I am a huge fan of MSDN Magazine (and it’s predecessor publications going back to MSJ). There are just a handful of resources that have been so constant throughout the bulk of my career and MSDN Magazine is unquestionably one of those. This is why when Matt Carter pinged me over 2 years ago to tell me that there was an opening for the Editor-in-Chief role, I jumped at the opportunity without a moment of hesitation. And it’s been a great and wild ride these last couple of years. More importantly, I think that we’ve done some good in trying to improve the way that people think about building and constructing software. It’s always a tricky balancing act trying to cover new technologies and simultaneously trying to help people do a better job with the technologies they are already using, but I’m pleased with some of the directional shifts we made as a magazine favoring practices over technology – and really, those shifts wouldn’t have been possible without so many people like Jeremy Miller, Dave Laribee, James Kovacs, Ayende Rahien (December spoiler!), and so many other from what began as ALT.NET stepping up and writing for us. I hope that this is indicative of a trend that continues long after my departure.
So then why leave? In the end, I just came to the realization that the passion that initially drove me to the magazine was for creating software – not running a magazine business. And as the business elements became more and more consuming – and as the time that they occupied pushed out my ability to stay close to the technology, I came to conclude 2 things – 1) I was finding it harder to sustain the passion I came to the role with (because the object of that passion was fading) and 2) I was losing skill at an alarming rate. Summary – I needed to move back into the engineering world. As such, when a role opened up on the MSDN and TechNet Web platform team, I decided to move. There’s a lot of work to be done on those websites (a LOT) and most of the current work is around the more aesthetic elements of the UX. These things are certainly good and necessary, but I still don’t think they are anything remotely close to what’s necessary to make the sites truly helpful. In my new role, I’ll be focusing on driving “intelligent Web” innovations into the platform – so at the very least, I’ll get to play with some really cool tech..
So to wrap it up, it’s been awesome – but now time to try something different – and maybe finally have time to blog again!