700 Days with an unexpected twist!

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!

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Photographic proof – It’s Emma at AWS

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.

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When Jeff met Emma

I’m sure she will have a lot to say about her day – but I just couldn’t resist a post to celebrate both milestones, as I join an exclusive group.

 


3 years on, break out the leather, crystal or glass

lb
Each year I do a little retrospective post marking my work anniversary, and today I it’s time to continue the tradition.
First up here’s some of those previous posts covering my time at Telstra
otd
During the last 12 months, I’ve gone from working on the Telstra API Strategy to moving to the Innovation team, in the Chief Technology Office.
Along the way, I picked up new duties and am responsible for people again.   I really like being a “people leader”, helping develop, coach, mentor, inspire. I even had a ‘grad’ to tend to and Serina (aka gilly) has been absolute delight. Maybe you have read some of her stories — GovHack 2016My week with … A botTechfugees for Young people: #hack4refugeesA world of code. Her time with me is coming to an end, so I wish Serina all the best with the next step of her career.
I really like working with grads, and since Telstra has a well structured graduate program I look forward to contributing to that.
Something else I like, is being involved with Muru-D, and last year #SYD3 was full of amazing young companies. I got to work closely with Simpla and Cuberider – seriously, how amazing was it to see Cuberider send Australia’s first payload to the ISS!!  I was involved in the recent SYD4 bootcamp and look forward to seeing the next batch come through! And what a legacy Annie Parker is leaving behind, but can’t wait to see what Lighthouse becomes!
There’s a bit of theme – one of nurturing, mentoring, curating, advising & inspiring and these are all the things that get me going and inspire me. So, can’t complain about that!
Oh and the leather, crystal, glass reference – it’s the suggested three year anniversary gifts
3y

1,000 Days

 

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

heroesjourney

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:

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.

Huzzah!


730 Days & 23 trips to Sydney!

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.

Frank A

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

sharing

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…

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 !!


12 Months In

It’s been 12 months since I started with Telstra. My pass still worked after a few weeks off, so that’s a good sign.
Telstra <3 APIs

Telstra loves APIS

Anyways…. looking back on the past 12 months, lots happened …..

Enough looking back – time to look forward. Onward to the next 12.

So far the job has been pretty much inward looking, as we worked to get a API platform in place & get some APIs on-boarded to the platform.
But that’s all about about to change!
I have an upcoming talk at APIDays Sydney, titled “Telstra’s Path to API Enlightenment” and I’ll use that to describe the journey we’ve been on. (oh, and speaking of journey, I saw a great tweet recently by Aussienick which describes a similar journey)
Technology Project Management explained in one picture
So here’s to the next twelve months and beyond.

2048 – Where I heard it first

A few weeks back my daughter Emma was playing a simple yet addictive game on her PC, called 2048.

She wrote about it on her aussiegeekgirl blog , comparing it to another recent addictive game, flappy bird.

Now in the past few days, others have been writing about this addictive game

But I know where I heard about it first – my own Emma!!


‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said, ‘To talk of many things”

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.


Not clicking, waving….

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.

skeletonSeems like a good idea, right?

I grabbed the Kinect for Windows SDK, and went looking on codeplex for kinect related samples, where I found the Kinect PowerPoint Control. It was nice, but It didn’t do exactly what I wanted.

By coincidence, Dr Neil sent me an email about nsquared slyda, which just lets me change between slides using hand gestures.

Perfecto!!

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….


My Geek Origin Story

Michael Kordahi, aka Delicate Genius, is asking for Geek Origin Stories.

How can I not contribute to this worthy cause……

cbc 1981The 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. 

punchcardI 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….


20? meh – Just another day

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

1991 was a big year for me.

I got married.

I bought a house.

My first child was born

AND

I joined Microsoft on May 20, 1991

Today marks my 20th year anniversary at Microsoft.

As I have done for the past few years (19, 18, 17, 16. 15, 14, 13), time to reflect a bit on my time at Microsoft. Yes, I still *love* the job.

The resume stays the same, but I’m now back in Australia, based in Melbourne.

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 Current Microsoft Corp, Director – DPE Field Community & Readiness

This year, I find myself in a different situation — I don’t have an office, so no 20lbs of M&Ms sitting in a bowl outside my door to share with my work colleagues.

It’s kinda weird that I have no one to share the moment with. It’s just another day.

But, I did get a rather large and heavy parcel sent to me.

WP_000347

which had another box inside

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and inside that box was another box addressed to me

WP_000349

it was like a Babushka doll!!

So – what’s in it?

Well – it’s my 20 year “crystal” from Microsoft. (yeah – crappy photo, I know. I’ll take another one in the morning)

WP_000350

So – 20 years down, and the future looks promising – skype is joining the family, kinect is going gang busters with it’s own SDK , windows phone is getting Angry Birds soon.

Seems like there’s a lots to still do, and I’m pretty excited to continue doing it.

Plus, now that I’m back in Australia – I can get along to some local events, such as DDD Melbourne, PREMIX & REMIX

Bring on the next 20! Maybe I’ll get some M&Ms just for me and the kids!…

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