Ten years ago today, I began a new journey.
October 14, 2013 was my first day working at Microsoft. My job title was Technical Evangelist. My responsibilities included teaching others about technology and engaging the US developer community. I spent a lot of time creating demos and presentations and delivering them at conferences, user groups, colleges, and code camps. I spent time at startup incubators, showing them how to use Azure to help their business. Microsoft was trying to promote their phone and Windows 8, so I quickly learned how to build applications for these platforms, and I hosted workshops to teach others what I learned.
The job required me to move to Chicago, but it took me across the country. The decision to take the job and move from Michigan was easy. My two sons had just graduated (one from high school, the other from undergraduate university) and moved out of state to continue their education. I had moved to Michigan eleven years earlier only to be closer to them, and that reason no longer existed.
To say this decision was life-changing would be an understatement. The job allowed me to work with amazing people, help others in the community, take control of my life, and get paid for things I was already doing for free.
That role lasted me about 4-5 years before Microsoft decided to eliminate the Evangelism team. It was the best job I ever had. Since then, I have worked in two other organizations at Microsoft. I have learned a great deal at each position.
Two of my favourite things are learning something new and teaching others. My time at Microsoft has allowed me to do a lot of both. I love working with smart people; this company is loaded with them. More importantly, they are almost always willing to share their knowledge with me.
Not every day was perfect. Not every year was great. I have had some great managers and some bad managers, which makes the biggest difference in my job satisfaction and performance. At one point, I came close to leaving the company because a manager actively discouraged collaboration and frequently made up and repeated falsehoods to justify his negative opinion of me. I survived that toxic environment, and I survived the recent round of layoffs.
Last year, I joined the Global Partner Solutions team as an architect, where I help our partners design solutions for their customers. I work with amazing people, and I learn something new every day!
This week, I have a new manager following the promotion of my former manager. The old and the new are good people who care about others, making me optimistic for the future.
I doubt I will stay here another ten years, but I fully expect to be here another five. I wonder if time will pass as quickly as it has since 2013.