Tobin.Swallow( Pills.Red );

Doing a google search for “red pill” and microsoft today yielded 55,700 hits. That same search on MSN search yields 14,433. This term, and other variations, are often used on blogs when someone takes a job at Microsoft. I would be naive to think that all of those hits are new employee announcements, but with these sort of numbers, I might have to buy some stock in a red-pill-manufacturing pharmaceutical company. This particular post will increase the count on those searches by 1 and will be counted among the many search hits that ARE about taking a Microsoft job.

Its my pleasure to announce that I will be packing up and moving to the Redmond, WA area to take a position with Microsoft sometime at the beginning of March. The exact date hasn’t been chosen yet but the offer has been made and accepted.

As many of you know, I’ve been running my own business. Things are great. I’m finishing up a contract with IPSwitch in February. I’ve been talking with Mark Dunn about doing some developer training for his company. I have more contracts being offered to me and really, the business is doing fantasitc. So why drop it to go be an employee again? The ideas are too numerous to list but I’ll try to give you the highlights.

First off, my entire career has been built around Microsoft. I started coding on an ATARI-800XL in Microsoft BASIC when I was in 5th grade. I’ve used Microsoft development technologies almost exclusively in my life. To be a part of the worlds largest and most successful software company is a great opportunity.

Second, I have ideas — a LOT of ideas. Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows that I am constantly coming up with ideas only to see someone else implement them months or years later. Being a one-man shop makes it very difficult to see those ideas through. Being at Microsoft, I will be able to have that satisfaction of giving my feedback to a company that can debate these ideas, improve/revamp them, and implement them if I’m lucky enough. I know this will happen because Microsoft Learning has consistently listened to and implemented advice that I’ve given on the developer certification exams.

Third, I LOVE soda.

Fourth, the team I met was fantastic. I have always wanted to work among the best and the brightest. While I don’t really fit that category, I’ll likely be mistaken for being smart just for working there. Its not just the folks working at Microsoft either. A recent census bureau survey showed that Seattle was the most-educated city in the US — with a majority (51.3%) of the population holding bachelor’s degrees!

Fifth, the area is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. In Charlotte, when a developer buys land to build houses, they completely strip the trees on the entire lay of the land, and start plopping down houses. If you get a chance, go check out Virtual Earth and pan around with the “birds eye view“. You’ll see that there are trees everywhere — making it a very attractive area. On top of that, you add boating in the sound, hiking in the mountains, and one of the best downtown areas in the country. There’s a lot to do and see.

Lastly, the benefits are great. Ask any employee what they think about the benifits at Microsoft and they will tell you that they are beyond comparison. I make a great living working for myself, and no company can beat this as a non-partner/full time employee. That said, Microsoft’s total package of compensation w/benefits is pretty competitive to other full time positions.

Overall, I can’t wait to get started. I’m looking forward to diving in torso first. Look out Redmond — here I come!

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