“Happy Birthday to me” Smile

I’m not sure about the “Star Wars” theme but the 10 fits the mark.

It’s 10 years to the day since I joined Microsoft in the UK.

Prior to joining Microsoft I’d had 6 (“proper”) jobs and the most time I’d managed to stay in any one of them was 3 years. One lasted as little as 6 months but then I’d argue I was conned on that one as they said they wanted someone to write code when, in fact, they didn’t Winking smile

I started writing code 28 years ago when I was 12 and I started writing code for a living just about 20 years ago.

At Microsoft, I spent 4 years in developer consulting for working with the range of the UK’s independent software vendors and some of the largest end-customers of our technology as well.

The combination of working in a team of really strong technical folks and getting exposure to lots of different customer apps provided a great opportunity to grow. I also spent quite some time running the UK’s scalability lab which gave me a lot of exposure to web platform and SQL scalability.

When I started in that team we were mostly talking about IIS, C++, VB, MTS, COM+ and SQL Server and the whole idea of “Windows DNA”.

By the time I left that job, the landscape of apps that we were working with had shifted to .NET and I was coming across (and writing) native code a lot less frequently.

I moved across to the developer ‘evangelism’ team around 5-6 years ago and have spent the time getting out via;

  • this blog
  • articles in various publications and on various sites
  • videos in places like Channel 9 and other sites
  • in person events like UK community group events, Microsoft UK events, private company events and then big public conferences like TechEd, MIX, DevDays, TechDays, DevWeek, Software Architect and so on

talking to developers and architects about the developer platform, tooling and frameworks for building their apps for Windows.

Over the years that’s spanned a lot of technologies. Larger examples include;

  • Client – Silverlight, WPF, WP7, Expression Blend, Windows Forms, Windows 7 and Windows Vista and even a bit of ASP.NET in the early days
  • Languages – C# 2,3,4 with some bits of C++/CLI thrown in and even the odd bit of VB from time to time.
  • Server – WF, WCF, IIS, BizTalk Server
  • Data – LINQ to XML, LINQ to SQL, Entity Framework, WCF Data Services, SQL Server 2005 & 2008
  • Frameworks – MEF, Parallel
  • Tools – Visual Studio 2005, 2008, 2008 Sp1, 2010

I think someone even made me do a SharePoint session once and I mostly got away with it by saying

“Let me start by saying I don’t know anything about SharePoint but I can show you this one thing here…” Winking smile

Generally, it’s been a blast. What I’ve figured out over that 10 years is that I like;

  • Poking around with developer languages, tools, frameworks and figuring out what they do, where they fit and where they are going.
  • Talking to developers about that and trying to shorten the time it takes them to decide whether a particular technology fits into their environment and how to make best use of it if it does

There’s also been some things that I haven’t enjoyed quite so much but I won’t bore you with those Winking smile 

And so a big thanks to folks that;

  • I’ve worked with over the past 10 years at Microsoft or at its customers/partners
  • have come along to one of my talks over the past years and been kind enough to provide feedback (especially the ones that provided the good feedback Winking smile)
  • have watched some video or screencast that I’ve produced
  • have been kind enough to keep my manager happy by requesting this RSS feed on a regular basis

I look forward to working with you some more over the coming years.

“Happy Birthday to me” Smile