Well, last week was my first week on the Web Platform and Tools Product Team. I spent it in Redmond, primarily in “Top Secret” meetings with another software company. Since this both a new role for me, as well as a new role at Microsoft, I thought I’d start to share my experiences on “Joining the Empire”.

First, a huge thank you to Brian Goldfarb for driving the discussions that made this job happen. Brian is not only one of these really bright and motivated guys, but also a guy who invests in loyalties. (A trait that’s all too rare these days.) I’ll owe Brian from here on in.

Next, I wanna thank Scott Guthrie. Scott created the position and hired me. I’ve known Scott, albeit casually for about nine years. I’m THRILLED to be working for him and his energy and technically depth is very motivating (though I must say a bit intimidating).

NEWS: I have a boss!

My wife thought I was nuts when I accepted a position with no idea who I was going to report to. I’ve had four managers in my five years at Microsoft. I Loved three of them, so I figured the odds were good that whoever I ended up reporting to was gonna be OK. When Scott offered me the job he asked me to look in his organization chart and see if I had a preference of managers. I told him that everyone in the list was a renowned technologist and I’d rather not choose. (Id I did choose, to one I would be an employee and to the others I’d be the guy who didn’t choose to work for them.)

Actually, I just thought it made sense to have Scott place me in the part of the organization that he thought was the best fit.

So, I didn’t know who I would be reporting to and I got to find out and meet my new boss on this trip to Redmond. He’s Simon Muzio. It’s always a bit hard to tell, and you never want to be accused of being too enthusiastic about one’s boss….. But he has a great choice. He’s technically deep (a REAL software developer), very strategic, and he GETS the developer community. I’ve always enjoyed working for a “big picture” guy as opposed to a Micro Management type.

So – the stage was set.

The first have for the week were the fore mentioned meetings.

Obviously the details are confidential, but the thing that was really energizing was that I was in a room FULL of VERY bright people, who clearly respected each other, and where discussing what the tools and platform for millions of developers would look like in a year or two.

Later in the week I met with Scott & Simon to discuss what comes first (and next).

So here’s what we came up with ……
First, I’m going to be responsible for a lot of the content on www.ASP.net. Responsible meaning I’m going to solicit some and deliver a lot.

How-Do-I Videos (About 2 a week)
• Lots of ATLAS Information and Sample
Tutorials, Etc. (Written)
• Visit User Groups World Wide (Beginning with the USA) (About 2 a Month)
• Speak at all the major Microsoft Technology Conferences.
• Attend the non-ASP.NET Conferences.
• Communicate what we’re doing on the Web Platform and Tools team to YOU (The Developer Community)
• Aggregate and share YOUR ideas and comments with the Product Developers.
• Write a Book :)

Later in the week I net with Sanjoy Sarkar, a new guy at Microsoft. ( I think he used to work at Deloit Consulting.)

I mention Sanjoy because he is one of the “New Breed” and a great example of the culture that the Redmond generation of guys like Scott and Brian are fostering at Microsoft.

Sanjoy is a bright young guy, very motivated and jumping right in. He is also the kind of open minded you person that is getting more and more common at Microsoft. Confident in what he knows, but ready to find and leverage the experts and experiences that Microsoft’s employee base has to offer. Though he sits in another organization (Brian Goldfarb’s) he is focused on Developer Community so I’m pumped that we’ll be collaborating on lots or work.

I know, I know, it all sounds like a mix of ass-kissing and cheerleading…..

But I can’t help it. I’ve never been so excited about starting a new job.

I’ve already put my wife on notice.

Sooner or later we’re moving to Redmond.

Anyway - please email me your ideas for How-Do-I-Videos and Tutorials.