A year ago today I was on my way down to Reading for my first day as a Microsoft employee!!! I still pinch myself that my childhood dream of working for Microsoft has come true!
Over the Christmas period I was writing my look back over 2018 for this blog - My Review of 2018 - and I've recently been writing my internal review (Connect) at work as well, so I've had a lot of reflection time lately. The conclusion I've come to is, I've grown so much as a person over the last year, through the opportunities, challenges and support I've had, both from my work and my personal life.
My first day as a Cloud Solution Architect with Microsoft was down in the Reading offices, I'd previously been to these offices for my interview so knew the travel route etc and the rough layout. It was a nice feeling being there as an new employee than an interview, however no less nerve wracking!
I remember leaving the offices that night and heading to my hotel and looking back and seeing the building all lit up, it was a nice feeling to be walking away having my first day under my belt.
Not long after I started I was getting whisked away to Seattle in the US to attend an Azure Bootcamp week long training course, it's a requirement for all new employees in my role to attend this kind of training camp. Microsoft Partners are also invited to the event as well.
Before the training event I did get some time for Seattle sightseeing and I loved it, the place has some great sights. I never got to do them all but hopefully I'll get back one day and get the chance to see more of it.
The Bootcamp was very intensive and I learned a lot and got to me a lot of my new colleagues and peers from other Microsoft locations. I left the Bootcamp feeling inspired, confident and overwhelmed all at once!
Back in the UK I started to get involved with customers, shadowing my colleagues and getting to see how they worked.
The onboarding process at Microsoft does take a while, trying to get everything you need set up, trying to figure out where everything is, how things work, who people are, etc, etc is quite involved. There is also a lot of corporate training that you have to complete, so while working with customers I was working on that. It was a nice mix.
As I started to get more familiar with the customers and work we were doing I started to ramp up and help out more and my diary got fuller and fuller with meetings. It was great to start working with customers again and starting to solve their problems. Which is a part of the job that I love!
I was also given the opportunity to go to Las Vegas for our internal conference "Ready" in July, which was a huge surprise as I hadn't expected that to happen. So off I went to the desert at the hottest time of year...
This was a massive highlight and turning point for me over the year, it was excellent getting the chance to get trained by some of the Azure product owners in person for a week like we did. We had people like Mark Russinovich, Scott Guthrie, John Jester deliver talks to us and we also had awesome key notes in the T-Mobile Arena from Satya Nadella and Julia White, to name a few. The highlight for me was getting to grab time with Rick Claus and chat to him, he's been someone I've followed for many years and actually getting to meet him and chat to him was awesome!! As was being able to spend time with my team and get to know them on a personal level. I came home feeling very much like part of the team and looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.
And challenges were presented to me, I was given a "new" role and team to join. I am still a Cloud Solution Architect but rather than being a "generalist" I am a specialist in helping customers that are looking to migrate away from their on premise solution to Azure.
It's taken me some time to get into the role but I am now much more confident and loving the challenges and customers that I am working with. I'm looking forward to pushing ahead for the next 6 months (our financial year ends in July) and seeing where I can take our customers.
I have done so much more than I can cover in this blog but I work in an awesome team and really pleased they decided to hire me and I accepted! My mantra over the last year has been Never Stop Learning and I can't wait to see what I learn in my second year at Microsoft....