Friday, March 23, 2012
Today is my last day at Smart421
Today is my last day at Smart421. It's been fairly short (1.5 yrs) but it's been a very memorable varied experience!
I blogged about joining Smart in November 2010 here: http://www.simonrhart.com/2010/11/smart421.html
As mentioned in that blog post I had hoped to become a TOGAF practitioner, I am not TOGAF certified (not taken the course or exams) but I have gained a much broader level of architecture experience and not just application architecture.
Being a Smartie (permie at Smart421) has been very different from most companies I have worked at. They have a very flat hierarchy and a very family feel to the place. For instance, the Managing Director - Neil Miles periodically buys everyone fish and chips from a fish and chip van that parks up outside the office on a Friday! how cool is that :) The CTO Robin Meehan often attends techie developer user group sessions in London in response to someone sending a message to one of the practises distribution lists! I can have a beer with the management team as if they were on my team on a project.
When you're out on a customers site and having to stay in a hotel, every few months, most of the management team will come down and take the whole team out for supper and drinks which last well into the night.
So why I am leaving? well I was contacted by Microsoft head hunter - Alina Burnus back in November regarding a World Wide Windows Azure CoE (Centre of Excellence) Solution Architect role (wow, what a mouthful). After reading the job specification for this role I jumped at the opportunity. Windows Azure, Solution Architecture and helping customers and the community to deliver business benefits using technology are what I want to do every day. I love writing code, but there is a time when you no longer code in your day job. I also love Technical Architecture and no doubt there will be an element of this in my new role. I will still stay current with language features, trends and patterns, I just won't be knee deep in code every day.
3 months, 9 interviews and n hours later, I was offered a job on this great team headed up by Steve Fox.
Having been a Microsoft Device Application Development MVP in the past, I have a fairly good idea what it is like at Microsoft. It's also not that my interests have changed in that I don't focus purely on mobility anymore, my job has lead me to be much broader in terms of Solution Architecture and less focused on the detail. I will always have a passion for mobile as I think it's one the most challenging and rewarding forms of software development today.
The team will be doing a full day pre-conference bootcamp at both TechEd EMEA and TechEd North America this year: TechEd EMEA: http://europe.msteched.com/PreCons TechEd USA: http://northamerica.msteched.com/preconferenceseminars#fbid=s9KpbHxjNTg
I start at Microsoft on the 10 April and no doubt you will hear about many cool and exciting things coming out of the cloud space in the form of Azure...stay tuned...