Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

The troublemakers
Photo by Michele Perras

I’m excited to announce that I am joining Mark Relph’s team at Microsoft Canada. That’s right. This is very real. This is something I’ve been thinking very carefully about for a long time. My official title will be Senior User Experience Advisor. My position reports to John Oxley in the the Developer & Platform Evangelism group.

I’m not the first to make this leap. A number of people I respect have joined Microsoft. Jon Udell, Molly Holzschlag, John Lam, Hugh MacLeod and Ryan McMinn among others have written about their reasons for joining Microsoft. Microsoft is an important leader in the technology space. Microsoft Canada has a team of great people, influence with a community that is foreign to TorCamp, and a selection of new interesting technologies.

What will your role be?

In broad terms, I will continue to function pretty much as I do today. I can continue connecting people, software, information and ideas. I will be blogging, building community, and developing software. I’m focused on user experience, community and emerging technologies. It’s pretty much exactly what I do today.

Why are you doing this?

I’ve spent the past 18+ months trying to build a vibrant Toronto technology community. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of entrepreneurs, technologists, and designers working on projects they are passionate about. This role will allow me to develop new relationships, forge new connections between community members, and to produce results.

Recently, I’ve been working with the fantastic team at Radiant Core. It has been a wonderful experience, traveling to ETech and Web2Expo and attending ICE07. Radiant Core is a world-class design and development shop. They continue to build beautiful web sites. Jay and Mike understand the opportunity presented to me. They have invited me to stay involved with Radiant Core as a member of the Board of Directors. I believe in Radiant Core, the work they do for clients, and the quality of the software they build. They are capable of elegant, easy-to-use web standards compliant designs and they continue to build new tools and solutions that everyone should consider integrating in to their professional practices. I am proud to have been associated with them for a short period. And I know that they will continue to shape the industry with work like the design of the official theme for Firefox 2.0 and leadership of events like TransitCamp.

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going through
David Bowie

This is a big change. It is a change that allows me to stay in Toronto. It is a change that allows me to continue to support the user experience and emerging technology communities in Toronto.

Are you selling out? Turning your back on principles you’ve championed? On the community you’ve instigated?

I think Jon Udell put it best:

Wait until the evidence is in, then decide for yourself. I’ve been in this game for a long time. I think my record of pragmatism and agnosticism speaks for itself…

I don’t think anything has changed other than I now have an employer. I am really hoping that this role will allow me to expand my reach in the Canadian software and emerging technology community. I hope that it will be beneficial for TorCamp community. I look forward to helping connect Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs and technologists. I hope that my track record and dedication to the community will afford me the opportunity to find out.

What will happen to BarCampToronto?

BarCampToronto will continue and hopefully it continues to improve, refine and gets better. Our community members are striving to create a strong local culture. Mark, Will, Jay, Ryan, Eli and others have taken up the challenge. There will be BarCamps, DemoCamps, InteractionCamps, CaseCamps, VizThinks and a whole variety of other events. These events are run by individuals, sponsored by companies, and attended by community members. Community leadership is difficult.

The goal of the community needs to be to bring together members of the community, promote debate of ideas, engage the participation of citizens on an ongoing basis. By being open and making basic community services available to all members of the community at fair and reasonable cost, or free, we have created a strong local culture, with local relevance and a strong sense of ownership.
David Crow

This community is important. It is important to keep it open. To make it strong. To help it’s members grow and be successful. It can’t and won’t be dominated by one person or one company.

What’s next?

Microsoft: Change the world or go home

I’m taking a few weeks off to enjoy life. I start at Microsoft on June 4, 2007. I’ve been tasked with changing the world. Hopefully I’ll meet my goals. Until then I’ll be attending BarCampTorontoTechWeek, Enterprise2.0, mesh Conference and InteractionCamp as part of Toronto Tech Week. I hope that I see you at these events.

160 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes”

  1. Congratulations Dave, this is an exciting and huge move. As far as I'm concerned, you're now my most trusted voice at Microsoft (and I bet many would say the same).

    Kudos to Microsoft for pulling you on board in a such a community oriented fashion.

  2. WHOOO HOO & I can submit that dinner at Caesars now 🙂

    You know I'm going to bug you even more now 😉

    If you hear any bad things about us only half of them are true. I hope we can shake some stuff up.

  3. David & welcome aboard! I also joined MSFT just over a month ago for similar reasons you stated. Microsoft is taking some exciting new directions and continues to build on innovation and technology leadership.

    Looking forward to working with you!

