This week I passed my 4 years at AWS, and what an interesting time it’s been. Since my last post, we still find ourselves in a global pandemic, dealing with the latest variant which continues to impact our lives. All the members of the household have had their 2 vaccines and have been recently boosted, so we’re doing our bit BUT living in Melbourne, one of the most locked down cities in the world, has been tough. On the plus side, I did get myself a cool new t-shirt to remember the experience.
So, we find ourselves at the start of 2022, with another mountain to climb, memories to be made, goals to be met (and exceeded) and ready to face whatever challenges the year ahead will put in front on us.
I am thankful I have a comfy spot at home to get my work done, adequate bandwidth, walking distance to some of the best coffee in Melbourne, and access to plenty of snacks.
I recently got a replacement laptop, which is a big improvement over my trusty old friend who developed a swollen battery and was starting to run out of steam. By the end of it all, the old laptop was being held together by a whole bunch of stickers.
I’ve got more to say, but I’ll save that for when I reach my 1500 days milestone – which isn’t that far.
Today is my 700th day at AWS. Nice round number eh? 1 year, 11 months since I started! The team has grown, with new hires in Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane (and Perth). It’s been a wild ride, or should I say a wild ryde 🦄.
Now, the twist is that my daughter Emma is starting today at AWS as an intern!
If someone had told me that would be the case 700 days ago, I would not have believed it! In retrospect it’s kinda obvious that this was going to happen.
I’ve just clocked over 1000 days at Telstra. It’s gonna get hard to play the “I’m new here” card now I guess.
It’s been a journey so far – kinda like the hero journey
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
And to be honest, it pretty much sums up what happened in relation to the API Strategy work — A call to adventure, guardians, mentors, temptations, threats, challenges, revelations, transformations, atonement, a gift of the goddess and eventual return! Yup, pretty much a text book experience.
The journey was featured in a recent article at the end of July, entitled Telstra’s API revolution. It gives a great wrap up of the work to date, and acts as a solid record of what has been done.
There have been losses along the way, and I won’t dwell on them all but I do want to mention one of my fellow travellers – Bruce Carney. We both started on the same day – brothers in arms, facing the challenges together. Bruce is no longer with us – he’s part of a new journey with Aussie software darling, Atlassian, and I do wish him well on his next journey.
So I now find myself at a transition point, a time for a new story, with some familiar folks, and some new ones as well.
I am now a member of the Innovation team at Telstra, in the Chief Technology Office, located in the world-class Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne.
The lab opened in August 2015, with lots of great coverage:
- Telstra opens Gurrowa innovation lab in Melbourne
- Telstra opens Gurrowa Innovation Lab
- Telstra partners with Pivotal, launches innovation lab in Melbourne
- Telstra launches Gurrowa Innovation Lab
The lab is the centerpiece of Telstra’s innovation and technology research capabilities. Gurrowa, which means Interchange in the Wurung language, signifies the interchanging of ideas that will take place in this unique co-creation space that will drive the new wave of innovation at Telstra.
It has been the location for projects, events, hackathons over the past year, and with the experience gained over that time, we now have an opportunity to fine tune the way it works and make it AWESOME!
So that’s the new call to adventure. What lies ahead? I don’t fully know, but I do know WHY we’re doing this, and that makes for a fun journey.
Today marks 2 years into my time at Telstra , and it’s really zipped along.
I even got inspired to get a “simpsons-style” cartoon of me – the orange hat is a nice touch I think.
The last couple of these types of posts I’ve done have included a bit of a recap – 12 Months In & 546 Days so I will spare the look back, suffice to say a fair bit of stuff got done – some visible such as T.DEV , speaker at I ♥ APIS in San Jose, sponsor at Web Directions 2015, judge at Hackfood, author on Telstra Exchange; and some not so, but just as important!!
I also made a a video to be used for internal training – here’s sneak peak
Oh, and I’ve had 23 trips to Sydney over these past 2 years. Yes, I did the maths.
OK then, so there are a few things coming up that I am looking forward to…
- Above All Human – I missed it last year, so I am keen to attend this year.
- Muru-D Sydney Class 3 – I was at the recent boot camp helping some of these startups get ready and I cant wait to see what they produce!!
- API Days Australia in Melbourne, March 1 & 2, with a host of great speakers
What else? There’s a few other things, but I’ll keep’em under my hat for the time being. It revolves around how developers took over the world and how we can respond to that.
And did i mentioned I’ve had 23 trips to Sydney !!
