I realise that this post is way overdue but I've finally made the time to sit down and write up my news.
Back in April/May, I had a few phone/video calls with some of the guys working in the Internet Explorer product group out in Redmond about a role opening up on the team. Having worked on IE from afar previously, I had already seen at first hand the renewed enthusiasm for the browser within Microsoft and the enormity of working on a product that spans different versions of Windows and is in use by literally hundreds of millions of people every day. It's also a product that is closely watched outside Microsoft, that engenders much debate and something that seemingly every developer has a view about. All in all, it's an exciting place to work and when I was offered a spot on the team I jumped at the opportunity.
Of course, there's the small issue of moving 5000 miles around the world from rural Staffordshire to Seattle. I have to admit it, I'm a hoarder. I collect things, apparently. So after living in my house for more than 13 years I'd collected a lot of stuff, most of which I didn't really need. This was a good time (but also an exhausting one) to go through everything and dispose of the things I could live without and so after weeks of this, almost being on first name terms with the attendants at the local tip, I found myself living in a much emptier house.
Fortunately, the speed of my move was gated by the wait time for an appointment at the US Embassy in London to apply for my visa to allow me to work in the US. Besides purging my house, I used the time to visit with friends and family that I wouldn't get to see so much now. In some ways it was difficult to leave them behind but with the technology we have today it's easy to stay in touch.
In early July, I headed off to London for my visa interview and a week later my passport was returned complete with documentation to allow me to live and work in the US for Microsoft for at least the next 3 years. One week after that, the removal guys were packing up my remaining belongings, loading them into a 20' shipping container, and I was on my way.
I should say something about my old team, the UK Application Development Consulting team. I spent a little over 4 years working in this team and, while I might be a little biased, I am confident that you won't meet a more technical, more grounded, higher skilled development consulting group anywhere. It was an honour and a privilege to be invited to be a member of the team and I'm immensely proud to have played my small part.
Moving half way around the world to work in a different country in a different environment doing a different job is an experience few people get. I'll try to share some of those experiences through this blog while still throwing in some technical observations, no doubt with an increasing slant towards Internet Explorer.