... Life is really about moving on. - Oprah Winfrey
Well, what else can I say ? After going through rounds of remote and local interviews conducted by the MSFT Corp product teams as well as the Microsoft subsidiaries and field offices in Asia Pacific for various opportunities and roles in the past year and going through my very own intensive decision-making process (Yes, I have my own methodologies with Spreadsheets and CheckBoxes), I have made a decision.
It wasnt at all easy as some of those packages looked really really good and attractive, especially those that require me to uproot me and my family and relocate. It seems the theme is - The further I relocate, the better the package. But I have to look past the bows and the ribbons and see what is at the bottom of the box.
In the end, I decided to stay home and be with the home team for now. One of the key motivations is that I really have to cut down on my travelling. (which also explains why I cannot be here) While the roles differ a fair bit, I sat down and looked at what I was doing and where I wanted to go. I have been near the front-line for some time (as evident by my post here) but I wasnt measured by front-line numbers. As I sat down comfortably in my seat for some time, I realized I wasnt being challenged enough. I need to learn new skills. I have achieved a lot with my technical ones and there is no doubt that I left a rich legacy behind. This is evident by the emails, requests and engagements I frequently get from Microsoft's customers as well as the Microsoft field offices in APAC (see the evidence of presentations, articles, engagements I have over the past years).
However, the desire to learn new skills is strong. So what if I can architect, design, code, build and configure ? - but Can I sell ? Can I pitch ? Can I talk to CXOs where and when it matters ? What good is a great software if you cannot convince people to buy and use it. I keep asking myself this all the time. Business issues and dynamics always interest me. New skills and new challenges in new environments always intrigued me. I always believe it is the mark of a great person to see how well he adapts to changes and not by the number of lines he can code in a single minute.
I decided it is time to put my money where my mouth is. I need hard numbers and I need to be measured by it. I need more technical breadth and I need to learn new business skills. I wanted more time to pursue and learn other technical interests such as Speech Recognition, Location-Based Services, GPS and other Mobile Technologies, Grid/Mesh/P2P Computing, etc and then learn how to pitch them to businesses. Sure, I will miss those technical and evangelistic activities I have been known for in my area of Web Services and related architectures, but I am sure I will build new foundations again and blaze out new trails. And I am also sure all the communities locally and regionally I was helping grow (as a Microsoft Regional Director and Microsoft MVP) has grown and more importantly, more than apt to carry on by itself. All the mechanisms have been put in place and the torches have been passed to very capable hands who can do a lot better job than how I did.
This blog stays and I will still be blogging about technicalities of software, products, etc. I will still carry on some of my previous activities - albeit of a different depth but more breadth, so look out for new blogging categories. I sure will miss what I have been doing for the past 5 years but isnt that what moving on is all about ?