…but the time has come. 11 years at Microsoft, all of them in the Outlook & Exchange teams, and now that’s coming to an end. Next Friday will be my last day in Exchange, after which point I will be moving to the Mobile team, to be the lead PM for the photos & camera experience.
Holy crud, it’s been a long time. Eleven years in this space – all of my time at Microsoft in these two teams. Nine years in Exchange. I was still a kid when I started in Exchange. Over the years I’ve grown up and the Exchange team has become my second family. A third of my entire life has been spent working in the messaging space at Microsoft.
My leaving has nothing to do with Exchange, of course, I still adore the product, the customers, the technology, the vision, the community, the funny blog URLs that some misguided people think was an accident, etc… I’m leaving because frankly if there is one thing that could tear me away from Exchange, it’s the opportunity to get paid to work on the thing I’ve been passionate about in my spare time for the last ten years: I have a photo studio in my house that I pull out to do portraits for friends & family a few times a year & even considered quitting the company once to start my own photography business. What I love about photography is making beautiful pictures accessible & affordable to more people… and now I get to do that for even more people, and get paid for it. I still can’t quite believe my luck.
It hasn’t quite hit me yet that it’s real, that I’m actually leaving. On my last day I expect to be a useless crying blob, if you’ll be seeing me that day, then consider this your fair warning, come bearing kleenex.
I don’t know what else to say, so I’ll leave you with a random list of fun memories from the years:
- Starting the Exchange team blog – (with a lame-o "first post") can’t believe it’s been five years already! In our three year anniversary post I mentioned some of my favorite posts, like the first one about the M drive, or our limerick contest. The four year anniversary post was fun too.
- MEC. I miss MEC.
- Paul Bowden’s sense of humor. Cheers!
- Exchange lolcats
- The career site – check out the comic, we update it every couple of weeks.
- The team videos we did – sorry external folks since these are internal only, but softies can check them out here. In particular, last summer’s ETARM is priceless. And if you were around msft in 2003 you must check out the office supplies one.
- The april fool’s (I forget which year) that OWA made a Hello Kitty theme, made it the default theme for everyone in MSIT, and then blocked users from turning it off. What a day.
- Steaming media and widows sever and um, a certain kind of folders that are not public.
- Getting an Exchange-branded v1 zune for our ship gift for E2K7.
- Having BillG’s voice as the unified messaging auto-attendant.
- MAPI beers
- That good ol’ coworker I never got to meet myself but heard many a story about, Olaf Ian Davidson
- Being married to a guy who sent me an email on valentine’s day once that had an ascii art cupid.
- Making the tshirt for the 2006 version of Bedlam DL3.
- Getting active in the blogging community over the last few years and getting to know people like Raymond, Betsy & Eric.
- The internal newsletter called the Weekly Exchange that I did for 2.5 years. I quoted part of one of the april fool’s versions here.
- Doing the press tour for E2K7 Beta 2.
 Nope, sorry folks. Very intentional. We’ve been making fun of that for over a decade now and I bought the domain name myself, snickering all the way.
 What stopped me is when I realized being an entrepreneur is at least as much (if not more) about salesmanship than functional skills… not a strong point of mine.
 You know, it’s really pretty impressive – in this most recent role, I lasted two and a half years, that’s pretty impressive for me! :-)
 No,  wasn’t actually referenced anywhere else. Just messing with ya.