You read that correctly. September 14 is my last day at Building 10 on the Redmond Campus (well, at least as an employee).
Here is (most of) the goodbye email I sent to colleagues and friends last week.
Where to start. Iowa State. Fall of 1998. A career fair. I was a freshman looking for free stuff. The MS recruiter wanted to see a resume. I didn’t have one. (I didn’t think I would need one.) I ran back to my dorm, wrote enough to fill a single page, and brought it back to him.
Early that spring I flew to Sea-Tac and had an on-campus interview. (I was warned that that winter had 100 sunshine-less days.)
In May 1999 I showed up in Redmond for an internship. Building 25. I shared an office with a woman who’s a great friend to this day.
After 3 internships, a stint as a Microsoft Student Consultant at ISU, and 5 great years as an stock
optionaward earning employee, I’m going to try something drastically different.
Friday, September 14 will be my last day in the office.
Monday, September 17 I’m going to work at a small, actuarial company building internal, web-based LOB apps.
- No, I’m not crazy. (At least I don’t think so.) It’s been almost a decade since I’ve built anything substantial end-to-end. I’ve got pretty good at designing the tiny pieces of something XXXL. I’d like to try my hand at implementing a huge pieces of something M.
- Yes, I’ll be staying in the area. Actually, working from home most days.
- Yes, it’s all .NET still. I’m actually looking forward to cranking on SQL, ASPX, WCF, Workflow, Linq, ADO Entities, etc.
- Yes, it’s hard to leave. I’ve been plugged into Microsoft since just after high school. It’s been a great ride. I’ve learned an amazing amount and met some amazing people. Recently though, I’ve realized that if I was ever going to unplug, it was never going to get easier than it is now.
(If you want the j832 thing explained some time, just ask.)
I have two closing thoughts.
First, Doug Purdy shared a tag line that Don Box and he used on a presentation once: “There is only one program…and it’s still being written.” Microsoft was a gig. My new company is a gig. There will be gigs after. The gig is not the important thing. It’s the stuff you’re building. I love software because in the end it’s all about helping people record, explorer, and communicate thoughts, memories, and ideas. If we keep making that faster, easier and just better we will all still be working together...and making the world just a bit better.
Second, a video I discovered a couple months ago. While it was after I’d made most of my decisions, it does a good job of representing the stuff in my head right now…the stuff I’m trying to figure out. It’s absolutely worth sharing: http://blog.j832.com/2007/07/music-and-life.html
I will close out the way my good friend Robby did. A master of great design: simple and to-the-point.
Goodbye and thanks again,
Q: What does this mean for me, loyal reader of work.j832.com?
A: Hopefully not much. I plan to keep working with and blogging about WPF. I have some clever project ideas that I still want to hack on. A cool upside: I can actually collaborate in substantial ways with community members. I may blog a wider variety of stuff, but given the new job I'm sure it'll be mostly .NET-related. I'll keep my non-geek stuff on my personal blog: blog.j832.com.
Q: What about the bag-o-tricks?
A: The current URL (blogs.msdn.com/okoboji/pages/BagOTricks.aspx) is going to die when my MSDN blog dies. (I'm not sure about when that'll happen, actually.) So I'm introducing a new, even more stable home for the latest-and-greatest: j832.com/BagOTricks. I hope this will be valid as long as I remember anything about WPF and I pay my ISP bill.
Q: Are you planning any updates the bag?
A: Great question! I can't say much, but...um...expect great things from a lot of what's in the bag. (This is my subtle and evil way of leaning on Larry. Sorry dude.)
Q: What about the NetFX install stuff?
A: I'm going to hand this off and make sure that those who've emailed me are taken care of--hopefully by making the code generally available.
As I've said to many folks, I'm looking forward to the transition from a Microsoft High Priest for WPF to just another geek in the big city.
See you on the other side, my friends.