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One Year at Microsoft

Hard to believe its been one year, but it was June, 2018 when I joined the unstoppable company known as Microsoft.

All-in Analytics

I joined, with the expectation that I would leave much of what I had specialized in behind me- Oracle, along with other non-Microsoft database platforms, Linux, optimization and DevOps. I was excited to start my journey in business intelligence. Power BI was already starting to take over the world. I’d noticed the patterns, having only arrived on the BI scene in 2015, it was encompassing a larger percentage of speaker sessions and focus of content on the web. Users were incredibly interested in doing more with their data, not just having someplace to relationally work with it and as it grew, deal with the challenge of big data.

It was an exciting change, no doubt.

A year in, a lot has chanced, but not as much as I thought.  I’m still excited to learn about more Power BI, Analysis Services, Databricks and other analytics features and I’m still coming up to speed. Its not easy to take it all in, as so much changes so fast. There is a new release just of the Power BI desktop software monthly. Features buzz past my head and I learn fast, but my role has also surpassed my expectations. As a data platform architect, the role was to perform the same tasks as my peers, but soon after I joined, we realized I had arrived with different skills and that this was not a deficit, but a benefit.

All-in…Everything

Before, where we all acted as individual armies of one and worked more isolated from our team members, we’ve become more interactive and separated by specialties. Where I’m now focused on many of the customers with cross-platform database migrations and automation quests that we once wouldn’t have taken on, my team mates, Hope Foley and Dustin Ryan, focus on the deeper analytics and AI demands. We’re not as territory driven, although we do have territories assigned to us. The sales and project roles around us are starting to recognize who to reach out to when a specialty is required, (or we refer to who we should on our team…)

So here I am, writing a ton of BASH automation scripts, architecting massive Oracle VM environments on Azure, helping partners automate their deployments with customers, teaching Linux and working with other database platforms on Azure. I still spend about 30% of my engagements on analytics, but I sure didn’t envision that I would be spending as much time as I am using my skills from my previous roles entwined with Azure. It’s all the warm and fuzzy wrapped up in the new, which is damn good, fun.

This couldn’t happen without good leadership and we have that at Microsoft. Our Manager, Denny Ramsey is very good about letting me run, well amok and as many folks know, my amok is a good thing. I try to find ways to be more productive and valuable to the group. I’m also pretty open about where my deficits are. I would like to be farther advanced in my analytics skills, but I also know that something has to give. This year, with what I had to learn in Azure alone took up most of the year. I’m definitely not bored…</p />
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