For the life of me, I don't know how anyone with an ounce of modesty can bring themselves to write a feature length autobiography. I was recently asked to throw together a short bio for a team Website. Doing so was tougher than completing my annual Microsoft review. And I'm a professional writer! Alas, it's done. And since I made the investment, I figure I should put it to use. So here's my About Me:
[Update: I am now a product manager on the MSCOM Community and Collaborative Development Team (gotdotnet.com, blogs.msdn.com/technet.com, and some other stuff I'm not at liberty to discuss yet.]
I’m a programmer/writer in Microsoft's Developer Division User Education group. I came to Microsoft four years ago from an oil refinery, where I designed and implemented a corrosion monitoring program that helped inspectors identify rapidly corroding pipes before they spewed caustic petroleum goo on defenseless pipefitters or engulfed my plastic inspection trailer in a 1200 degree fireball. I continue to work at Microsoft because it's like Disneyland for geeks and well, the staff hasn't asked me to leave yet. I am fascinated by human and machine language, the creative potential of teams, and social software applications like the Internet and WikiWiki.
Upon joining the Visual Studio team, I spent a year documenting the Duwamish Books enterprise sample, a year on the core VS project system, and I've been writing about source control ever since. Currently, I own the documentation user experience for Microsoft's source control offerings for professional software developers, most of which ships in the Visual Studio suite. Although I write for professional developers, I tend to think of myself as a professional newbie. I use a feature long enough to anticipate and answer user questions about it and then move on to the next challenge. On any given Monday, I'm as likely to write a whitepaper about parallel development for MSDN as I am to produce conceptual or reference topics for Visual Studio.
When I'm not writing about developer tools like Visual SourceSafe or blogging about social computing, I like to sail, work in my garden, climb mountains, and plan cities. I have served on the Planning Commission for the City of Redmond since 2003 (a project I call "SimRedmond 2024") and although I have no desire to run for political office, I am irresistibly drawn to the intersection of politics and computing. In the future, I hope to someday be called "dad", find time to write more code, work on another v1 product at Microsoft, and continue writing documentation for professional software developers.