This Friday, Nov 5th 2021, officially marked my 3 years anniversary working at Microsoft. I often blog on technology, career-wise topic is rare pearl in the past few years. Yeah, you just caught one, the one you’re reading it is. Despite everything, I’m still used to reviewing myself every once in a while because I think reflection is the most effective exercise of the soul, and along the way, it helps me keep learning and self-improvement. I’m reading Adam Grant‘s «Think Again» these days, feel very appealing to me to write about my last 3 years, et voilà my sharing that I hope my experience would be helpful and encouraging to some of you.
I started my career as a technical consultant in a computing services company (Société de services en ingénierie Informatique – SSII) in France. I did my best to learn new technology while juggling various customer companies, from front-end engineer, full-stack engineer, and then solution architect. Lots of self-learning along the way, learning technology, learning customers, those were fondest memories fulfilling my dream to become a Cloud Solution Architect ( CSA ) at Microsoft.
At Microsoft UK, continuously learning and growing knowledge and experience on cloud computing, using my knowledge and experience to help customers was the main theme. I enjoyed my role working closely with the customers, blogging, training, and coaching. The plus side was that I also got to work with a lot of people from various parts of the company. It was noticeable that different people from different backgrounds have different ways to approach the problem. I benefited a lot from an approach that I called ‘Rotational thinking’. It’s all about being transparent and open for discussions, achieving a common understanding with people, and resolve the challenges together. With that in mind, I also enjoyed a lot of my ‘hobby at the job’ coaching in the OpenHack events, those were valuable experiences to work with different people, guide them to resolve technical challenges, learning and sharing, it motivated me to keep learning more and gain more understanding of how technology helps people resolve their real-life challenges. Deeper understanding about people, about technology, about business, at the end of the day, it’s just so important to build self-philosophy. Your mindset, passion, knowledge, and experience are great together to make a positive impact on the business, and more importantly on other people.
Give and Take
I was on a team full of specialists when I was CSA, our team was focused on App Innovation at Microsoft. Helping UK customers adopt Microsoft Azure and build next-generation cloud-native applications was a lot of fun. Not only were we there to help customers but also highly encouraged customers to participate in Open Hack events to get all the possible educational resources. Those were making difference over time, I was glad to see those customers were successful with Microsoft Azure.
Everyone on the team is very much packed all the time, I realize how important to make time for prioritized tasks, I read a lot of productivity books at a time, there’s a book called « Make Time » by John Zeratsky and Jake Knapp were a great help to me to optimize my algorithm, made me realize how important it was to enjoy what I was doing and getting more out of every day. It came to my senses that I enjoyed my evening times playing with Kubernetes, and I would love to make a difference with my passion.
To be frank, it was a great pleasure being a CSA, besides all the work with the customers, actively engaged in the community, I also had opportunities to bring product-related requests to the product team and even contribute to the product documentation when the time comes. Although I would hope I could have an astral form like in the movie so I could work on a lot of stuff without spending time on basic human needs, though that’s not my reality. I did my math on how I could help a limited number of customers with how many emails, how many meetings, presentations, and training. I would love to make more impact and benefit more customers, and that was the moment I discovered a fantastic opportunity to work as a program manager for the SQL product group.
Over the last year and a half, I have been working on SQL Server Big Data Clusters ( BDC ) which is a cloud-native, platform-agnostic, open data platform for analytics at any scale orchestrated by Kubernetes, this is a product that unites SQL Server with Apache Spark to deliver the best data analytics and machine learning experience. With that in mind, I had a set of SQL Server documentation articles published and my first few product-related blogs published on Azure SQL Dev blogs and Tech Community – Data Architecture blog. I have also presented at SQLBits and Data Platform Summit(DPS) in 2020. Striving to make products better and better to benefit more and more customers has become my new passion alongside cloud-native technology.
New Chapter, Fresh start
It’s been challenging over the last year and a half, I believe, to a lot of people, including me. Worth a mention the global working-from-home or/and working remotely situation, I have been working during that time in the UK with 8 hours difference with our team located in Redmond. I have been encouraged to be optimistic, the entire world was going through a difficult time. My mum told me : « Le vent se lève ! il faut tenter de vivre ! » ( We should try our best to live best of ourselves no matter how difficult current situation is ). And with all the support from my family and colleagues, I made it.
End of September this year, I moved to Redmond, the United States from the United Kingdom, next to the mothership of my dream company and I got reunited with my team who supported and empowered me during the pandemic. With Azure-enabled SQL Server 2022 going to preview, I feel so proud of being part of the team and the future blueprints, the infinite possibility to work with customers and empower them to succeed. Let’s stay tuned !