Posted by David Hablewitz
In my May 30, 2011 post I explained that I had started a project at Microsoft where I would be working with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) team in Office365 to improve the process for building the BES servers, streamlining the process, reducing the bugs, and clarifying the instructions for the build team. Well that project has come to completion and the results were fantastic. We accomplished everything we set out to do and I made some great new friends in the process.
It is rewarding to know my skills can easily port to a different platform and that I could be so successful regardless of the brand of software. (Let that be a lesson to all techies.) Technical writing, process improvement, troubleshooting, teamwork were all more important than a detailed knowledge of the software.
I was looking forward to the opportunity to see Microsoft software deployed and used the way its developers intended, using all the best practices and perhaps have my opinion changed by the experience. To that end, I was both impressed and disappointed. The infrastructure is very sophisticated and well managed. Everything you would expect. Yet I was surprised at how some technology was used. I often asked myself things like “Why are we having this big reply-to-all email conversation instead of just using a discussion forum or Teamroom?” or “Why are we creating online instructions in Word documents?” Well at least now I understand the reasoning behind why certain Microsoft software features work the way they do.
I may find myself back there working on another project, perhaps on another team and get a totally different experience. Actually, I hope so. It’s a big, diverse company and I expect, like most large companies, different teams work in different ways. Meanwhile, I am back in the world of IBM and social business and I will continue to share the knowledge of collaboration and social business here in a region where it is needed most, only now with a deeper understanding of both brands.