Shifting Gears A Bit

In the past I’ve tended to blog (rather infrequently) about different technical solutions to problems that I’ve stubbed my toes on in hopes that I would spread the love and save others from getting stumped by the same problems, but a few things have happened recently that have impacted the kind of stuff that I will probably bother to blog about in the future. First, Stack Overflow essentially became the single source to answer technical coding questions. Joel Spolsky may claim that the primary UI for Stack Overflow is Google, but to be honest the content on the site is generally so good these days that I head straight there to unlock the deepest darkest coding mysteries and I bypass blogs and other sources of wisdom in the process. I’m sure others do the same, so the value of answering technical questions in a blog is probably diminished.

Another change inspiring factor is that about 3 months ago I quit my job at Microsoft after over 6 years working on Bing and took a position working on the WAP team at Amazon. I won’t bother with the details of what inspired the change, but I’ll just briefly comment that I really enjoyed my time at Microsoft and I’ve also loved working at Amazon thus far. I’ll also point out that I find it pretty remarkable how differently the two companies function and specifically how different the “Manager” job at Amazon is from the “Lead” job at Microsoft (which are essentially equivalent roles). In a nutshell as a Software Development Manager at Amazon you run your team as if you’re running a small startup within a big company, so you’re on the hook for everything from your team strategy and internal marketing to sourcing and hiring to product design and implementation. One of the downsides to this approach is that it doesn’t leave room for the 20-30% coding time that Microsoft typically encourages Software Development Leads to partake in. As a result I’ll probably start focusing the blog a bit more on effectively running a software development team, and a bit less on nitty gritty coding/technical problems/issues.

A third factor is that I’ve started taking classes in the UW PMP CS program which has me daydreaming about things like compilers and operating systems, so stuff that I’m learning in classes or questions related to the material may seep into my blog posts time to time.

That’s all for now, just a brief explanation to the few readers who trickle by my blog that the scenery may change just a bit.