My name is Richard Greenberg, and I am the Group Program Manager of the .NET Compact Framework product team at Microsoft.
What do I do? The way we ship software at Microsoft, we have three core "disciplines": Development (Dev), Quality Assurance (QA), and Program Management (PM). In the NETCF team, we are about 45% Dev, 45%QA, and 10% PM. Basically (and this is a gross simplification), Dev designs and writes the code; QA writes the tests, measures the quality of the product, and finds the most important defects (that's bugs); and PM writes the functional specs, acts as intermediary betwen the other discplines, marketing, and customers, and coordinates the ship process. I manage the PM team.
Who am I? I have a pretty diverse software background. My first job in the field was at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where I worked on real time systems for Naval surface and airborne applications. I also developed automated tools to support these efforts, primarily using Unix (BSD 4.2, for other folks who remember that fine distribution). So, not only did I learn early on that software could be (should be!) small and fast, but I became an early and ardent advocate of the command line. Before joining Microsoft in late 1992, I was a consultant at Booz-Allen & Hamilton and at Price Waterhouse, working with commercial and government clients on Office Automation (as we called it then) and network architecture. As a consultant, I learned that it is easy to figure out what a client ought to do, but very difficult to get them to actually do it. (This lesson, I have since learned, is broadly applicable). Since joining Microsoft, I have worked in every major area of the company (Windows, Office, MSN, and Developer Division), and have held a variety of roles (Product Manager, Program Manager, Group Manager, Development Manager, and Group Product Manager). I have been through a lot of product cycles at Microsoft!
Why am I here on the .NET Compact Framework team? Because I believe that software shouldn't be big and complicated, when it can be (relatively) simple and straightforward instead. Because smart devices and embedded systems are just plain fun. And because the NETCF team, of all the ones I've worked on at Microsoft, is perhaps the most dedicated to bringing you the highest quality software we can with an absolute minimum of bull. Efficiency (Ruthless Efficiency, for you Monty Python fans) is our chief weapon -- er, amongst our weaponry are such diverse tools as ruthless efficiency, continual improvement, and an almost fanatical devotion to you: our customers, developers, partners, and friends. This is what we aim for, and with your help, sometimes we succeed.
That's all for my first post. See you in future entries!