Archive for the ‘Work Stuff’ Category


The last two patent cubes for 2013’s work came in over the holiday, so I can have a pyramid again.

And so the new year begins – already slogging on the work for the next set.

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This week I got the patent cube for the first invention on my new team.

This is also the first patent application for which I am the primary inventor, so there is a definite sense of having arrived that comes with this one.

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October 6th was my five year anniversary. Today I got my blue glass monolith thing, and according to tradition I brought in five dozen Kristy Kreme donuts.

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Cubes cubed!

Look! They had a little offspring! Isn’t is cute?

This is the last of my Exchange Server 2013 cubes.

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Look, he got a little friend! They are getting along just fine.

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This intriguing box arrived at my desk today

Ooh, whatever it is, it’s very nicely packaged….

It’s a patent cube!

MS hands this out when they apply for a US patent in your name. So I am now officially ‘patent pending’ (like those midnight tv ads!). In about 5 years, the US patent office will actually award the patent. Here is the cube living next to my Ship It, increasing my MS cred 🙂

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Finally received my Ship It award – each time you contribute to shipping a major release, you get a little metal sticker with the product name on it. You really know you are in a veteran’s office when you see one of these with four of five of them on there.

We have been finishing off service pack 1, and the end of E14 (known to the world as Exchange Server 2010) is in sight. Next up is starting the planning phase for E15. A new major version normally means a major reorganization for everyone, and our team was no exception. Rather than looking after performance, security and compliance, the team will be working only on performance.

I wanted to keep working security because I put in the last 18 months to learning a lot about it, and moving into performance would have meant a career reset for me (or rather, another career reset, because I already did one on moving from UCT to Microsoft) which is not something I want to do again in a good while. I poked around and discovered that there is a new security related team being formed (it is actually a normal feature team, but with a heavy security focus). I discovered that there was no test lead assigned, so I talked to Ravi, who owns test for the larger team, and he agreed to let me lead the security test team.

Then the bureaucracy – first we had to check with the immigration lawyers to make sure that moving to this new post would not violate the terms of my work visa. Then it had to go through HR, and finally after it all cleared, I was given the job of security team test lead. It’s not a promotion – At Microsoft, leads and Individual Contributors are two parallel career streams, with different skill sets. But it does bring me closer to what I like doing – thinking about the more abstract concepts, planning, and making sure that the people on the team have everything they need to do their best work (the sorts of thing I used to enjoy doing when I was running the lab at UCT).

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