Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Something New

It seems an amusing irony, that there has been such active discussion recently about people leaving Microsoft. (The ones I was tracking were: Mini-Microsoft,
Dare). I've worked at Microsoft for almost 8 years, and it has been an interesting time, full of amazing people and cool products. Yet... Microsoft was never my intensional destination, it was just a step. I came to Microsoft from experiences at much smaller companies (<50 people total for the 2 companies where I had worked) and ... well ... I like small start-ups. Thus it should not be too surprising that I am returning to the world of small start-ups. Last Friday (September 16th) was my last day at Microsoft.

What kept me at Microsoft, and what I will miss the most, is the people. I worked with such diverse collection of wonderful people... mostly. Not that you can't get that elsewhere, but the 'individual contributors' (as they are called at MS) are really one of Microsoft's assets. I felt like a I was leaving my family. I have worked with some of these people for my entire time at Microsoft. That is a long, and intense, time to build a friendship.

I've had almost everyone I know ask me "why I are you leaving?" Some factors: Whidbey is basically done, as is Yukon. Microsoft definitely is more bureaucratic that it used to be, as well. Mostly though, it was just time to move on. I was presented with an opportunity that fit my interests. (And no, I'm not going to Google... too big. I decided long ago, that if I was going to leave, I wanted it to be for a small company, something less than 100 people.)

As I get time, I hope to write some more about why I think that Microsoft is not the same place that it used to be. Dare's comments (here and here) hit some key points. Mini-Microsoft is another great source of information about working at Microsoft is really about. Steve Ballmer may not be reading these blogs, but he sure as hell should. He and Bill have no real interaction with 'the troops' and if he thinks the company poll is all the information he needs, then I think he will see many more key people leaving. Worse, the current attitude is discouraging the next generation of potential 'key players' from staying on, or even joining at all.

So on to a new adventure! I am not going too far, and will still be involved with the XML community, and will likely be doing some work that leverages some of the libraries and products that I helped ship at Microsoft. Back to the code!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck, Derek.
Keep the Blog active, and let us know what you're up to.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Secret Super Hero Grrrl said...

DDB -- I fell across your blog and noticed your most recent post. Congratulations on making positive changes. Glad to hear that you are going to be doing something that you enjoy and are passionate about. I wish you many bright and shiny stress free days ahead. Take care-o-yerself. -- Julie

2:46 PM  

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