It’s hard to believe, but five years ago yesterday, I started my career with Microsoft as a consultant in the Great Lakes District. My first job was to help a large Midwest retailer move their rich-client functionality to a web-based intranet for all of their stores. I worked a lot on an automated printing solution, and from what I hear, it's still being used today. After some cool .NET early-adopter work (that provided my first exposure to Evangelism at Microsoft), my next large project was leading a development team to build a web-based e-commerce solution to serve over 14 million registered users. This project involved some cross-platform web services work where we implemented real-time replication of database information between .NET/SQL Server and Java/Oracle. After that, I spent almost two full years helping the Robertson Research Institute architect and build NxOpinion, a cutting-edge medical diagnostic package that will be available for free to rural and developing countries to help prevent death from misdiagnosis. I learned a lot about Bayesian Inference by working with David Heckerman (of Microsoft Research) during development. NxOpinion was extremely rewarding, and I’m very proud that Microsoft was so intimately involved.
Now, I find myself in Redmond living in building 18 with an amazing group of technical evangelists. The enthusiasm and creativity of my new group is infectious, and I’m privileged to work with such a passionate bunch of people. The past five years have been extremely rewarding, but there are definitely some great things ahead for our company, and five years is really just enough time to get warmed up.
As is tradition at Microsoft, I brought in five pounds of M&Ms today (one pound for each year). If you think that's a lot of M&Ms, Robert Hess (of The .NET Show fame) recently celebrated 17 years. That was a lot of M&Ms! In Michigan, I'm convinced that all five pounds would have been gone by the end of the day. However, in the health-conscious Seattle area, I expect that it'll take over a week to eat all of them.