I’ve been doing this “technology” thing for a number of years now, and each career change I’ve made has fallen into one of two categories. Either: a) a fortuitous opportunity I could not have envisioned; or, b) a desperate escape from a crumbling situation. The best example of the latter came with my very first job out of college–at the trough of the “dot com bust”–when I literally turned in my two-weeks notice at the start of a meeting that had been called by my manager for the purpose of telling me that I–after two years of surviving all the others–was a casualty to a round of layoffs. (Sidebar: that company is no longer in existence.)

On the other end of the spectrum are those times where I have made a move from one opportunity to another because of overriding personal, family or career goals. Often, those changes have been spurred on by opportunities that dovetailed nicely with said goals. Once such example was when I chose to leave a job I loved with a great non-profit in order to move my family back to Texas. I still miss that place and those people, but we don’t regret for one minute making the decision to be back in Texas, and close to family (Except when it’s over 100-degrees, which is every day from May to October).

This is another one of those “fortuitous opportunity” times. And with mixed emotions, I’m announcing that today is my last day at Microsoft.

When I joined Microsoft nearly two years ago as a Developer Evangelist based in Austin, I truly expected that I would be a part of this organization for some time. I’ve had the great pleasure to spend nearly all of my time focused on the web (ASP.NET MVC, HTML5, CSS and JavaScript, to be specific) and have even had opportunities to participate in Microsoft’s ever-widening journey into the world of Open Source (A few examples). I had the pleasure of working with some amazing individuals, got to meet some industry luminaries, spoke at Tech Ed to an audience of over 600 people, organized a few events, wrote a crap ton for MSDN Magazine, blogged, created some screencasts and had the privilege working side-by-side with an individual I consider a lifelong friend.

But personal concerns conflicted with the goals I had laid out for my career, and personal (namely, family), always wins. From day one, I had made it clear to my manager, his manger and anyone else who would listen that my desire was to move into a Product or Program Management role as a next step in my career at Microsoft. It became clear very quickly, though, that in nearly all cases, such a job required a migration to Redmond. My wife and I had some serious conversations about the matter, and decided that after moving away from Colorado (surely, God’s Picture Window ™) to return to Texas, we should stay put for a while. As early as last summer, we knew that a move to Redmond (or anywhere) for the next step in my career was out.

At that point, I set myself to focusing on my current role as a Web Evangelist with Microsoft, without worrying about what would come next. After another 3-4 years, I told myself, we’d think about the future. But “what was next” came much sooner than expected when I was presented with an opportunity to step into a role I’d wanted to tackle, and to do so without the condition I move myself or my family. In “Godfather” terms, it was the career offer I couldn’t refuse. After much consideration, conversation and consternation–the three “Cs” of any important decision–my wife and I decided that the change was a good one.

Kendo UI

And so, on Monday, I begin a new chapter, this time as Product Manager for Kendo UI (http://kendoui.com) at Telerik. I’ve used Telerik products for years, and I’ve always appreciated the quality and breadth of their tools. Late last year, they jumped into the HTML5 and Mobile space with Kendo UI, a suite of tools for building HTML5 and Mobile applications with JavaScript and CSS. I’ve been impressed from day one, and I’m really excited to join the team and help with driving this great product forward. I’m looking forward to working with brilliant folks like Todd Anglin and Burke Holland (Blog), as well as a few other former-Microsofties like Chris Sells, Doug Seven and John Bristowe. It’s an exiting time to be a part of the open web, and an exciting time to join Telerik. I feel privileged to be able to do both.

I’m not going to lie to you and pretend that life at Microsoft was without its share of frustrations, but I think we all know that no organization populated by people is without its share of annoyances and daily struggles. In spite of any of those those, I want to be clear–especially in the face of so much negativity swirling around Microsoft–that I am leaving on the best of terms, especially with those individuals I had the pleasure of working with and for over the last two years. Those of you who know me personally know that I’m nobody’s fanboy. And even though I will continue to be open with my opinions in the future, I have the utmost respect for the brilliant people of Microsoft and believe that they collectively deserve more credit for attempting to respond to a shifting technology landscape then they often receive.

Here’s what this all means from a community perspective: though I am changing employers and the eventual makeup of my day-to-day job, I expect to remain involved with community: in Austin, online and beyond. In the short term, I’ll be at SxSW and CodePaLOUsa next month, and I hope to see you at one (or both) of those events as well. Longer-term, you can expect that I will continue organizing the HTML5.tx conference. I had too much fun doing it last year not to. I’ll also probably find my way out for events every once and again. As always, I continue blogging here–never often enough–as I have since December of 2004, and I’ll be on Twitter–more often than I should–at http://twitter.com/brandonsatrom. I’m also working on a book, but more on that one later.

In the meantime, thanks for following-along here for the Microsoft phase of my journey. Hope you’ll stick around for the next one!

 

 

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  • http://twitter.com/davidwesst David Wesst

    Good luck man! Saw you present at TechEd 2011 and it was a great walk through HTML5. Say hi to Bristowe for me. :)

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thanks David! And will do. :)

  • Sagar Ganatra

    All the best Brandon!! 

  • http://netcave.org Alan Stevens

    Congrat, Brandon. Your team is lucky to have you. Looking forward to seeing you next month at CodePaLOUsa!

    ++Alan

  • http://twitter.com/Teleputer Steve Miller

    Welcome to the family.  This is an amazing company with incredible products and people.

  • Edward Adjei

    Am happy for you. You are one of the few guys out there I look up to.

  • http://twitter.com/fuseboxOpera Colin Smith

    Congrats dude!

  • Matthew Bray Nimeth

    Congrats on another chapter. I will continue to follow your career with great enthusiasm.

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thanks Sagar!

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thanks Alan! See you then!

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thanks Edward, you are very kind!

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    thank you, sir.

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thanks Steve. I look forward to meeting you.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome!  Sounds like a great move for you, congrats.  One day, we’ll not fail to grab a drink together after work :)

  • ms440

    All the best! You’ve been so helpful for my team over last couple years, we all are very thankful, and hoping your blog, presentations, screencasts will be even more so in your new endevour.

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thank you very much! Glad I could be of help to you and your team, and feel free to ping me if there’s anything else I can do.

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    Thank you, sir! Hope you and the family are doing well!

  • http://www.userinexperience.com Brandon Satrom

    One day soon, yes. How about next week sometime? :)

  • http://www.dscleaning.co.uk/  Richmond Cleaning Company

    I have been reading your blog for some time now. And I must say, you really know how to present your words for the audience. good luck on your new endeavour. keep up the good work. :)  

  • http://www.nakov.com/blog/2012/11/30/telerik-awarded-best-employers-for-2012-in-bulgaria/ Телерик за поредна година е работодател #1 на България за средни предприятия! | Svetlin Nakov’s Blog

    [...] Brandon Satrоm напуска позицията “Developer Evangelist at Microsoft” и се включва да работи към екипите на българската софтуерна фирма Телерик през 2012 г. [...]

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