One year blogging anniversary

Well – exactly one year ago today I wrote my first post to this blog.  52 weeks and 227 posts later (at an average of 4.365 posts per week) we find ourselves here.  I thought that this would be a good chance to answer some of the common questions I get about this blog:

Q) Wow – do you really get paid to just play old games and run weird operating systems?

A) Uh… No.  Actually, as a program manager I do many things (like writing far too much documentation, doing project management, etc).  Part of being a program manager is that I need to be an advocate for the customer to the development and test teams.  I run this blog as part of getting know all of you and learn what you do and don’t care about.  Having said that – the vast majority of work that I do on my blog is done after hours, on my own personal time.

Q) How do you come up with all the stuff that you post about?

A) I really do not know – and there have been many times when I have sat staring at my computer blankly, thinking “What the heck can I post about today…”  But some how I always manage to think of something to post about.

Q) Can you do more posts about “X”? (where “X” is the topic of your choice)

A) Uh… Maybe.  Generally speaking – I blog what I know.  This means that there are many things that I am not going to post a lot about simply because I would have no idea where to start.  Having said that – I love to receive suggestions for stuff to post about – just don’t be upset if my response is to look like an animal stuck in the head lights of an oncoming car – and to then run away screaming 🙂

Q) Why do you run a blog anyway?

A) Prior to working as a program manager at Microsoft, I worked as a tester at Connectix, and then as an Application Engineer (somewhat of a hybrid between a program manager and a consultant).  In both of these roles I was constantly using Virtual PC and tweaking the heck out of it.  When I became a program manager I soon made a disturbing realization – it was entirely possible to do my job without ever using my product.  In fact – there is nothing about my position that actually requires that I use my products (sadly enough the two programs that I use 99% of the time are Outlook and Word).  This realization was actually quite depressing for me – as I *love* to play around with virtual machines.  So to this end – maintaining a blog forces me to use my products for at least half an hour a day in order to have something to post about.

Q) When is Virtual PC / Virtual Server going to support feature “X”? (where “X” is the feature of your choice)

A) Sorry all – but I have a personal policy of not discussing future releases.  The reality of software development is that you never can be 100% sure of when (if ever) a feature will ship.  I have been involved in situations where I was 99% certain that a feature would be available to customers by the end of the month – but a critical bug was found at the last moment which delayed its release.  This is not a fun position to be in – so my lips are sealed.

Q) Hey – do you know that you can also do that on the native operating system / under “X”? (where “X” is the name of a competitive product)

A) Yeah… See – this blog is about Virtual PC / Virtual Server – so that is all I am going to post about.  Doubtless there are many posts I have made where there are simpler / better solutions – but they do not involve Virtual PC / Virtual Server so you will not hear about it here.

Q) What posts are most popular?

A) You know – I can never pick what people are going to get excited about.  The top 3 posts (per web-hit) at the moment are:

Anyway – it has been a fun year and we will return to our regularly scheduled blog posts next week.