Alik Levin's

Clarity, Technology, and Solving Problems | PracticeThis.com

Goodbye Microsoft, Hello Caradigm

Goodbye Microsoft, Hello Caradigm

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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein.

imageI am moving on. I am leaving Microsoft and joining Caradigm, a Microsoft/GE joint venture, as security engineer. I won’t be updating this blog going forward. I will keep blogging on my personal blog at www.PracticeThis.com.

I was with Microsoft for 8 years, 6 years as a Principal Consultant with MCS (Microsoft Consulting Services) in the field working with enterprise customers and 2 years as Senior Programming Writer in Server and Cloud Division creating content for identity related technologies – WIF, AD FS, ACS, Graph API – and how they fit in the cloud dev story.

Here are few highlights related to my tenure at Microsoft.

Principal Consultant at Microsoft Consulting Services (2004 - 2010)

  • On-hire took on struggling big project (hundreds of billable hours) and drove to customer’s success and as a result signing up for another three years retainer.
  • Created and delivered Security Engineering delivery kit, generated pipeline to allow to hire two more security consultants.
  • Created and delivered Performance Engineering delivery kit, generated pipeline to help another consultant to get off the bench beyond my utilization and capacity.
  • Received WW Services CTO award for services community contribution in security engineering space.
  • 6 years of utilization consistently above the target without burnout. This is how (slides avail here).
  • Contributed for several patterns&practices guides: Improving Web Services Security, Team Development with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control (2nd Edition)
  • Made ton of friends at Microsoft, with Customers, and within the Industry.

Sr. Programming Writer at Server and Cloud Division (2010 - 2012)

Things I Have Learned

This is partial list of things I have learned during my tenure at Microsoft:

  • How to apply proven engineering practices
  • How to ask cutting questions
  • How to ask for effective feedback and give one
  • How to assess architecture, code, and deployment of an app
  • How to avoid paralysis by analysis
  • How to be ahead of the pack
  • How to be aligned with business
  • How to be always prepared to move on
  • How to build a knowledge map
  • How to build commitments and deliver on it
  • How to build network of v-peers using WIIFM
  • How to carry out a simple message to the masses about complex topic
  • How to coach/mentor and be coached/mentored
  • How to cope with tough people
  • How to cope with tough situations
  • How to deliver value incrementally
  • How to discover latent needs
  • How to distinguish doing vs. achieving and focus on the later
  • How to drive execution forward
  • How to effectively communicate on emails and verbally
  • How to get in the game quickly
  • How to give effective presentation
  • How to hold effective meetings
  • How to identify and avoid drainers and stick with catalysts
  • How to invest time in technology that matters
  • How to know what’s hot and what’s not
  • How to listen to customer needs
  • How to manage conflict
  • How to manage emails
  • How to manage energy
  • How to manage information
  • How to manage time
  • How to manage up (vs. kiss up)
  • How to win hearts and minds optimizing around usefulness and usability
  • How to plan and deliver daily, weekly, monthly, and annually
  • How to prepare to interview (as interviewer and interviewee)
  • How to read the signs time to move on
  • How to reduce friction
  • How to sell an idea to difference audiences
  • How to set clarity on vision, mission, values, deliverables, execution
  • How to share information effectively
  • How to use social media to collect feedback and drive adoption
  • How to write sample code that others can use effectively and efficiently
  • How to write effective guidance

Thank you, Microsoft, and thank you all who helped and inspired me along the way.

My LinkedIn profile is here. Connect with me. Recommend me.

  • Wow, that’s quite a litany of lessons learned, Alik.  It’s a courageous move, yet your track record suggests you’ll be every bit as successful here as in your previous endeavors.  In the meantime I'll be paying attention to www.practicethis.com.  Congrats, good luck, & best wishes!

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