I am starting to see some parallels in my personal life and my work life. I have always tried to find the humor in life’s rich pageant. After almost ten years of marriage, my wife has often said that I do it a bit too much; I’m always joking – but that’s another story. When I was in high school, I remember a friend of mine, Chris Bouchard, defined humor for me as when a connection is made between two previously unrelated things. Sometimes when that connection is made for us, we laugh because it’s funny.
Throughout my career, I have has the most fun in developing synergies, combining software – that’s why I titled my blog Synergist. For me it started when I was at architecture school, working with first-generation Tablet Computers (then called Pen Computing) for architects 14 years ago. I then combined MFC and OpenGL for my Master’s thesis. As a first job, I designed and built CAD systems by assembling many software libraries, many of which had never worked together before. That brought me to Mindjet where I combined MindManager with everything at the Mindjet Labs. Of course now I’m at Microsoft, combining Silverlight with anything I can get my hands on!
In my role as a developer evangelist at Microsoft, I build demonstrations to spark people’s interest. When I show them how I’ve combined two software systems in an interesting way, I get a similar reaction to hearing the punch-line of a joke – a smirk, a laugh, an emotion. I need to win the hearts and minds of software developers and seeing that a-ha moment in a presentation or a discussion is always a great sign.