    Rini Gahir
    Senior Product Manager & DevTools

  4. <p>I expect that we get you under some sort of timeshare agreement. TorCamp calls evenings and weekends!</p>

  5. <p>I expect that we get you under some sort of timeshare agreement. TorCamp calls evenings and weekends!</p>

  6. <p>Congrats, David, on landing at a company that can fund your good works. Microsoft has already been a frequent sponsor of TorCamp events and I'm happy to see this big step forward.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Some people will now consider everything you say as biased in favour of a large monopolistic corporation. If so, it's about time that someone around here was biased in favour of Microsoft rather than Apple.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>And when you switch to a Windows laptop, may I recommend one that has a pointing stick (e.g. ThinkPads, some Toshibas) & there's my Senior User Experience Advice!</p>

  7. <p>Congrats, David, on landing at a company that can fund your good works. Microsoft has already been a frequent sponsor of TorCamp events and I'm happy to see this big step forward.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Some people will now consider everything you say as biased in favour of a large monopolistic corporation. If so, it's about time that someone around here was biased in favour of Microsoft rather than Apple.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>And when you switch to a Windows laptop, may I recommend one that has a pointing stick (e.g. ThinkPads, some Toshibas) & there's my Senior User Experience Advice!</p>

  8. <p>well, well, well. congratulations young man! i am looking forward to a celebration before you get started at microsoft. keep your cool.</p>

  9. <p>well, well, well. congratulations young man! i am looking forward to a celebration before you get started at microsoft. keep your cool.</p>

  10. Congrats, David, on landing at a company that can fund your good works. Microsoft has already been a frequent sponsor of TorCamp events and I'm happy to see this big step forward.

    Some people will now consider everything you say as biased in favour of a large monopolistic corporation. If so, it's about time that someone around here was biased in favour of Microsoft rather than Apple.

    And when you switch to a Windows laptop, may I recommend one that has a pointing stick (e.g. ThinkPads, some Toshibas) & there's my Senior User Experience Advice!

  11. <p>Congrats on the new job, Locutus! Seriously, though, it sounds like a great opportunity and great venue for making great changes.</p>

  12. <p>Congrats on the new job, Locutus! Seriously, though, it sounds like a great opportunity and great venue for making great changes.</p>

  13. <p>a w e s o m e!</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Hope to see you around the halls.. again!</p>

  14. <p>a w e s o m e!</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Hope to see you around the halls.. again!</p>

  15. <p>You know that I think you are grand.but.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I can't imagine what you are thinking. Is this a money decision? I mean, with the most recent Microsoft taking on <a href="http://test.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_5897663&quot; target="_blank">Open Source announcement</a> (&lt;a hreaf=&quot;<a href="http://test.denverpo…</a>), " target="_blank"><a href="http://test.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_5897663&q…</a>)," target="_blank">http://test.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_5897663&q…</a>),</a> </a>doesn't the world know that they are totally effing evil? There may be good people that work there, but they aren't the powers that be. That company is still run by pure, awful greed. They keep hiring amazing people like yourself to try and trick the rest of the world into thinking that they aren't pure evil. In fact, that's what they think. Money can buy them anything, right?</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>That's really a bummer. Radiant Core is so damned awesome. A small giant.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I'm sorry to hear this. Really. It's your life and your decision, but I hope you discover soon that you are 1000x better than this.</p>

  16. <p>You know that I think you are grand.but.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I can't imagine what you are thinking. Is this a money decision? I mean, with the most recent Microsoft taking on <a href="http://test.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_5897663&quot; target="_blank">Open Source announcement</a> (&lt;a hreaf=&quot;<a href="http://test.denverpo…</a>), " target="_blank"><a href="http://test.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_5897663&q…</a>)," target="_blank">http://test.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_5897663&q…</a>),</a> </a>doesn't the world know that they are totally effing evil? There may be good people that work there, but they aren't the powers that be. That company is still run by pure, awful greed. They keep hiring amazing people like yourself to try and trick the rest of the world into thinking that they aren't pure evil. In fact, that's what they think. Money can buy them anything, right?</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>That's really a bummer. Radiant Core is so damned awesome. A small giant.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I'm sorry to hear this. Really. It's your life and your decision, but I hope you discover soon that you are 1000x better than this.</p>

  17. <p>I certainly congratulate you on finding new work.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>At the same time, your choice of employer is unfortunate. Or rather, I should say, <a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1014_3-6183437.html&quot; target="_blank">the actions</a> of your new employer are leading me to consider banning future contributions from Microsoft to the BarCamp community-at least while these kind of actions are still their preferred modus operandi. Funny how one act by Chairman Dickhead Balmer can undo much of the good and generous work that his community ambassadors have done over the last year.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>In any case, I still hold a great deal of respect for you, but I cannot say the same thing for Microsoft. I wish you the best of luck-and intend to keep a close eye on you-because ultimately you're still one of us, even if you've decided to play patsy with the Dark Side of the Force.</p>

  18. <p>I certainly congratulate you on finding new work.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>At the same time, your choice of employer is unfortunate. Or rather, I should say, <a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1014_3-6183437.html&quot; target="_blank">the actions</a> of your new employer are leading me to consider banning future contributions from Microsoft to the BarCamp community-at least while these kind of actions are still their preferred modus operandi. Funny how one act by Chairman Dickhead Balmer can undo much of the good and generous work that his community ambassadors have done over the last year.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>In any case, I still hold a great deal of respect for you, but I cannot say the same thing for Microsoft. I wish you the best of luck-and intend to keep a close eye on you-because ultimately you're still one of us, even if you've decided to play patsy with the Dark Side of the Force.</p>

  19. well, well, well. congratulations young man! i am looking forward to a celebration before you get started at microsoft. keep your cool.

