I'm six weeks into my new job here at Microsoft.
Right now, I'm sitting on the 07.53 train from Waterloo to Andover on my way to shadow one of my colleagues as he briefs one of our customers on claims-based authentication. Yesterday, I was welcoming a new customer (my first customer!) to their engagement, discussing a peculiar web performance issue with their multi-million pound eCommerce site. And tomorrow, I'll be back in our headquarters where we're discussing Team Foundation Server, Application Lifecycle Management and 'best practices' for software development with another colleague's customer.
As part of the Microsoft Premier Division, our (relatively) small team of 20+ Application Development Managers are tasked solely with ensuring our customers are 100% 'very satisfied'. We operate a service known as 'Premier Support for Developers' and, as another colleague has noted (and a senior exec), is often touted as one of the 'best jobs in Microsoft'. I'm beginning to understand why.
Premier Support for Developers (or "PfSD") is a Microsoft consulting offering that goes a little further than your traditional consultancy engagement. First and foremost, it's a long-term relationship. We're looking to get to know your business; what's important to you and what's not, your pains and pressures, your aspirations and goals. We aim to become a trusted advisor within your company - practically part of your team. We can act as an interface between your company and its interests, and Microsoft. But crucially, becoming your advocate to make sure your voice is heard. We're tasked with removing any and all barriers that stand between your development team making the most of their development experience on the Microsoft platform.
This all means that no two days are the same because everyone's needs are different.
Joining this team of experts has been - and will continue to be - a very humbling experience. Across the team, we cover a broad range of Microsoft platforms and technologies. Most everyone has experience off the Microsoft stack, too, and brings an impressive array of 'soft skills' not commonly associated with 'developers'. No one team member has all the skills to support all of our customers, so we work together; each of us delivering experience to our customers in the subject areas we know best.
I say humbling, because everyone has been so incredibly supportive. We actively seek out eachother's strengths and where there are weaknesses, we share knowledge, educate each other, even challenge each other to pick up the skills we need.
So as I sit here on the train, heading out to a new customer in a new place, I'm thinking of the team I've only recently joined, and the fantastic company I am now part of and my mind is filled with possibilities.
To quote Ballmer, "I love this company!".