Heading to Portland, Leaving Microsoft…

After five years living in Seattle (which my wife considers a pale comparison to Portland), Robin has been offered a kick-butt job at a really cool-sounding law firm in Portland, where she’ll practice tax-exempt and estate planning law.  Obviously we’ll be moving to Portland very shortly (in fact, in the next few weeks it looks like…)

That put me in the difficult position of considering whether to remain with Microsoft or venture out to new horizons.  Working for my current team (Security Accelerators – Security and Compliance) has been awesome, but it just can’t be done when not stationed on campus.  My next-best option would be to re-join Microsoft Consulting Services, but I don’t think I’m ready to go back to a delivery role after a few years of the intellectual rewards of working on the fringes of R&D.  I started my career at Microsoft in MCS Canada (take off eh!), and though I don’t regret those experiences, I’m more interested in making broad impact on the security of large numbers of individuals and organizations than go back to the one-at-a-time approach (not yet, anyway).

Looking around Portland, there’s a lot of high-tech opportunities but the big players are Intel and McAfee.  Against all odds, a really incredible job opening was available in a smallish, growing group at Intel.  Intel seems like a really interesting place to work, and the group I’m joining has their fingers in many pies: product pen testing, product security development lifecycle, product security consulting.  [I’m pretty sure I’m mischaracterizing their efforts but I’ll clear that up shortly.]

So yes, I’m leaving Microsoft and joining Intel!  For those of you that know me personally, this may come as a shock that I’m joining another international corporation (one good friend of mine thought I’d join a Save the Whales or militant tree-hugging organization – heh :), but it’s just too tempting to pass up: leveraging my past experiences in a new environment, learning a whole new set of technologies around hardware development, software & hardware programming, and stepping into a new role with new perspectives, leaders and fresh thinking – how can I beat that?

One of my colleagues asked me to start blogging about life after Microsoft (aka life in my new job), and I think I’ll take him up on that.  It should be fun to reflect on my new experiences, especially after so long in the belly of the Beast. 🙂

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