- the group I joined changed names from GAP to TSG
- got to meet some wonderful folks at muru-d
- helped out with the pilot for codeclub australia
- met a bunch of passionate API folks
- went to SF for the I ♥ APIs 2014 conference
- created the #stickercolumn
- was a guest on the 100th edition of the franklyspeaking podcast
- spent time with lots of API platform vendors – which has been strange for me, as I spent such a long time with a technology vendor
- got to work with a bunch of really smart people
- plus a bunch of other stuff that has made the past 12 months zoom by!
Enough looking back – time to look forward. Onward to the next 12.
Now in the past few days, others have been writing about this addictive game
- 2048 is the new Flappy Bird in so many ways
- Forget Flappy Bird. We’re all hooked on 2048
- 2048 starts easy; gets hard. Here’s how to make it easy again
- The latest gaming craze is 2048
But I know where I heard about it first – my own Emma!!
Yes, the time has indeed come.
After 22 years, 3 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, I’ve decided to leave Microsoft.
Yes, you’ve heard correct. It’s time!
My time with Microsoft started way back on 1991, in Canberra, as a Systems Engineer. I was the first technical guy in a small team of 4 people. I got to Canberra after I had followed a girl (who I had met in Melbourne) all the way to Canberra., That girl became my wife, and over the journey we’ve spent time in Seattle, Sydney, Seattle again and ultimately Melbourne, which is where I started. Funny that.
The career summary looks a bit like this
|May 1991||Sep 1993||Microsoft Canberra, working as a Systems Engineer|
|Sep 1993||Aug 1994||Microsoft Corp, @ Executive Briefing Center|
|Aug 1994||Oct 1995||Microsoft Corp, in the Advanced Technology Group, working on Interactive TV|
|Nov 1995||May 1997||Microsoft Australia, MSN Technical Director|
|Jun 1997||Jun 1999||ninemsn CTO|
|Jun 1999||May 2001||MicrosofT Region, Digital Media dude|
|May 2001||Aug 2007||Microsoft Australia, Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE)|
|Aug 2007||May 2011||Microsoft Corp, Director – DPE Field Community & Readiness|
|May 2011||Sep 2013||Microsoft, Principle Technical Evangelist, WW Technical Evangelist Role Owner|
Along the way we had 4 children who have grown up immersed in all things Microsoft – they all have their Nokia Lumias, and Windows 8 tablets, and love their XBOX, I don’t think this will change in a hurry.
And then, there’s my other family – the awesome evangelists I hired, the community members who helped spread the word of the Microsoft platform – from .net, hailstorm, silverlight, to windows phone, windows, windows azure, and everything else in between.
Thank you all for making my Microsoft time very enjoyable and not feel like just a job.
This week also sees TechEd on the Gold Coast – and while I am there, we recorded the 100th episode of Frankly Speaking with my good friends Andrew Coates and Michael Kordahi, where I speak with the guys about my time at Microsoft. I had fun recording the session
I now have a chance to look around, smell the roses and find that next great job that isnt really a job which I can commit my heart and soul into, just like the last one.
I’ve been helping my kids with their homework, and one of them (I wont name who, so as to avoid any embarrassment) had to deliver a presentation in PowerPoint. I wanted to add a bit of pizzazz to the experience looked at hooking up a Kinect so that they could present with gestures, rather than clicking with a mouse.
Seems like a good idea, right?
We had a practice session and kiddo can move forward and back, with a wave of the hands.
Next stop, the classroom!!!
BTW – I see that boffins at nsquared solutions are working on more Kinect apps. I got a ping last night from Dr Neil about nsquared spydar, which is like the Coding4Fun Kinect Turret minus the violence. I got it set up – now let’s see who comes and uses my PC when I’m away….
How can I not contribute to this worthy cause……
The year was 1981, and my high school, CBC StKilda, got a fancy new Cromenco computer system. I was asked to man the computer lab by my math teacher, Mrs Fagin, and to pass the time, I wrote programs in Structured Basic.
I remember putting in programs that would to print out ASCII art – playboy bunny logo and Alfred E. Newman stick in my memory. After spending time playing in that lab, I decided to following a computing path, even though I had been planning to go on and do medicine.
I signed up for the EDP (or Electronic Data Processing) course at CIT in 1982. In my first year we used punch cards to input out programs. I still have some those punch cards someone in the garage – I’ve carried them for almost 30 years! In my second year, the class had access to time sharing terminals connected to a PR1ME computer and we worked on PR1ME Information (which was similar to PICK), as well as COBOL and FORTRAN, and in my third year, we had a dedicated Data General system, we programmed in COBOL and PL/1 and we had access to a new fangled a IBM PC and a software package called KnowledgeMan for our group project.
After graduating, I entered the workforce as a humble programmer and my first job was converting FORTRAN applications for an engineering company on St Kilda Rd, who were migrating systems. That was the start of many projects during my time
So there you have it….