Ruminations of idle rants and ramblings of a code monkey

Leaving Microsoft …

As I’m sure you know, Microsoft has been reorganizing, eliminating positions and reducing headcount … layoffs.

Well, after 9 years, I’m one of the folks hit by that.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that’s it’s great, wonderful, etc. etc. It’s not. It’s hard and it sucks. But it could be a lot worse … Microsoft’s severance package is extremely generous and it will certainly give me the opportunity to take a little vacation time while I determine where I want to go from here. Beyond that, I will have assistance for outplacement as well. So, even in the leaving, I find myself lucky to work for a company as great as Microsoft. And, at the end of it all, I know that I will land on my feet and that the experiences that I’ve had at Microsoft will certainly be a part of that. I have had worse things happen to me … I have been through far worse things than this … and I have always come out better for it.

It has been a good 9 years. I’ve seen a lot of change at Microsoft and a lot of priorities realigned. I’ve seen the company grow in new directions and in new ways that none of us would have imagined in 2000. It’s always been interesting and challenging, to say the least. It’s been a fun ride and I don’t regret a moment of it. I, too, have grown a lot during this time.

Now  … the question of tomorrow. I cannot tell you anything right now. What I can say is that I will be taking a week or two off (the longest *unplugged* vacation that I’ve had, I think, since high school) and figuring out where I want to go from here. But I can tell you this … I have been very involved in the community here in South Central, in Second Life, and in the open source world. That will not stop. I will continue to be active in those communities. It is something that I believe in.

But … for right now, for a time … I’m gonna take some time off. I’m gonna go hit my XBox and blow stuff up. Aliens and bad guys of all stripes … you have been warned.

Comments (15) -

Ben Scheirman 5/6/2009 12:55:14 PM United States #
Ben Scheirman

Sorry to hear it.  You've been incredibly helpful in helping the Houston developer community.  

With the many connections you've made I'm sure you'll find something quickly.

Kyle 5/6/2009 12:58:54 PM United States #

Sorry to hear this J.  You were a huge part of the reason ReactionGrid grew to a great little .NET developer community.  I know with your incredible smarts you will be able to get going again in no time. Please let me know anything we can do to help.

Darren Stokes 5/6/2009 1:01:09 PM United States #
Darren Stokes

Of all places that MS could cut staff, the evangelists would not be my choice.  That sort of work is needed more than ever IMO.

I know that the Houston User Groups will miss your support big time.

Good luck!

Chris Hart 5/6/2009 1:06:40 PM United Kingdom #
Chris Hart

So sorry to hear - redundancy is never a pleasant experience, but I'm sure you'll bounce back and find something exciting and interesting in the near future. Best of luck to you Smile

Stacy Vicknair 5/6/2009 1:32:15 PM United States #
Stacy Vicknair

Couldn't agree more about how evangelists are the last place Microsoft should be looking to cut corners. I've only had great experiences when in contact with you and I wish you the best of luck. Enjoy your time off, I wish I could take a two week breather myself some times.

Thanks for your help with the BRDNUG. I wouldn't have gotten myself involved in the community if it weren't for you and Zain.

Ryan Riley 5/6/2009 4:02:18 PM United States #
Ryan Riley

Sorry to hear it, J. I completely agree with Ben in your impact on the Houston community (and beyond). Thanks for your hard work and efforts in growing your fellow developers.

Geoff Niehaus 5/6/2009 4:35:23 PM United States #
Geoff Niehaus

What a blow to the Houston .NET development community.  Thanks for all your hard work on conferences, dojos, user groups, etc.  You have made a big impact on my professional career as a .NET developer.

J Sawyer 5/6/2009 5:14:50 PM United States #
J Sawyer

Thank you, everyone, for the support. It really means a lot to me ... more than I can say.
But ... I want to make sure that y'all know that I won't be dropping off the face of the earth; I won't be leaving the community that I've worked with for so long. I won't be able to do some things but there will be other areas where I can participate that, previously, I felt that I needed to back off on because I didn't want it to dominated by Microsoft, but owned by the great group of folks that make up the community. Well ... I'm one of y'all now. And I will be active in the community.

Chad Myers 5/6/2009 8:02:11 PM United States #
Chad Myers

I'd like to say that sucks, but I'm not sure it does Smile  It's the end of an era, for sure, but it's the beginning of a new one.  A bright side of this is that you have tons of contacts all over the region and a lot of good will.  When you decide what you want to do and where you want to go, ping us and we'll help you make it happen.

Congrats on the first day of your new life. God speed and good luck!

Claudio Lassala 5/6/2009 9:51:09 PM United States #
Claudio Lassala

Hey dude,
certainly those are news nobody wants to hear, but like the other guys said, we know you and we know you'll do whatever you can to succeed at whatever the heck you decide to go for. Enjoy your days off, and get ready for those dirty diapers that are coming your way.  ;)

And of course, thanks a lot for all the work you've done for this community, and keep it up!

Alper 5/7/2009 6:43:50 AM United States #

Thanks for all your great contributions to the community. I'm confident that you will be able to find something that will align with your career objectives. Good luck...

Paul Day 5/7/2009 7:27:53 AM United States #
Paul Day

I wish you the best.  I have never commented on your blog before, and I certainly didn't attend every event that you put together, but I appreciated your enthusiasm and the work you did.


Michael Stuart 5/15/2009 2:56:06 PM United States #
Michael Stuart

Jay, you were my best friend while I was at Microsoft and you're still my bro.  Now that I'm independent, and now that YOU'RE independent too, I am quite certain you will find your way.  It's a bit scary really leaving Microsoft.  It's like having very rich parents then leaving the nest.  But trust me, the experience on your resume makes you *very* salable.

That, plus the fact that you're a very smart guy and well-accomplished, you'll be fine.  Maybe you'll even work on that goofy venture we talked about?

Todd Anglin 5/20/2009 11:22:53 PM United States #
Todd Anglin

Late to the game here, but I definitely want to add my "good luck" wishes. You've definitely been a huge asset for the MSFT community here in South Central Region, and I personally appreciate your continued support of DNUGs and community events. I look forward to seeing you 'round the community as one of us "outsiders." Smile


Krish Somasundaram 5/27/2009 9:40:56 AM United States #
Krish Somasundaram

Sorry to hear you are leaving J. Thanks for all the on-site sessions you provided to us. We learned a lot from you. Hope to continue to see you in the user communities. Good luck!