Wow, there’s really a lot going on these days. Long story short; I’ve finally made the decision to join the SPCAF team at Rencore. This career-move from consulting to a product vendor will mean a lot of changes in how I spend my time, and will likely bring a lot of fun along for the ride. For those of you who isn’t familiar with the name Rencore, that’s the company behind the product SPCAF (which, if you read this blog, you should know already).
A decade of consulting
For about 10 years I’ve been a consultant in the Microsoft space. I’ve worked with SharePoint since 2006 and .NET since forever. I’ve spent several thousand hours in various projects – big and small – for various clients and requirements. Now, the time has come for me to make a change from being a consultant into the software product business, full-time.
The Software Product Business
The software product business isn’t all that foreign for me though, since I founded and successfully launched SharePointDiscussions.com – this is where I learnt most of my proper ALM routines and the importance of automating your processes in order to increase quality, release cadence and manageability of the products. This is also where I spent a lot of time with trial-and-error development. I made a lot of mistakes, learnt a lot and hopefully came out more clever on the other side.
Another even smaller product suite was Pointbird. It was later acquired in 2014 by a consultant company where they’ve now successfully integrated that product suite into their Intranet offerings and as stand-alone products.
The bottom line is: I learnt a lot, I spent a lot of time fixing things I broke or things that didn’t behave the same way in various clients’ environments, a lot of effort was spent on trying to figure out how not to screw up once the products were deployed to 450+ clients and so on – but what I’ve come to realize even more is that I have so much more to learn, so much more to explore and so much more to build. What better way than to join a product vendor full-time? :-)
When working with a product which is used by a lot of different types of organizations it is important to understand how different businesses work. One thing I learnt from being a Microsoft Certified Trainer over the years was the vast difference in setups, environments and teams that utilize SharePoint and Office 365.
While delivering in-classroom SharePoint developer training to +450 developers in Sweden, you become pretty humble and gain a lot of insight into how their various companies and businesses work.
Being an instructor isn’t all about teaching, it’s about learning too. Most of the time I learnt a lot about how business utilize SharePoint or Office 365 in various ways I couldn’t even imagine (sometimes good, sometimes bad) – and you get to meet people with various technical backgrounds as well, showing me cool frameworks and techniques I hadn’t used myself but which I would quickly go home and try out after a week of tutoring. I’m hoping I can bring some of the knowledge I gained in how organizations work to the table in my new role with Rencore :-)
Now: Product Owner – Cloud Offerings at Rencore
The last few years I’ve spent some time in projects with some really big enterprise clients. We’re talking about several hundred thousands of users. In every single project, we’ve used the SPCAF tools in order to measure the quality of deliverance by consultants, by in-house developers and simply as a measure of transformability and upgradability moving forward.
I also spent so much time with the SPCAF tool that I was actually a part-time consultant for Rencore during the first 8 months of 2015, up until today – my first day as an employee at Rencore.
This may not be a big deal for some. But for those who know me personally know that since I started my own business I’ve always said that I would never, ever go back to being an employee again due to the flexibility, freedom and general awesomeness that it is to run your own company.
What I realized during my time as a consultant with Rencore though, was that the team there has the same mentality as myself and doesn’t just allow, but encourage you to work remotely and adopting the “modern” approach of being a mobile worker.
For me, this means:
- I’ll have the flexibility to work from where ever I am, at any given moment
- No more time reports (trust me, reporting times 3x per day is NOT fun, so this is welcomed)
- Flexible hours/days when I need to tend to other matters without the hassle of loosing billable time
I will join an awesome team of awesome people. Everyone I’ve been working with at Rencore the last months as a consultant are driven, extremely experienced and knowledgeable and foremost has the same mindset as myself.
This gives me an opportunity to spend more time in the software product business again, but now with a great team and an existing toolset – now I can fully utilize my capacity and spend time on developing these offerings together with Team Awesome over at Rencore. Bring it!
I’m still in the Office 365 / SharePoint / .NET / Microsoft space
I’ve already received a lot of e-mails and questions about moving away from being a developer and solution architectural guy. This is of course not the case – if anything, I’ll spend MORE time on these things from now on.
Exactly what I’ll be working with will probably reveal itself in due time, but for now just rest assured you’re not getting rid of me that easy ;-)
Conferences and travels
The last 3-4 years a lot of people have asked why I’m not a regular at all the conferences anymore. One obvious reason for this has been that I was too busy working with my clients. Another reason was that I simply got fed up on travelling. And I mean really fed up.
With this change in my career though, it’ll be easier to manage some travels and I’ll be spending some time at the upcoming conferences around Europe including:
- SPSMunich, Munich
- European SharePoint Conference, Stockholm
Most likely you’ll see more of me in my blog too, which has been a bit stale due to me being way too busy.
Let the adventures begin!