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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back to my Roots

This coming Monday I will once again don the Blue Badge...I am going back to work for Microsoft.   Over ten years has passed since I walked the halls of Building 18 & 25 in Redmond.  I was just a kid back then and yet Microsoft gave me such opportunities and challenges.  I feel very much like I am returning to my roots.  My first job at Microsoft was answering the telephone at Product Support Services--no, I didn't actually solve problems; I simply collected names and addresses before forwarding the caller to an engineer.  Much later (at least it felt that way), I was doing software engineering for Microsoft on a contract basis.  In between, I worked as a procurement officer buying hardware for various groups in Redmond.  Microsoft was my family when I was growing up--guys like Paul and Larry McDaniel, Ken Inglis, Garin Pangburn, Glenn Minch, Jeff Smith, David Jenkins, and Neil Charney were right there with me as I worked hard to learn the craft.

I grew up and moved on to other opportunities beyond One Microsoft Way--and in the process I was sometimes critical of Microsoft (what child doesn't rebel?).   People like Scott Fuller, Eric Gioia, John Gioia, Donna Fitzgerald, Jim Tisch, Brian Kennemer, and Kobe Connor, and others schooled me in business, marketing, and software development.  I learned a great deal from these people.

Later, I joined another family--The International Institute for Learning.  I am a very lucky man.  I am leaving a group of people that I love and respect to start another adventure.  LaVerne Johnson, Steve Osborn, Susan Palermo, Judy Umlas,  Zack Halbrecht, and others taught me more about the craft and even more about life.  There is no way I could ever repay what IIL gave me and my family.  Never.

I realize this post is sappy but that is why I must write.  I am so thankful to all of those that helped me before in ways that can never be measured (John, Eric, LaVerne and Steve).  Thank you.

I am so thrilled to be part of a new and great team.  Many of them I know from a previous life and many are new to my life.  On balance, I get the best of both worlds:  I have a great new adventure and plenty of friends that share in our previous success.

The last and most important thing is this:  I thank my wife for being totally on my side every step of the way.  Go Team Africa.

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