The book sold over 500k copies and was translated into many languages - it was fun to look at a copy when I was in Paris.
The MicroNews was our weekly company newspaper. Here's the 8/25/95 edition after Windows 95 launched.
Here's when gaming was serious - when you had to type in the code for a game before you could play it. (Kids today have it so easy. #getoffmylawn)
My goal, as soon as I joined Microsoft, was to transfer to Paris. I had been there on vacation a couple of times and knew I had to live there - to truly take in the whole city.
Bienvenue à Paris!
But I did have some great meals in Lyon.
640 x 480 amazin' pixels of image resolution. And I think I paid around $750-800 for it?
Some final thoughts about driving in Paris. My colleagues would tease me about taking public transit instead of using my company car. But I had last laugh when they shared some data on the company car usage.
The great thing is that Microsoft donates $25/hour of my volunteer time. So the Boys and Girls Club is always very happy to get those matching dollars.
"Since 2005, Ross Heise, a senior content publisher in Windows, has volunteered for more than 1,220 hours for the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Puget Sound region."
In early 1998, a friend of a friend told me about Premier Support for Developers. Here, I almost made one of the biggest mistakes of my career. My initial reaction was ‘Support? No way am I doing that.’
Recording our labor hours against our Premier customer contracts was a big deal – customers wanted to know what we were doing for them. Our old tools were not great – a non-time tracking system kludged together to try to track time.
When you tell people you work at Microsoft, you frequently will get asked if you ever met Bill. I was close to him on a few occasions - walked past him at a conference, sat near him at a Paula Poundstone show in Seattle, and once opened the door for him.
And I’m sure I remember that particular experience better than Bill does.
Sometimes Premier Support for Developers would sell an internal contract to a group within Microsoft. I worked on one of these for Windows 2000 – we wrote some of the COM+ and MSMQ samples.
In 2004, I started looking to transfer out of Premier – just needed a change. Again, I almost made a mistake. A colleague of mine had become a programmer writer in the SQL team. Write API documentation all day? No thanks.
While I was on the Windows CE team, they had a contest to find bugs. I filed a few bugs and #WinnerWinnerChickenDinner – I won a Zune.
Microsoft provided great assistance with another important part of my life. In 2001, my wife and I decided to adopt a child. Microsoft provided assistance – both guidance and financial – throughout the whole process.
Eventually, as part of the Windows Mobile team, we started working on Windows Phone 7 – a major reworking of our phone offering. It was all kept quiet while Microsoft was preparing for the big announcement but we were of course preparing the documentation.
But then I could see it came from the OEM docs.
Anyway, it stopped my heart for a second there.
Can working at Microsoft make you famous? Hmmm. My fame may have started when @mhopkins1, a colleague of mine on Windows Phone, was writing an article and needed a picture of a hand pointing at something. I humbly volunteered.
After spending a few years on Windows Phone, I moved over to ‘big’ Windows and helped ship Windows 8. I owned the sensors and geolocation docs, as well as a few other areas.
Skipping back in time a little, to when the MicroNews was still printed and delivered every Friday. There were often some letters that battled over ‘controversial’ issues.
It was while I was working on Windows 8 that I was given an opportunity to work on video v-team, to come up with some new developer videos to complement our documentation. I eagerly jumped at it – I did some basic video editing at home for fun.
Are these effective?
Will people watch the whole video?
How do you best combine written documentation and video?
How do you keep it engaging?
How do you keep videos current?
But what to call it? We wanted a name for the series that indicated:
1) the video was short
2) this was for developers, and it was not marketing.
Here's the first One Dev Minute video:
After the first One Dev Minute video, we hired a talented video editor/director. Kelly is directly responsible for the look, feel, and rhythm of our @OneDevMinute /One Dev Question videos.
Now I get to one of my favorite stories.
First, let me say, I’m an owner in the NFL, like our late, great founder Paul Allen was. Unlike Paul, who owned 100% of the Seahawks, I own 1/5,011,558th of the Green Bay @Packers.
We’re very fortunate that Microsoft brings in some excellent speakers. Mostly through the Microsoft PAC but also through our 'Outside In' speaker series.
Time for another favorite memory. Around June/July 2014, I was asked to join a new secret project. Going into it, I had absolutely no idea what it was about – not a clue.
This COM+ tshirt was always one of my favorites
Love the @donbox "COM is love, baby" reference.
Our Social Amplification team surprised me with this animation. It warms my heart...or caused some sort of emotional reaction. :-)
Many thanks to the many people who helped me along the way - the whole list - parents, teachers, mentors, managers, colleagues, wife, and child - sincerely could not have done it without you.
Thanks for following along.
Wrapping up this year long thread on my 25th anniversary at Microsoft, it occurs to me I didn’t mention how I got the job at Microsoft. Back in 1993, I was working as a contract programmer in the Minneapolis area.