1 Year at Microsoft

Grant Holliday’s blog

Senior Service Engineer, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Service

1 Year at Microsoft

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Last week was my first anniversary of accepting a job with Microsoft and relocating 8000 miles across the Pacific to Seattle, Washington. It’s been an amazing year filled with so many new experiences and challenges. The role I took (Program Manager) was a perfect fit for me and I’m not planning on going anywhere soon. I’m the first to admit that it’s been a challenging year dealing with constant dogfood server issues and other randomness. But, with lots of hard work and persistence I know we’re in a much better position than where we were this time last year. The product (and other Microsoft products) are certainly much better because of our efforts and most of that is reflected in the TFS2010 Beta1 release. Now we’ve just got to wrap it all up and get it out the door.

As you probably know from some of my blog posts, one of my main focuses has been performance. I now have a much better idea of the different aspects of server performance. I’ve learnt more than I probably wanted to know about the internals of TFS, SQL, Windows and how SAN’s work – but it’s been a great journey.

Outside of work, I’ve come to love the uniqueness of the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer (mountains, lakes, sunshine, snow & rain). For the past 6 months I’ve been doing an intensive Basic Alpine Climbing Course run by The Mountaineers with three other VSTS Softies. This has included lots of evening training sessions, equipment purchases, night climbs, weekend field trips and evaluations. April was by far the busiest month, with an activity on 15 of the 30 days in April!  The good news is that all the evaluations and practices are over and it’s time to Climb On in the summer climbing season.

My wife and I have also settled in to our new apartment in Kirkland’s Juanita neighborhood. It’s a great area with lake views, a beach, plenty of restaurants and close enough to the highways to make it easy to get to. After moving house 4 times in the last 12 months, it finally feels like we’re settled. Since we’re pretty close to the Microsoft campus and the weather has been so great lately, I’ve also started riding my bike to work. You can check out my commute along with the elevation profile on MayMyRide.com.

Last of all, thanks to everybody who has helped me settle in to life in the US and at Microsoft – it’s not even half as bad as I had thought it might be.

  • Sounds like great fun, I'm thinking of doing exactly the same thing...but into the SharePoint team. one thing that keeps coming up is the weather...how have u coped coming from AUS? I'm used to Perth weather with 9 month summer...Seattle sounds like 9 month winter ;-)

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