Joining Microsoft

Seven years ago, I set out to take charge of my career. I’d spent the last 13 years working as an FTE for various employers both large and small. And realized that for the last 5-6 years, I’d basically been coasting along with the currents. If I wanted to go anywhere, I needed to take control and find a direction.

With that decision, I set out to pursue a position with a consulting firm. It figured it would provide me with challenges that would help me grow.  Fortunately, just as I made this decision, my brother had a coworker leave to go to work for a local firm. I shared my info and within a few days got a call. Even more fortunately, they had an immediate need for someone with my exact skills (knowing both the mainframe and .NET worlds). Things moved very rapidly and in less than a month, I joined Sogeti USA as a Senior Consultant.

I haven’t regretted that decision for a moment. Working at Sogeti has been a great experience. It has had its up and downs like any job. But taken on the whole, I’ve really liked it here. I have a management team that I feel honestly cares about me and my career growth. I work with some great people both locally and globally. And most of all, they provided me with the opportunity to seek out new ventures for myself and the company. In my seven years here, I’ve gone from being a local code-slinging, heads down delivery resource to a national thought leader with the organization, helping steer its future.

So it was a very difficult decision for me to leave this behind. Colleagues I’ve come to consider friends and even family.

Now over the last 3 years, I’ve been focused on this “cloud thing”. I went really deep on a technology I feel would help carry my career for the next 5-10yrs and in doing so I achieved some items I never really set out for. I gained the attention and made friends with some REALLY smart people at Microsoft. I’m talking the kinds of people that just when you think you know what you’re talking about show you that you don’t know jack. I also became a Microsoft MVP for Windows Azure. And nobody was as surprised about this as I was.

Over these years, I’ve also learned of opportunities to work even closer with Windows Azure. But the opportunities never felt right, especially with two kids I would really like to see graduate from the same school system they’ve been in since kindergarten. That was until back in June of this year when a position was posted on the Windows Azure ISV Incubation team. I thought long and hard on this, even talked to former Microsoft employees and family. And after weeks of reflection I applied and was ultimately offer the position.

So starting Monday I’m going to join Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist in the US central region. I’m both excited and nervous about this change. Sogeti is a great company to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back for a moment. But I feel that at this time I’ll truly be able to pursue my passion around cloud and maybe in some small way help steer the platform into the bright future I see ahead of it. Not a short term one of “wins” and industry hype. But one that is helping organizations of all sizes build the next generation of applications and solutions.

I’ll still be based in Minneapolis, and still active online and at local/regional events. I do have to set aside my MVP status (which I’d just received for the 3rd time). But honestly, that pales by comparison to stepping away from my role at Sogeti. And I’ll never forget that Sogeti has been the place that most helped me grow and get to where I’m at. So this next new step in my life wouldn’t have been possible without them.

So today, as I look at my surroundings, is a day for mixed emotions. I have hope and excitement about the future. But sadness at the ending, well.. the changing of a great partnership.

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10 Responses to Joining Microsoft

  1. Congratulations Brent, it is great to have you joining us! Look me up when you are in town and please reach out if there is anyway I can help with your on boarding.

  2. Sridhar Koneru says:

    Congratulations and Best Wishes on your new role.

  3. Rob Gillen says:

    Congrats sir. Enjoy your time there, and if you happen to run into a guy named Tim Floyd (runs the MTC in Minneapolis), tell him I said “hi”.

  4. Thanks Brent for being a Sogeti-family member. We in the Netherlnds enjoyed your wisdom en enthousiasm, thanks for helping us forward on Azure. I wish you a great time and career at the other best company!

  5. Tom says:

    With the right mentality you can really build up the right experience to excel in your field. I’m glad to hear that Sogeti has been the place that has allowed you to excell. Good luck with your next career step!

  6. Michelle Follman says:

    Congratulations Brent!! I will really miss working with you! I’m sincerely very happy for you and wish you the best of luck in your new role.

  7. Ali Ahmadi says:

    Congratulations Brent,
    Very well deserved. You’d probably remember me from the interviewes we had months ago to join the Sogeti Seattle. I also made a lot of compromises to leave my previous company and join Sogeti but always had this GREAT feeling of having the oppurtunity to work with you. Saydly for me, my first day at Sogeti was your first day at Microsoft and I never got that chance, although I am very happy for you and “this cloud thing” :-) and wish you all the bests and hope some day we can work together.

    Very best regards,

  8. Steve says:

    Just read this Brent. Congratulations once again. I look forward to working with you in your new role.

  9. Art Johnson says:

    Wow, Brent, I think this is a wonderful opportunity for you and wish you the very best. I know leaving Sogeti was hard for me even though I’d been there less than two years, but it sounds like you’ll still have some cause for popping in on the old crew every now and then. Best of luck!

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