Hello, World! Encore Edition aka Good-bye, Microsoft

Moving On

After nearly nine years at Microsoft, I’ve chosen to move on.

I’ve accepted a position at Fusion-io—now a SanDisk company—as Worldwide SQL Server Solutions Architect where I’ll be evangelizing, documenting best practices, collaborating directly with the Windows & SQL product teams & other partners, doing cutting-edge performance work, & of course flipping the /faster bit—all things about which I’m passionate—& doing so with the full faith & support of the best enterprise flash company on the planet.  I collaborated closely with several of these fine folks while managing the SQL CAT Customer Lab.  Like me, they’re passionate about performance, defining engineering discipline, & delighting the customer.  It’s a fantastic fit.

Why “Hello, World! Encore Edition”?  My very first MSDN post, “Hello, World!” reflects aspirations that remain true today.  (It also includes an hilarious excerpt from Scott Adams on “the why” of blogging.)  So this post isn’t good-bye¸ it’s simply a transition.

Contact: Blog & Twitter

My primary blog will be here: http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jimmy_may where I’ll continue to post tips, tricks, speaking events, & of course, insights on aforementioned /faster bit.  That site, hosted by MVP Adam Machanic, features an awesome roster of talent that I’m honored to be a part of.

I invite you to look me up on Facebook as well as Twitter: @AspiringGeek.

Here’s my email:  SELECT REVERSE('moc.evil@keeggniripsa')


Changing the World

Anyone who’s read my blog or heard me speak know I’ve liberated my motto from @GapingVoid


Change the world is exactly what I’ve tried to do—& will continue to do—to make it a better place, to best serve our customers.

I had lots of help, working with lots of great engineers & lots of great customers—lots of great people.

Along the way I authored one white paper and was named contributor or technical reviewer on almost two dozen others.  I had the privilege of editing or contributing to several books, including the career- & life-changing Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work & Life by MS Principal PM J.D. Meier (Sources of Insight | 30 Days of Getting Results | wiki | amazon).

Test-drive the book on how to make the most of work and life.
Getting Results the Agile Way for free online.

I spoke at the PASS International Summit five times, TechReady seven times, & at dozens of user groups across the country & some outside.

Here’s one of favorite moments on stage, demonstrating how columnstore turns conventional row store on its head with my #SQLWingMan, Shahry Hashemi aka @dsfnet (photos courtesy of @GEEQL).

As a consultant, I led over 60 on-site customer engagements around the world.  As a SQL CAT PM & manager of the Customer Lab, we shepherded over 100 customer engagements.  With a lot of help from my team, we architected the Customer Lab to host parallel engagements, remote engagements, streamlined our onboarding processes, paved the way for Cloud engagements, upgraded our network & I/O infrastructures, & enhanced our collaboration with several partners resulting in the acquisition of dozens of the latest-&-greatest servers & storage devices.  At MSIT I was part of the team troubleshooting performance issues & establishing best practices during our massive migration to Azure.

The Roles

Here’s a summary of my exciting roles while at Microsoft:

  • Microsoft Consulting Services, Senior Consultant
  • Microsoft A.C.E. Performance Team, Principal Consultant
  • The SQL Server Customer Advisory Team—SQL CAT, Senior Program Manager
  • Microsoft Information Technology—MSIT, Principal Architect

The Training: Microsoft Certified Master #MCM4Life

Just as SQL CAT was in so many ways a dream job, Microsoft Certified Masters training was the highlight of my professional training.  I prepped for months, reading every single page of the required reading—Kimberly Tripp later stating I was “The One” who’d done so. 😉  At that time the cert had a required three-week on-site component during which, one after another, we were instructed by the best SQL Server trainers on the planet.  Just as importantly, I was privileged to sit alongside two dozen peers, all of whom remain friends.  On Labor Day weekend 2012, Microsoft Learning unceremoniously without warning terminated the program.  Many of us hope the program is resuscitated in a meaningful way.  In the meantime, MCM training was in so many ways an incredible, special, unique experience.

image     clip_image001
Certification logo courtesy of MSL combined with lots of hard work.
Gang tat courtesy of
Robert Davis, yo. 

The People

Attempting to thank all those who’ve supported, encouraged, & championed my career reminds me of the dilemma faced by Academy Award winners—it’s impossible to properly acknowledge everyone in the allotted time, & there’s the risk of leaving out many who richly deserve credit.  But I’m going to try anyway.

If I were to try enumerating my myriad community colleagues, allies, & friends outside of Microsoft, the list would be unmanageable.

Yet I must recognize those in Microsoft leadership positions without whom my success would not have been possible:

  • Eddie Lau & Irfan Chaudhry of A.C.E. Perf
  • Mark Souza & Lindsey Allen of SQL CAT

And here (in no special order) are just a few of the current & former Microsoft staff who’ve been invaluable:

  • My “Master Mind”: J.D. Meier, Alik Levin, Rob Boucher
  • Especially Special Persons: Marilyn Grant, Janelle Aberle
  • Mentors: Ty Moore, James Day
  • MCS Mentors: Joe Sack & Kate Baroni
  • SQL CAT: Shaun Tinline, Sanjay Mishra, Mike Ruthruff, Thomas Kejser, Denny Lee, Cindy Gross, Lara Rubbelke, Kathy MacDonald, Chuck Heinzelman, Ewan Fairweather, Mike Weiner, Tom Davidson, Regina Jones, Mike Anderson
  • MCMs: Jens Suessmeyer, Bertil Syamken, Jose Barrios, Robert Davis, Argenis Fernandez, Kalyan Yella, Tracey Jordan, Cris Benge
  • MCM Trainers: Kalen Delaney, Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Greg Low, Adam Machanic
  • MSIT: Chris Lundquist, James Beeson, Vitaliy Konev, Casie Owen, Brian Walters, Ahmad Mahdi, Dale Hirt, Rob Beddard
  • PFEs: Gennady Kostinsky, Clint Huffman, Shane Creamer, Ken Brumfield, Robert Smith, Kaitlin Goddard
  • SQL BI: Kay Unkroth
  • SQL PG:  Sunil Agarwal, Eric Hanson, Susan Price, Kevin Farlee, Luis Carlos Vargas Herring
  • Others: Buck Woody, Pablo Brontvain, Steven Schneider, Brian Raymer, Steven Wort, Bruce Worthington, Dandy Weyn, Cephas Lin, Matthew Robertshaw, Mark Pohto, Bob Roudebush

Living Life to the varchar(max)

Thank you, everyone—inside & outside of Microsoft—for your help & friendship during my tenure. I couldn’t’ve done it without you.  Our journey continues, & I look forward to exploring the road of happy destiny together with all of you. 

In the meantime, here’s to living life to the varchar(max)!

Jimmy May, Aspiring Geek

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