Where I have been over the past couple of months? I moved from Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) to be an Account Technology Specialist (ATS), without getting into a bunch of internal Microsoft role lingo, an ATS is like a pre-sales technical consultant (more of a generalist across the entire Microsoft stack); especially infrastructure (AD), messaging (Exchange), Windows Server, management (MOM, SMS), and identity solutions (MIIS). Yes, I actually carry a quota so I have to "close the deal", and make a sale at the end of the day.
Despite popular opinon, MCS resources are nothing like sales resources (especially technical specialist), although both roles can be very technical and passionate about technology, MCS resources have no responsibility to close the deal on a sale (which is a huge advantage IMO). Often times customers mistake passion for sales, when I was MCS I was often called a sales spy nothing could be further from the truth. I still have a lot to learn about selling software, right now I am still acting on passion, which can get me in a little trouble when we have meetings that talk about what do my sales numbers look like, because to be honest I personally don't really care, I just want to help customers implement Microsoft technologies whenn and where they make sense. If I am going be able to afford some of the essentials, like food and shelter and I better learn to care about the sales part of my role a bit more.
Why did I make the change, I want to really understand the business at Microsoft, grow and be challenged in new ways; and the role is certainly providing that for me. Keep in mind it is easy to stay where you are at, but it takes a lot to go somewhere you have never been before. Since changing roles I still have a passion for development architecture, and deployment, and I have also rekindled my love for Visual Basic, after a 5+ year affair with C#. Visual Basic 2005 is simply awesome (too many features to list, check the VB team blogs for details). I have really developed a passion for Microsoft mobile technologies and development as well. I have started several fun projects developing solutions for mobile devices, Speech server, and Vista.
Well that's all for now, until next time...