ll be counting on you over there to make sure we’re not forgotten in the grand scheming that goes on at Redmond. πŸ™‚

    Sounds like an awesome challenge and most definitely a change that will invigorate the child gene in you that is always looking for something new and exciting. πŸ™‚

  4. Garry Trinder says:

    That’s very sad news (for us) πŸ™ Great news for you..sounds like an interesting job news.  Keep in touch Buddy!

  5. Congratulations Frank!  I’m sure you’ll have a great time over there. See you at TechEd.

  6. Will says:

    Shows how much I was paying attention – I thought you were moving, but I didn’t think you were moving that far! πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the new job Frank πŸ™‚

  7. Brian Madsen says:

    Cheers Frank!!!

    i wish you all the best of luck but lucky for us you’ll now soon be in a position to really do some good.

    Since you’ll continue blogging i’m certain it wont be that hard to keep track of what you’re up to!

    best wishes!!

  8. Garry Trinder says:

    Congrats Frank! Best wishes for your transition to America. πŸ˜€

  9. Alex says:

    Good Luck with your new job.

    Keep up the blogging!!

  10. mike seyfang says:


    No worse:

    tit bum poo shit wee willy whiss plops (and every other foul curse that could be uttered).

    Phew – now that I have that out of the way, best wishes to the Arrigo clan from team Seyfang.  More reflections in a post at:


  11. Joel Pobar says:

    All the best Frank – you will be dearly missed!

  12. Sunny Nagi says:

    Good luck frank…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Frank Arrigo , one of the most prominent Technology gurus and evangelist in Australia has decided to

  14. Athena says:

    Definitely our loss and their gain.

    Thank you so much for your support over the years.

    Not going to be able to recognise DPE without you and Chuck!!! πŸ™

    All the best, good luck, take care, we’ll miss you.

  15. Lil' Dave says:

    Fortune favours the brave Franky!

  16. Mick Badran says:

    Frankie – you secretly fell in love with MS surface and want to get the the R&D labs!

    We’ll miss you, but great decision!

    "In life – you can’t control the direction of the wind, but you can control the direction of your sails"

    (my Taekwondo Master said that to me years ago)

  17. Eddie de Bear says:

    Best of luck dude, it’s not going to be the same without you.

  18. Neil says:

    Frank,  Microsoft Corporate appear to be poaching a number of our senior Aussies, and with good reason.  We are leading innovation, and it is a privelege to know you as one of our leading innovators.  

    It is however a shrinking planet, with faster larger jets the trip over will take fewer hours, and with video conferencing you need not lose touch with people.  

    It is my fervent hope that your new post will allow you the freedom to visit whenever you get homesick.  

    Whoever comes in next has some big shoes to fill, I would hate to think your departure from this role will stiffle the work being done.  

    One can only think the streets of Seattle are paved with gold.

    All the very best in your new role, and safe passage to you and your family


  19. Rob Farley says:

    Do well, Frank. I’m sure you will. We’ll all remain subscribed to your feeds.


  20. Congratulations Frank, good luck in the ‘big house’

  21. Frank,

    Congrats. See you around the campus…


  22. Carty01 says:

    Hey Frank, best of luck in your future endevours. techEd Aus will never be the same.



  23. Mark Cohen says:

    Good luck Frank, I think you’re making a really good move.  We’ll all miss you.

  24. MattyT says:

    All the best with the new venture Frank; hope it works out well for you and the fam!

  25. William Luu says:

    Wow Frank, big news and congradulations! Best of luck over there mate.

    I’m sure you’ll end up doing some great work over there, as you’ve done here in Australia (just don’t forget us while you’re over there).

    We’re all going to miss you over here Frank, so don’t forget to come back for visits! πŸ™‚

  26. Anonymous says:

    Frank Arrigo, probably the most prominent blogger and technology guru/evangelist in Australia is leaving

  27. nparker says:

    Well done Frank, and congrats on the regional award. Keep it real!


  28. Berno says:

    Frank, I hope you would like my Number #1 reason to be at Tech.Ed 07.

    No repeat performance, season must end.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Frank . Sadly for Australia, I don’t think you can ever replace someone like Frank.

  30. Des Walsh says:


    Every good wish. I love to see people having a go. You’ve helped me, and I’m sure many people, feel better about Microsoft πŸ™‚ Hope we can still count you as an Aussie blogger.


  31. Bob Meade says:

    Good luck Frank.

    You may like to listen to Richard Fidler’s interview of Paul Kelly on today’s "The Conversation Hour".  It includes some impromptu Kelly performances, and of course lots about how and why he writes songs.

  32. Garry Trinder says:

    When I first heard the news, my first reaction was, "Didn’t I say he was the next Scobelizer?"

    Good luck and keep in touch, mate. Somehow, I just know you will.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday, I got a chance to get most of the team up on stage and do some demos as part of the Microsoft

  34. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday, I got a chance to get most of the team up on stage and do some demos as part of the Microsoft

  35. Rosyna says:

    Well, "wasted" in the US would mean stoned/drunk. And in some of your photos, you look stoned….

    Also, "notable" on wikipedia means "notable in the US".

  36. Rosyna says:

    Also, why did you sell your kids in Disneyland?

    It makes "From little things big things grow" seem almost obscene.

  37. AdamBomb says:

    w00t!  I found out this was happening a little while ago, and have been biting my tongue not to say anything.  Looking forward to having you around the traps up here mate!  Welcome (back) to sunny Redmond!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Frank Arrigo reported a couple of days ago here that tickets are almost sold out. So if you…

  39. Paull Young says:

    G’day Frank,

    Mate, brilliant decision!

    I’m three months into a US move myself and I couldn’t be happier. There’s a lot more going on in our space and seemingly endless conferences and opportunities to bounce of the best in the business.

    At the same time – Yanks love Aussies. Your wife and kids will have a blast.

    If you’d like any tips from someone who has just adjusted to the same country, just drop me a line mate!



    (PS: Didn’t Paul Kelly also sing I’ve done all the dumb things? πŸ˜‰ j/k)

  40. Mick Stanic says:

    You know you will be missed by everyone Frank but you need to do what you need to do. Have a safe journey and have a great time back at corp πŸ™‚

  41. Anonymous says:

    The final person hired into the team here in Australia has been Greg Willis , who has taken to blogging

  42. Anonymous says:

    Weird feeling today. It’s my last day in the office. A place I have called home for a long long time

  43. Anonymous says:

    Weird feeling today. It&#39;s my last day in the office. A place I have called home for a long long time

  44. Anonymous says:

    I’m getting ready to head to the Gold Coast for this years Tech.Ed. I’m quite anxious and apprehensive

  45. Anonymous says:

    I&#39;m getting ready to head to the Gold Coast for this year&#39;s Tech.Ed. I&#39;m quite anxious and

  46. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday the biggest Microsoft event of the year Teched was kicked off at Gold Cost Convention center

  47. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, I haven’t posted since Thursday . Can you believe that? It’s been a pretty crazy couple of days

  48. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, I haven&#39;t posted since Thursday . Can you believe that? It&#39;s been a pretty crazy couple

  49. Anonymous says:

    Whoa. While writing the last post , I just realised I passed a BIG milestone. Just over FOUR years ago

  50. Anonymous says:

    11 months ago, I became a Unified Communictions user and I really, really liked it. I even had a cool

  51. Anonymous says:

    It’s that time of year – The old financial year ends and a new financial year begins. It’s the time we

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