After six months … how is it going with my VSTS Rangers Assimilation and bubbling (r)evolutions?

Strange accent … or “you talk funny” as my son would say

During the past few TechReady days, I realised that accent and communication amongst different cultures from countries all over the world within Microsoft can be a challenge, especially at conferences such as TechReady. In case you think that my accent is also strange, you should know that I have spent 23% of my life in Switzerland, 76% in South-Africa and 1% in Canada. I speak German to my wife, Swiss dialect to my sons and otherwise English  … hence the resultant accent can sound rather strange and/or funny, I guess.

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After-burner style acceleration and fighting multiple fire hoses

image At the MVP Global Summit back in March I said “The TLA in the subject (two|three lettered acronym) is probably the last I will use and I prefer you not bombarding me with TLAs, because they are really confusing ... especially when trying to get the new Microsoft employee out-of-control-hose-pipe under control”. Well, I still hate acronyms, but have unfortunately started to use them myself. The fire hose mentioned is well under under control, however, a couple more have started whip lashing around. Leading 3 VSTS Rangers projects, contributing to 3 others and getting involved in other projects is a situation that is not uncommon within Microsoft. In essence, if you love a single-threaded and synchronous working environment, you may find this environment challenging. I love it!

Endless opportunities and constant innovation

The company is an amazing ecosystem of bright and passionate people, with the result that innovation is mind boggling and new opportunities are crafted every day. You set your own horizon and boundaries … in fact if you are not careful you can very quickly evaporate all available and humanly possible bandwidth you have at your disposal for the world of bits and bytes. As they say, the sky is your limit, especially when you are working for the developer division and are able to engage in strategic programs such as the VSTS Rangers. After cooking up a storm with fellow VSTS Rangers during the past few days at TechReady, it has become apparent just how much passion, energy, innovation and expertise is brought to the menu of products and services by everyone … this is definitely a unique and exciting environment to be part of.

What were some of the VSTS Rangers highlights?

We are working hard on our current set of projects (go here for details) and we got exceptional good feedback and support overall from our colleagues at the TechReady event. On the other side we are also taking the serious conference with a pinch of humour, as mentioned in VSTS Rangers Projects – A few “fun” pictures from TechReady where the VSTS Rangers cooked up a storm.

In terms of some of the more (r)evolutionary highlights we are:

  • Improving the way we collaborate amongst the VSTS Rangers around the world, which requires a consideration for a variety of different time zones and the need to exchange constant information, ranging from small snippets of data to a large variety of virtual images … which we all know can be a challenge to exchange with some regions on this world.
  • Improving the way we collaborate with the field, which includes Microsoft, Team System Microsoft Most valued Professionals (MVPs) and VSTS Technology Community leads, seeking transparency and becoming more approachable.
  • Improving the way we recognise the immense passion, effort, enthusiasm, tenacity and knowledge that many of the members of VSTS Rangers project invest in their personal time.

So what does my world look like?

Razor sharp focus on VSTS Rangers make up the majority of my evolving and often volatile day … with a few sprinkles of other ventures as shown:

Was the stressful relocation worth it?


The photo on the right was taken in the Semiahmoo bay in Tsawwassen, a few kilometres from our home, and in the background you will notice Mount Baker, an inactive volcano.

image … red cross indicates location where photo on the right was taken.

It shows my youngest son cooling off in the ocean, looking at a spectacular background … the picture highlights the sheer beauty, the opportunities and the vastness of Canada. I admire the country, the respect the people have for each other, the safe and tranquil lifestyle which is giving my boys an amazing outlook to life and incredible new opportunities.

On the work front I have never been more challenged, more motivated and more excited … to cut a long blog short, “Yes” the stressful relocation was worth it and I am excited about the next few months and years 🙂 The support I am getting from my colleagues, my manager Bijan and my mentor Bill is phenomenal.

Now it is time to switch back to the bits and bytes … watch the space for an update on our relocation in the future.

Comments (1)

  1. If I only knew… Wir hätten ja deutsch sprechen können. 😉

    Grüße aus Stuttgart,


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