I’m afraid I’ve let this blog sit idle for far too long. I always promise myself that I’ll post more, but then life happens.
In late August I accepted an offer for a new opportunity, and began the new job early in September. My new employer is a Microsoft Partner, focusing solely on System Center. There were a few reasons for this move, a couple of them based on what I perceive happening in the IT market. I’d like to write out a couple of these perceptions.
The first reason for a change in focus was the perception that SharePoint is moving down the stack. The days of SharePoint as a massive product implementation are over, with Microsoft driving licensing deals down, and shipping Office 365 (SharePoint Online) as a service for small and medium sized businesses. While SharePoint Online leaves much to be desired, it is swiftly catching up in parity, and soon will be exemplifying the cloud-first approach. Considering our clients were all small business clients, this was not a market I wanted to be in long-term. I enjoy implementing backend technology to serve the business and user, and SharePoint Online is not a great fit for that interest.
The second reason I elected to pursue a System Center company is my deep interest in private and hybrid cloud scenarios. The cloud industry is in a state of substantial flux, and will be for the next couple of years. System Center is the key that holds it all together and pulls it into something that is useful for enterprises and users. It’s the key to hybrid cloud for the next few years, no matter what happens in the cloud industry. This is *the* place to work for the next few years if you work in infrastructure in information technology. I’d already worked a fair bit implementing System Center to enable better SharePoint development, this was a natural evolution of my skills and experience.
The third reason I pursued Infront Consulting Group in particular was their track record. I found them by looking through the Impact Award winners for 2011 and 2012. Infront’s name came up a few times, and that they won Partner of the Year for Private Cloud was a huge flag for me. I looked them up on PinPoint, and they’ve got incredibly high reviews and feedback. They had a number of YouTube videos of staff explaining why they like working here. They also have the highest density of MVPs in an organization world-wide. They were also number 211 on Canada’s Profit 500, and they’d only been around since 2001, which meant they must be doing something right. I submitted a cover letter and resume within 2 hours of discovering they had a Senior Technical Consultant position open.
Since I’ve joined on here, I’ve been very pleased with my decision. There are several streams I can focus on, so I won’t get bored for a very long time. The on-boarding process has been nothing short of excellent. There is a very strong emphasis on mentorship and personal development here, which is somewhat surprising given that they are a consulting company. If there is bench time, that time is devoted to picking up new skills or auditing one of the classes another instructor might be delivering (every consultant has their MCT).
Of course, one of the other perks of working here is the ability to work with some very big brains. It’s a real privilege to be able to grow from the depth and wealth of the experience of these colleagues.
So, that’s that. Lots of things happening the last few months, but it’s all been very very worth it.