I haven’t been blogging much recently, and there’s a reason for that. Omar’s recent post reminded me that I needed to blog this. I’m changing jobs… Starting in a couple of weeks, I will no longer be a program manager in Exchange. Instead, I will be the release manager for Exchange, which is a funky kind of program manager. Rather than owning a feature or a component area, I will ‘own’ the processes through which we develop the product and the overall schedule, and my arse is on the line for the success of the entire product.
If you’ve read Paul Thurrott’s in-depth look at shipping windows server, I will be the Todd Wanke for Exchange. He summed it up pretty well: “My job is to manage the day-to-day operations with regards to shipping Windows,” he said. “I’m responsible for 8000 to 10,000 developers, program managers, and testers, and I have to make sure they’re doing the right things every day.” Although to that I would clarify that the release manager is also responsible for making that those developers, PMs and testers have certain roadblocks cleared so that they can do their jobs every day. For example, some of the things that I will be helping “coordinate” in this role involve the build & build verification tests, automated tools we run on our code, test automation efforts across the team, localization, security, internal partner relationships like Windows & Outlook, getting into dogfood, etc. Like most roles in software development, the responsibilities morph at different stages of the product, and I’ve only scratched the surface in my description.
I’ve been fascinated by software development projects ever since I started working at Microsoft (I’ve blogged about it before), so this is a great opportunity to be involved in the entire process from end to end. I am seriously stoked. Although I really enjoy my current job and I absolutely love working with Exchange communities, this is an exciting new challenge for me; I’ll be able to get a running start due to my existing skills, but I will also have many opportunities to grow in new ways.
So I will be finding someone else to manage the Exchange blog and the other projects I’ve been working on (like the user group project I’ve alluded to a couple of times). I’ll keep writing this blog, but someone else will be taking care of my other baby.
I’ll still be at Tech-Ed next week and I am really looking forward to it, my last conference was MEC 2002 so it’s been a while for me. The Exchange team has a lot of great announcements coming at Tech-Ed – I’ll talk about them more next week.
 Yeah I know it sounds foofy – “leverage” “coordinate” “synergy” etc. But that’s just the vocab… it’s not easy, and somebody’s gotta do it.