  20. <p>Congrats David! I hope your position at Microsoft brings you lots of happiness. MSFT is a force in our industry and in Canada; I am glad to see they are hiring some visionaries!</p>

  21. <p>Congrats David! I hope your position at Microsoft brings you lots of happiness. MSFT is a force in our industry and in Canada; I am glad to see they are hiring some visionaries!</p>

  22. <p>The <a href="http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/05/28/100033867/index.htm&quot; target="_blank">patent announcement</a> hadn't happened when I made my decision. It has brought me back to the deep internal fight about good and evil. The fight about open and closed. I don't think that Microsoft is evil. I think they are unabashed about making money. Their decisions are often disagreeable, but there is a lot of <a href="http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm&quot; target="_blank">good</a> that can come from them. This is the first time I've had to think about my employer and their local, national and <a href="http://web.amnesty.org/pages/ec-110506-action-eng&quot; target="_blank">international</a> track record with respect to <a href="http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/5.htm&quot; target="_blank">human rights</a> and intellectual property. Ultimately, my goals are altruistic. And as <a href="http://walkah.net/&quot; target="_blank">walkah</a> has told me, 'we'll have to wait and see, only time will tell'.</p>

  23. <p>The <a href="http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/05/28/100033867/index.htm&quot; target="_blank">patent announcement</a> hadn't happened when I made my decision. It has brought me back to the deep internal fight about good and evil. The fight about open and closed. I don't think that Microsoft is evil. I think they are unabashed about making money. Their decisions are often disagreeable, but there is a lot of <a href="http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm&quot; target="_blank">good</a> that can come from them. This is the first time I've had to think about my employer and their local, national and <a href="http://web.amnesty.org/pages/ec-110506-action-eng&quot; target="_blank">international</a> track record with respect to <a href="http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/5.htm&quot; target="_blank">human rights</a> and intellectual property. Ultimately, my goals are altruistic. And as <a href="http://walkah.net/&quot; target="_blank">walkah</a> has told me, 'we'll have to wait and see, only time will tell'.</p>

  24. <p>Off topic, but can I just say how much I love Tara Hunt! That has got to be the worst congratulations in history, but maybe the most real.</p>

  25. <p>Off topic, but can I just say how much I love Tara Hunt! That has got to be the worst congratulations in history, but maybe the most real.</p>

  26. <p>Not to be rude, David, but Microsoft has been doing this for years. Here's Steve Ballmer in November 2004 talking how Linux violates 228 patents. Microsoft employs several hundred lawyers. I suspect that they could probably manage to file a lawsuit in the 2.5 years between then and now if they actually had any evidence, if their claim was actually in any way true.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>So you're working for a company which out-and-out lies in order to damage the Open Source software community. Has a history of doing it, and continues to do it today, and will continue to do it tomorrow. Microsoft also funded the long-running SCO patent lawsuit & funding another company's lawsuit where it essentially claimed ownership of Linux and sued IBM baselessly. So Microsoft used a proxy to push a nuisance lawsuit designed to create FUD around Linux.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>You need to think of your reputation. Personally, I would never hire an ex-Microsoft employee, just as I would never hire, say, someone who had worked for the KKK. I'm afraid that when you work for a company being fully aware of their proclivities, you have to take some ownership for their actions. I hope they're paying you well.</p>

  27. <p>Not to be rude, David, but Microsoft has been doing this for years. Here's Steve Ballmer in November 2004 talking how Linux violates 228 patents. Microsoft employs several hundred lawyers. I suspect that they could probably manage to file a lawsuit in the 2.5 years between then and now if they actually had any evidence, if their claim was actually in any way true.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>So you're working for a company which out-and-out lies in order to damage the Open Source software community. Has a history of doing it, and continues to do it today, and will continue to do it tomorrow. Microsoft also funded the long-running SCO patent lawsuit & funding another company's lawsuit where it essentially claimed ownership of Linux and sued IBM baselessly. So Microsoft used a proxy to push a nuisance lawsuit designed to create FUD around Linux.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>You need to think of your reputation. Personally, I would never hire an ex-Microsoft employee, just as I would never hire, say, someone who had worked for the KKK. I'm afraid that when you work for a company being fully aware of their proclivities, you have to take some ownership for their actions. I hope they're paying you well.</p>

  28. Congrats on the new job, Locutus! Seriously, though, it sounds like a great opportunity and great venue for making great changes.

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