As I am writing my first blog, I thought that the “hello world” title is apt because like many of the programmers around the world, one of my earlier attempts at programming back in the mid-eighties was writing a “hello world” application using C.
Let me take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Somasegar and I run the Developer Division at Microsoft. If you are very interested about knowing where I was born, where I studied, etc. you can read all of that stuff in my bio.
I have been in my current job for the last 5 months. For a platform guy like me (I worked in Windows for 14+ years before I took the Developer Division job), I am super excited about the opportunity to enable developers with a set of tools and platform technologies to easily and reliably build and deploy great software applications. In the last few months I have had the opportunity to interact with many customers, partners, MVPs and other influential community members both inside and outside the US. If there is one consistent thing that I have noticed in all these interactions, it is the passion and excitement that folks have around our products – both in terms of what we are doing well, and more importantly, what we can do better.
I wanted to recount one incident that really impressed me. A couple of months ago, I traveled to Boston to meet with some customers and partners, and to give a talk at MIT. At the last minute, I decided to try and connect with some of the Microsoft MVPs in the Boston area. It so happened that the day I was in Boston, there was a snow storm with 9+ inches of snow (for a Seattle guy, anything over 2 inches of snow means schools and offices are closed). I thought to myself, “There’s no way these folks are going to show up.” The meeting was supposed to be at 9am. Sara and I were bracing ourselves for a complete no-show given the weather conditions. By 10 minutes to 9, and to our total surprise, most of the people that we had invited had arrived. Some of them had to travel 2-3 hours by car+train+bus to reach us. As I met with them, the reason they were willing to endure so much to meet with us became clear – these folks were truly excited to hear from us in terms of where we are headed from a technology and product road map perspective, and more importantly, to give us some great feedback. I was truly touched by this – both by their passion and interest level, as well as by their dedication. Needless to say, I felt it was a super productive 2 hours with this set of MVPs – easy for me to say when all I had to do was walk 100 yards inside the hotel from my room to the meeting place. 🙂