This is a tough post to write. After 9+ years, and some of the best times I've had in my career, I've decided it's time to move on to my next adventure. This Friday will be my last day at Microsoft.
During my stay at Microsoft, first as a developer evangelist, and later as a technical evangelist (same role, different titles), I have often said to people that I had the best job at Microsoft. I had the privilege of working with extraordinary folks in the local developer community here in Mid-Atlantic. I got to teach people how to use all sorts of developer technologies, and to constantly learn new tools and techniques, everything from LOB apps using .NET to HTML5 client development, and building apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8.
Over the years, I've had great managers, from Kim Matlock, who helped me learn what evangelism is about, to Bill Zentmayer, who was unfailingly patient, even when we "poked the bear," and my current manager, Brett Wolfe, who has been supportive and understanding of my decision to move on.
I've worked with so many great folks in the community, it is impossible to list them all, and I know that I'll forget some (please forgive me if I've left anyone out – lots on my mind at the moment), but a few I want to give a shout-out to: Robin Edwards, Scott Lock, Hal Hayes, Dean Fiala, Darrell Norton, Kevin Hazzard, Steve Presley Susan Lennon, Steve Bodnar, Sara Faatz, Ed Mullin, Chris Steen, Randy Hayes, Pete Brown, Rich Dudley, Justin Etheredge, Stuart Leitch, Brian Noyes, Vishwas Lele, Matt Cuba, Ganesan Muthaiah, Kevin Griffin, Chris Stone, Michael Wolf, Stephen Ritchie, and many more. So many code camps, user groups, and meetups that it's almost a blur. More pizza, diet cokes, and name tags than I can count.
And there are many folks internally at Microsoft who've helped me learn and grow, including all of my fellow Technical Evangelists, in particular my east region peers (and former peers) Doug Turnure, Joe Healy, Brian Hitney, Jim O'Neil, Rachel Appel, Peter Laudati, Dave Isbitski, Tara Walker, Yung Chou, Tommy Patterson, and too many more to mention. You all have been like another family (complete with the sibling rivalry <g>), and you've inspired me to keep pushing myself.
It's been a pleasure and a privilege to work with all of you over the years in my role at Microsoft, and my community work is certainly not at an end by any means.
So if you're wondering what's next, the short answer is that I'll be freelancing (so if you have interesting work, please feel free to get in touch <g>), starting with some video training for WintellectNOW (I hear they're looking for authors, if you're good at such things).
But first, I'll be taking some time to enjoy the holidays with my family, and reflect on how blessed I've been to have the opportunity to work in a great role, in a great organization, in one of the most influential companies in the world.
My sincere thanks to everyone who has played a role in my professional life over the last 9 and a half years. It's been a fantastic ride, and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunities I've had. Looking forward to what the future brings!
Want to keep in touch? You can follow my ongoing adventures on my Devhammer blog, and drop me a note there as well.