My name is Josh Wilson, I am the lead of the Microsoft Operations Center (MOC) Automation Program for the Global Foundation Services team. Global Foundation Services (GFS) is the engine that powers Microsoft’s Software Plus Services strategy, hosting more than 200 of the company’s online services and web portals. I am responsible for overseeing Automated Incident Management, our Internal Tools Optimization team, and Automated Alarm Management for the MOC. My program’s goal is to reduce incident volume through automated responses that enables our operations center to take on new tasks with fewer burdens from incidents.
I am a Washingtonian growing up in the city of Renton south of the Microsoft headquarters. As I was going to a local community college I had aspirations of working for the greatest software company that just happened to be down the street from where I was attending. At the time I worked part-time for Safeco Insurance as a data entry specialist and a lifeguard to pay for school. Eventually, at Safeco I became the technology specialist for my department, taking care of minor IT work, building the departments intranet site, and developing code snippets against their main frame data entry system to increase an individual’s productivity.
I moved on from Safeco to a small development firm Northmark that did work for Microsoft. We helped to delivery custom data analysis applications for the Windows team. This was during the launching period of Windows 2000. This brought me close but still hadn’t crossed over to be an employee at Microsoft. From Northmark I moved to a small dotcom, CornerDrugStore. There I was a web developer for the brand new company. It was fun working for a start-up with a small amount of people putting in many hours to get it off the ground. Unfortunately though, like many other dotcoms, the bottom fell out.
In searching for work I connected Volt and landed a contract position, as a system analyst, for eShop.msn.com. After only seven months working as a contractor I made the summer cuts for hiring into Microsoft and started my journey inside of Global Foundation Services.
I consider myself lucky to work for such a great company as Microsoft, especially as I look over the last ten years. I have what I consider a very unique tour with Microsoft. In April 2002 I went on an initial enlistment military leave from Microsoft. I joined the Army and moved to Fort Benning, GA. There I earned the right to join the elite US Army Rangers at 3rd Ranger Battalion. I did two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Even though my primary work was to be an infantryman – specializing in U.S. Weapons, I was able to keep ties in technology. During my evening hours I would develop web sites for Coalfiresystems that lasted for two years. I also created two projects for my unit – finding ways where technology could reduce pain. The pain came in the form of punishment for mistakes made from poor documentation. The first was an arms room inventory checkout system. With this project I put together using barcode scanner, printer, and digital signature reader to allow for quick and accurate take-out and turn-in of weapons. The second project was for tracking all of our soldiers in the unit and maintaining statistics and status of where they are in training and who is registered for upcoming courses.
That initial military leave lasted 4 years and in April 2006 Microsoft graciously brought me back on to the Ad Delivery team as a Systems Engineer. I stayed with the Ads team until 2008 when I moved to the Microsoft Operations Center (MOC) Managed Automation team. In 2009 I was called up from the Army to serve again. This time I would spend a year at Fort Knox, KY turning civilians into soldiers as a Senior Drill Sergeant. After my tour I returned to the MOC; found my team vacated as all of my old team members moved on. I moved to a new team in the MOC Administrators on Duty where we maintain the online services and still maintained the MOC Automation program. This time I was given 5 vendors to fulfill the task and was the lead of the program. Flash forward a year my team turned very successful and we have grown from 5 members to 12. It has been a great experience working for Microsoft where you can take your passion for technology, drive for success, and create something that is unique and rewarding.
After my return to Microsoft in 2006 I have tried to give back to Microsoft and the Military community. I volunteered to be a part of the GI Jobs interview listed below – to put Microsoft in a favorable light to sailors, soldiers, airmen that are getting ready to leave the military and join the civilian sector with interest in the technology field. Here’s a story sponsored by Microsoft done for GI Jobs when I came back the first time in 2006: http://www.gijobs.com/systems-engineer-microsoft.aspx. I also participated in the “Be What’s Next” video for the Military to Microsoft program. This was my first time using teleprompters and such high end video equipment to do a project of this nature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkUfH6HFp-E&feature=related.
The Global Foundation Services group is hiring. We are an amazing group of people, looking for top talent in that work in fields such as systems, networking, and database engineering, program managers, developers, and data center operators. For more information on jobs like mine, please visit: http://bit.ly/jobswithGFS.