In my career, if I take any window of time that is two years long, regardless of start and end date, I cannot find a single period where I started and ended the period doing the same thing.  Not one.  Oh, I’ve worked at employers for longer than two years, but not doing the same job. 

I’m about to begin my fourth job at Microsoft.  I’ve been here three years (this time).  It’s a good job.  It’s a different job.

Started in one of the IT groups before moving to Enterprise Architecture.  Loved the people, and made the best of the job.  Then, I move to EA and became an Enterprise Application Architect embedded in the OEM division… which meant that it was my job to ‘govern’ the IT projects.  I’m not much for governing.  I’m a lot better at collaborating, and I really enjoyed collaborating with that team.  Some very smart people and I had a lot of fun working with them.  Since Spring, I was the Lead Systems Architect for a large distributed Enterprise-focused Service-Oriented Business Application (out of necessity, really).  I had a blast.  Just finished turning that gig over to an amazing architect who I have the utmost respect for so that I could move to Central Enterprise Architecture… this time to be ‘Mr. SOA’ for Microsoft IT.

Of course, Microsoft IT has far more than one SOA architect.  My peers are probably better than I am in some pretty key ways.  We have many talented SOA architects working in different divisions.  What I’m hoping to do is take Microsoft IT to the next level of SOA maturity by driving the development of the Enterprise Canonical Data Model, Business Event Taxonomy, Enterprise Solution Domain Integration Model, and the Periodic Table of Services (a set of planned services that are needed to drive SOA forward).  This is one of the toughest jobs I’ve taken on in years (since co-founding a dot-com).

I’m ready. 

It’s always a bit hard, and a bit sad, to leave the ‘comfortable’ and go to the ‘new.’  There are a great many good people who I won’t get to work with daily any more. I’ll miss that daily contact.

On the other hand, there are a great many good people who I haven’t had the chance to work with, but will get that chance now.  Looking forward to that part.

Microsoft IT is a great place.  If you are an IT professional, and you are the best darn architect or developer or tester or PM or operations specialist in your team, I encourage you to seriously consider joining this organization.  You can truly build a career here, if you are gutsy, and smart, and most importantly, passionate about being excellent at what you do.

There is no way to go higher than when you are soaring with the eagles.