April 30, 2008 spout

Why I Love My Tribe and Want You To Join It!

Recently, I went to lunch with some friends of mine from the DevelopMentor Software days (wow, *that* was a long time ago) and they accused me of radio silence” for the last two years.

What?” I said. I blog all the time!”

Oh yeah? What have you been working on again?”


I’ve mentioned my work on this blog in passing as model-driven” this or data-driven” that, but never the details. And I still can’t tell you those kinds of details.

But what I can tell you is how I spend my days, because they are *glorious* days.

Have you ever had one of those jobs where you’re energized about coming to work every single day, because whatever you’re doing, it *really* needs doing and it’s going to be different than yesterday?

You might be pushing to finish writing a talk for an upcoming SDR (Software Design Review) or getting that last bit of code checked in before a big internal drop, digging into security threat modeling for the first time or complaining that the thing your team is building is too damn hard to use, only to be told, fine, then, fix it!”

You could be holding the hand of a new Jr. PM just joining the team or busting the balls of some Sr. Architect that thinks he’s all that and a box of Cracker Jacks, interviewing the next set of folks that are dying to be on your team and turning some away because as much work as you have to do, it’s better to leave it undone than to lower the bar even an inch on the quality standards you’re committed to living up to.

You could be building your own sub-system that we already have 8 of inside the company, but you need some source code you understand and that you can experiment with so that you can add the one or two features you think could really make a difference, only to find out you’ve just built the thing that your management wants to base the next-gen version of that very sub-system on.

You might be meeting your boss in the ProClub locker room when you’re half naked or soaking in the hot tub laughing about some trick you pulled in a meeting, listing the customers that need special attention or cornering an executive in the elevator asking for a really cool thing we have to do for the PDC, damn the cost.

You’re definitely going to be going into work with the smartest, nicest, most fun, more interesting, most sincerely quality-focused people you’ve ever known. After Don had first come to Microsoft for a while, he told me that he’d found his tribe.” I’d been at DevelopMentor during it’s heyday, so I couldn’t imagine ever finding another group of people I enjoy working with that much. I was wrong. My tribe (of which Don is one of the chiefs) gets so much accomplished because we lean on each other, we trust each other and we spend *so* much time laughing with each other (and *at* each other : ).

Most of you will be able to see the thing I’ve been working on with my tribe at the PDC. Or, if you’d like to help us build it, we’re always looking for new tribe members.