grew up on a small family farm in bucolic Vermont. My first interest in
computers surfaced around 5th grade, when friends’ parents started
buying the Commodore 64. We played a lot of Jumpman and “programmed” in LOGO.
In high school I was a bit of a math geek, and took some Basic and
Pascal classes as an adjunct to Math. I remember my teacher making us
repeat every day “Computers are stupid dumb idiotic machines with no
intelligence whatsoever. They only do what you tell them to do.”
a temp agency, I landed my first job at Microsoft as a contractor, doing
high-volume photo retouching (on a Mac) for Microsoft’s multimedia CD-ROM
reference titles (Bookshelf & Encarta). I later joined the simmering
Seattle tech-startup scene. After 18 months of that, I was back at Microsoft as
a full-time employee.
first gig at Microsoft was working in the MSN division on a product called Sidewalk.com.
After that incredible 4 or 5 years, I became more of a “knower” than a
“learner” in that system, and decided I needed a change. I had worked with the
“Technical Operations” team occasionally whenever there were client-impacting
outages of sales systems, and I had enjoyed the technical nature of those
interactions, so I applied for a role as a Program Manager building tools to
support the Datacenter teams. This was my point of entry to what was once
MSN Operations, but which is now Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services
that was 7 years ago! I have not run out of stuff to learn, and the scope
and complexity of our challenges and opportunities really does seem to double
every year. As both the business & infrastructure that supports it, have
grown by orders of magnitude, I have never had exactly the same job any two
years in a row. I have tackled one problem after another, focused on sorting it
out – by optimizing or reconfiguring teams, processes or the tooling
solutions that support them – and then moving on to the next one. I
remain energized by the opportunity to understand and simplify complex systems
so they can efficiently and effectively scale. I am surrounded by incredibly
bright individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences who share
unbridled passion for achievement. My coworkers motivate and inspire me every
day to drive improvements in myself and my work, and together we maintain a
fanatical focus not just on our competition, but primarily on our customers’
experience with our services as the “highest order bit” in our system.
of folks move around the company – I have effectively spent 15 years in just
one division of Microsoft, and never run out of work that reinforces and
amplifies my passion for the industry, the business, the operations, and our
this history, I can’t imagine ever running out of new, interesting, hugely
impactful, and seriously fun “work” to do at Microsoft with amazing
people in a collaborative environment trying to change the world by delivering
software and services that have the potential to impact the lives of hundreds
of millions of people … and so I can’t imagine working anywhere else..
am David and that’s my story… so far. Check out jobs with GFS here.