Influencing the Microsoft culture one open source presentation at a time

The thing I love most about my job is being creative in how I’m trying to get an idea or message across, especially when it comes down to challenging the Microsoft culture.   So, it’s probably a safe bet that no one has ever seen a sign like this before on Redmond campus:

Embrace Open Source on CodePlex Weds at 1pm sign

view of sign from within the office

Yep, that’s my office.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult to write backwards, but the ‘s’ gave me trouble.  I knew i was spelling things right because people downstairs at lunch were mouthing the words, trying to figure out what i was writing.  =)

For you MSFT internals wondering if you can see the on-demand version, I’m on the Engineering Excellence Talk circuit for May 15 (ironically the 1 year anniversary of the power toys) called  “Lessons Learned Going Open with the Power Toys”.  So make sure to sign up when the next newsletter goes out…

And for those of you who attended, there’s nothing like having a fever (didn’t get sick until the night before – too late to postpone) while giving a presentation on embracing open source at Microsoft, hence the 3 bottles of water I shotgun down during the hour.  Now, the question I’m wondering is if I had fainted during the Q&A (yes, the white dots were getting quite annoying), would that have helped my cause or hindered it?

Comments (14)

  1. The MSFT teams are doing an awesome community service on Codeplex, I salute everyone, with honors, for this.

  2. Source: Sara Ford’s WebLog : Influencing the Microsoft culture one open source presentation at a time

  3. Tim says:

    Great, now I’m trying to ID all the toys on your window ledge.

    Are plush toy collections covered by the "Nice Girls…" book? 🙂

  4. saraford says:

    My window shelf from left to right:

    Tigger #1 – birthday gift

    Tigger #2 – gift from mom from Walt Disney World when i worked there as a popcorn vendor 10 years ago

    Tigger #3 – gift

    Tigger #4 – graduation gift from undergrad advisor

    Tigger #5 – accidentally found his way home with me

    Tigger #6 – key ring i wore on my backpack throughout college

    "orange monkey thing" – gift to self sophomore year.  wanted something orange in dorm room

    Juggling balls – birthday gift from college friends

    Got section 508? – swag from CSUN 2004 conference

    GW Micro swag – from Window Eyes screen reader company.  puzzle thingy you take apart and put together

    JAWS "stress shark" – swag from Freedom Scientific when i took my first ever screen reader course.  I would take it into stressful meetings/presentations.  The right fin has almost fallen off.

    Channel 9 guys – one for every Ch9 interview

    Source Force – i’ve been collecting them all.  finally got SQL Server Gal.  took forever.

    "Partying in the French Quarter. If found Please return me to Tujague’s 823 Decatur, NOLA 70116" – badge for my family reunion in 2004.  Waiting for someone to figure out i’m lost and return me home.

    Imagine Cup Judge thank you gift – helped judge last year’s imagine cup

    5 year award – thank you note and crystal

    DDCPX (our former Product Unit) Customer Champion June 2006 award – for shipping the Power Toys back in May 06

    Patent cube

    Mississippi State Soccer stress ball in an Ikea coin/pen holder

    Chinese takeout box "Year of the Privacy Dragon" – swag i got from the cafeteria one day.  I like to collect dragons.

    Visual Studio Cowbell – funny story here about Company Meeting, Bill Gates, and "there will be no more rining cow bells while i’m speaking!!!"

    A windows rubix cube (i hate those things)

    A visual studio bandana from the Everett (VS 2003) ship party.

    Mardi gras beads from 2004.

  5. Mario says:

    This is awesome in so many ways — keep up the good work.

  6. admin says:

    Hey Sara –

    I just sent your blog posting to the CodePlex Team. I Happened to find it by chance from my RSS feed to MSDN blogs.  Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

    Michael Greenleaf

    Microsoft CodePlex Team

  7. Jim Holmes says:

    Good for you!  Your entire team’s been terrific on this front — and y’all build great tools, too.

  8. Dave Friedel says:

    The open-source Java folks I know use CVS directly to projects on the net.

    CodePlex requires a download, change, upload.  It should allow access thru Team Explorer… unless I’m missing something.

    If CodePlex does have TFS integration across the net, it’s not obvious how to set it up.  This one factor could make all the difference in promoting open source.

    Friction-free coding!  🙂

  9. saraford says:

    Hi Dave,

    Yes, you can connect to CodePlex via Team Explorer, provided you are a developer or coordinator on the project.  

  10. Port 25 says:

    Today, a lighter post and link to Sara Ford’s blog which talks about her recent presentation to Microsoft employees entitled, "Embracing Open Source on Codeplex." Sara, a developer/evangelist with Microsoft on the Visual Studio Powertoys team, has been

  11. David Totzke says:

    Hey Sara,

    It was a pleasure speaking with you at the MVP Summit and in the Westin Lobby.  Keep up the great work and try to show a little excitement about what you do eh?

    (for those that haven’t met Sara, if she was any more enthusiastic, I think she’d start shifting dimensions)


  12. Swashbuckler says:

    Did you go to college at UCF?

  13. saraford says:

    No, although i once drove by University of Central Florida’s campus.  I went to Miss State Univ.

  14. Just wanted to share with you some of the internal-facing work I’ve been doing as of late. Over the past

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