I have been a professional developer since 1992. I am completely self-taught, (I went to school to study finance and hacky-sack). I wrote my first application using a beta version of Microsoft Access 1.0 while working in the accounting department for a golf resort in Scottsdale, AZ. I wrote the application to do my job for me. The experience was liberating and I realized that I enjoyed it so I shifted to software and began to devour every book on software engineering I could find. Pretty soon I was writing Enterprise Application Integration and Business Process Automation applications in VB as well as Java and C/C++ on both the Windows and Unix platforms.
By the mid-90’s I had moved to So-Cal and started doing web and built a variety of sites using ASP, JSP and PHP. Not many people remember but back in the mid-90’s Windows was the low cost way to build websites. Linux did not exist and Unix Servers were very expensive. I worked for a number of dot-com start-ups in the late 90’s pretty much working on stuff behind the “Purchase” button. Lots of message-based systems which were very well suited for e-commerce and scaled very well (they still do). I also branched out and did systems engineering building racks of servers for dot-com start-ups too. Sometimes these were in a closet with servers mounted on milk crates, stripped down with open cabinets with fans and portable AC units pointed at them. Some were a little more elegant.
My last role (in my first tour of duty) at Microsoft was on Azure. On the Azure team I had two roles, Product Group Lead (Community Manager) and Product Marketing Manager (PMM) for Web App Services. As the Community Manager I was the cat-herder for the Azure MVP’s and Azure Insiders. I also worked to engage the broader developer communities around what Microsoft was doing with Azure at Microsoft. As a PMM I was the Marketing lead for things like Azure Websites and Azure Cache.
In late 2014 I decided I need a change of focus and left Microsoft to go build solutions on Azure for Microsoft’s customers. I worked as a partner with a small start-up called Solliance as a Cloud Architect. It was a big change being with a small company after so many years at Microsoft but I really LOVE working with customers and I really enjoyed spending all day as an engineer once again. I also earned recognition as an Azure MVP myself which is very special to me as well.
Well, now I’m back at Microsoft. I joined again at the end of February 2016. This time I am rejoining in the engineer ranks as a Principal Program Manager on the Azure Networking team. I’ll be focused on a number of things (it’s still early in my return as of this writing). For sure I am going to work to connect us to our customers so we can continue to build great products that our customers will love.
I don’t blog too much anymore but I do once in-a-while when I have something I want to share. When I’m not blogging you can usually find me ranting about something on Twitter at @markjbrown.