I sent the below to all of our MCM/MCA communities last night, and thought I'd share it here, too. These programs rock! ...and I'll miss them dearly.
As the subject line says: it’s time for a change. I’m writing to let you know that I’ve accepted a new position within Microsoft (Director, Customer Experience - Xbox LIVE) and my last day in Microsoft Learning will be October 30th. I know you see these types of emails a lot, I’ve read my share, written a few myself, but none has been as close to my heart as this one. So – apologies for rambling on, feel free to stop reading any time.
For the past 7 years, I’ve been involved with ‘Ranger’ / Master / MCA in some way or another. My hiring interview into Microsoft was basically my application to attend Ranger, a few years later I ran the Exchange program, created the technical MCA certification, added SQL and Directory tracks, and finally debuted the Master certification family while adding SharePoint and OCS and consolidating all MCA certifications in one home. There have been ups, there have been downs, I’m proud of many things that were accomplished, know some things could have been done better, and also know there is still – as always – more work to be done to make these programs as wildly successful as they deserve to be.
These programs are a collective gem; they are so unique. They are like nothing that I’ve ever had the honor of being associated with inside or outside of Microsoft, and it’s very, very tough to let go. The thing that makes them so special is the people. For starters, the people that run them (‘The Master Team’), who are so accomplished in their careers and so motivated to create the highest level of training and certification in the world in order to make a difference for our business groups and ultimately our customers. They are among the best consultants and architects in their fields, and the surrounding team is equally as bright, motivated, and successful. To ‘The Master Team’: thank you for coming on board, several of you moving your family’s across oceans to do so, and thank you for your friendship, passion, intelligence and the ever so critical ‘just getting it’. I will miss working with you all the most.
The instructors. Without the quality of instructors that we have been able to secure over the years, the programs would be a charade. No one on the outside can truly know, truly appreciate the amount and depth of knowledge one gets from these individuals until they have gone through it themselves. It’s just not possible. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback from candidates has been, “I had no idea what I didn’t know!”, and that’s all because of our instructors. Thanks to all of you for your excellence, and your personal commitment.
Finally, the community. It’s amazing how many kind, bright, and motivated ‘candidates’ I have met. By virtue of going through these high stakes programs, individuals’ characters come through very quickly and honestly, and the relationships that are built there ring true indefinitely. Being able to be a small part of each person’s journey has been hugely rewarding. Thanks to all of you for your efforts, and the opportunity be a part of your lives in some small way. Here also I’d like to call out the MCA community, and the Advisory Council for our Infrastructure and Solutions tracks: thanks for your continued support. I’m most appreciative and look forward to keeping tabs on a momentum filled year.
Across all of the above (and a lot of others that would makes this email even longer were I to mention them), I’m very thankful for the lasting friendships that I look forward to maintaining. I know you will all continue to make these programs prosper, just by being yourselves. MSL will backfill my position, and a job opportunity should be posted shortly on Microsoft’s career site. In the meantime, Greg (who runs the Exchange program today) will guide the ship day to day; you’re in great hands, no doubt about it.
Until we cross paths again, I’ll say it one more time: “Know what you know, know what you don’t know, and never confuse the two.” J
Thank you for everything,