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March 20, 2006


So, I recently switched jobs at Microsoft. I'm no longer working on Monad; I'm now on the development Engineering Excellence team.

(First of all I'll explain that there's nothing bad happening with Monad, it's still a going project, nothing has changed, except I'm not on the team anymore. The opportunity in Engineering Excellence was just one I didn't feel I could pass up.)

Microsoft has Engineering Excellence teams for the various disciplines: development, test, program management, user experience, etc. I am working on the development EE team, the one that works with software developers. There are 5 of us "knowledge engineers" (as we are known) and we basically all do the same variety of things. Which includes: delivering training, developing new training, working on the engineering handbook, consulting back to product groups, and whatever other projects need doing. You could summarize the job as applying human performance technology to the Microsoft software developer.

I'm extremely excited about the team because it gives me a chance to think about things that I have spent a lot of my free time on in the past--as evidenced by my writing books that discussed them. How Microsoft develops software, how we interview, how the disciplines interact, how you debug software, etc, etc. Now I can actually do this as my real job and have a chance to affect the way the whole company operates, not just one group. I get to read a lot and try a lot of stuff out. In a sense I am switching from the program management discipline back to development, but the job is pretty PM-ish. I blogged previously about making Microsoft more professional (and the Engineering Excellence team is the one that put on the EE/TWC Forum that was discussed in that post). Of course it's a v-e-r-y s-l-o-w process to affect change at a company as large as Microsoft, but I'm looking forward to taking my best shot.

Posted by AdamBa at March 20, 2006 03:05 PM

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I've meet a few folks from EE (Cedric, Eric) and the mission is a big one. It also seems hard to do without alienating the engineers.

Posted by: Randy H. at March 20, 2006 05:28 PM

Congratulations, Mr. Barr! I noticed your name on the roster last week and thought perhaps you were moonlighting.

Glad to hear EE will get 100% of your attention. I have great hopes!


Posted by: Mini-Microsoft at March 20, 2006 09:13 PM

So Monad is so screwed you had to quit?

Typical of a 'softie in my experience. No wonder the Vista shipping date is slipping faster than an oily fish.

Posted by: Kevin at March 22, 2006 08:57 AM

Thanks your monad script posted on your site.
Hope your will not forget the powerful script language.

Do your will still write monad script any more?

Posted by: applepwc at March 23, 2006 04:50 AM

Congratulations on your new job!

And to answer the comment from Kevin - people move around in Microsoft all the time. It is encouraged to do so every 2-3 years. It helps us remain fresh and enthusiastic. It also helps promote diversity in teams as people move around. This makes our products better. Good leads and managers will help their reports do this, as they realize it is best for the company to keep employees happy and challenged.

Posted by: Phil at March 23, 2006 09:12 AM

I'll still keep writing Monad. I do want to contribute to "Monad Hacks", at least.

One thing about working in EEG is that it is designed to be rotational -- after 3 years you go back to a product team to apply your knowledge.

- adam

Posted by: Adam Barr at March 23, 2006 11:52 AM

Anything to create better quality MSFT products and get Vista shipped with high quaality is much needed.

Posted by: John Clifford at March 23, 2006 03:08 PM