It’s May again, which means I’ve reached another anniversary at Microsoft. I’ve been working here for 17 years and I’m still having a great time! Two years ago, I explained some of the skills I’ve gained and roles I’ve had after 15 years at Microsoft. As my resumé/CV shows, I’ve been in a global sales role (Global Account Programs) for the past year and I’ll soon be moving into a global marketing role. However, I thought I would take this time to share some of the interesting things I’ve done in the last 17 years while at Microsoft. My “about” page gives a good narrative of my history here too, but here are ten fun trivia items I try to bring up when explaining my experiences:

  1. After my first few months, I became the go-to guy in product/customer support for debugging (reading and understanding) NetBIOS traces with Network Monitor (1994/1995) – that’s cool if you’re a networking nerd
  2. I managed the project of moving Microsoft’s support and discussion forums from CompuServe over to NNTP newsgroups. (1996?)
  3. In Thailand, while riding on the neck of an elephant, I learned to steer him. It’s more like a suggestion than a command, but it was easy enough to get him to walk to some bamboo and start chowing down. (1997)
  4. I met and picked up my wife in a bar in Tijuana. Yes, we were both at a Microsoft event in San Diego, but had gone to Mexico with a bunch of people for the evening. (1999)
  5. I managed the team, and was hands-on, for the development and distribution of Microsoft’s biggest demo environment. This was for the Envisioning Show at the Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC). The fun part was presenting it in sort of a consultative selling way, and helping new MTCs get it installed and teaching them how to run the demo in the same consultative selling sort of way. (2004-2006)
  6. My dad, brother and I finally went helicopter skiing after hearing my dad talk about it for our entire lives. I’ve skied since I was about 4 or 5 years old (I think) and it had always been a bit of a dream of ours. (2006)
  7. Bill Gates and I played with video game technology together at a Microsoft Research event. (2007)
  8. I managed the team and was very hands-on for the design, architecture, development and global rollout of Messenger TV into 20 markets and in 12 languages. (2008)
  9. I’ve directly managed three different teams with happy employees each time. A few I still consider to be very good friends. (1997 – 2005)
  10. During the past 17 years, I rode bicycles in 6 countries: US, Canada, England, France, Thailand and Italy (note: Canada included an attempt to go helicopter biking, but it was too cloudy to land so that didn’t work out as we had planned)

I continue to meet creative, smart, fun, and interesting people all around the world working at, and with, Microsoft. Unfortunately I don't have time to connect with them as often as I would like to, since they span from different areas of the US to Denmark to Japan to Turkey to England to Belgium and other fun places in the world.

I now document those personal adventures at http://grothadventures.wordpress.com/ and my advertising/marketing thoughts at http://briangroth.wordpress.com/ with only the occasional Microsoft-specific topics at this blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/bgroth/)