After 28 years, I quit … and move forward

I’m done … I quit!

As I posted on YouTube last week in the community area, I have an announcement to make. It’s a big step for me and a significant change in my life.

So here it is … after 28 years of working for the same employer, I quit my job and move forward. I won’t go into the exact details; I’d like to look forward and keep a positive mindset. You can follow me on LinkedIn to see if you are interested in my history (or even hook up; make sure you reference who you are and why you want to connect).

I like to work with tech and be on the bleeding edge of technology. I started as a junior software developer, first at a secondment agency doing short-term development jobs for various customers. After five years, someone reached out, and I joined one of the big accounting firms to work on their financial software systems. I learned much about financial systems then and even built an application that automatically created annual financial statements. Something accountants used to work on for weeks but could now be finished in a few days.

Moving forward, my work shifted from being a software developer to moving up the corporate ladder and sitting in meetings growing bigger development teams and, in the end, being more a People Manager than doing the things I loved to do: tinkering with software and extending software to provide better options for productivity to the Office or Information Workers.

I wanted a better job. Working in an increasingly restricted environment to avoid leaking information and being compliant with corporate standards kept me from doing what I love most: test-driving new technologies.

This reflects on family life, which is being grumpy after the daily drag. I even started to take time off one day a week – to work four days a week. I was beginning to look forward to my retirement.

Shortening my workweek allowed me to boost my YouTube and Twitch channels under the “Soft As In Software” umbrella, but I will discuss this later.

At that point, I received an email from a longtime friend living in the US, and he was asking me if VSTO (i.e., “Visual Studio Tools for the Office System”) is still a thing. A headhunter contacted him to see if he wanted to get a role in a specific job opening they were trying to fill.  As an answer to his question, I told him, “Honestly, not really …” as VSTO is in the process of deprecation (at least maintenance mode) and will soon be replaced by its successor, based on OfficeJS. Therefore, I advised him to suggest that the headhunter should look for a consultant to move the tooling into the OfficeJS APIs instead.

My friend didn’t accept the job offer as he is doing great stuff elsewhere already, but he thought sharing my info with the headhunter would be good. I confirmed that you could always talk, and he passed along my information so I could discuss what they were looking for and see where it would end. We eventually discussed the situation, agreed on the terms and conditions, had a couple more interviews, and agreed to move forward.

With all that in place, the announcement is that after a 28-year tenure, I resigned from my current job and started working for a company in Canada and the United States. It is a hundred percent remote job. I am curious if I ever travel in that direction. At least I still try to attend the big conferences such as Build (not this year, as it is poorly timed this year precisely on my already planned vacation), Ignite, and, while it lasts, the Annual Global MVP Summit with Microsoft to stay in contact with everyone.

As mentioned above in some wording, my work will start where I left off 10 to 15 years ago, maintaining big VSTO Add-ins that extend the Microsoft Office suite, especially for financial service workers. I am also looking into ways to migrate this to the new Office environment (or environments; I should say, as Office is multi-platform these days and can run not only on Windows but also on a Mac, iOS, Android, and more) to make it future-proof. I am confident that we can get this to work in the new context and be the number one provider of productivity tools for financial analysts.

As for my YouTube and Twitch channels, this also means that I need to shift things. My working hours changed from Central European Time (CET) or Central European Summer Time (CEST) in the summer to Eastern Standard Time (EST) or Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in the summer. I will now work in the US time zone and move my leisure time to the morning in the EU. With that, my Live Coding sessions will shift from twice a week, 8 PM to 11 PM CEST, to three times a week, around 12 PM to 2 PM CEST for Europe and just before the day begins in New York (I guess 6 AM to 8 AM). I hope to make this five(!) times a week, every day… but I want to start slowly and use it to see how it will fit in.

Make sure your follow my YouTube Channel, so you won’t miss a thing. Learn with me in live sessions, make mistakes, stumble and get up!

Click here to go to my YouTube Channel and subscribe to get notified when going live:
Soft as in Software YouTube Channel

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