Joining the Edge Platform Team at Microsoft

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I’m proud to announce that on November 7th I’ll be joining the Microsoft Edge Team as a program manager. There I will represent the Web design and animation communities on the team and at conferences and continue my work with the W3C.

The decision was easy. Some of my favorite people are working on Edge, and the team’s mature, level-headed approach to the building the Web forward gels with the earth bender in me. I’ve been watching friends and community members I respect like Rachel White, Stacey Mulcahy, and Nolan Lawson head to Microsoft for the past year or so, and it says great things to me about the direction the company is heading. The areas where Microsoft has been investing recently, in deep learning and new kinds of interfaces from NUIs to MR, are a sea change I want front row tickets for.

Working for myself has been a blast: I’ve met so many wonderful folks and made so many friends working with different companies. I’ve learned a lot about the challenges different teams face, the importance of finding bleeding neck problems to solve, and how to train a classroom of fifty people up in eight hours. I’ve been able to collaborate with Mozilla (also some of my favorite people) and contribute to the Web Animations API effort.

But building the Web forward as an independent was at odds with business development and accounting and all the other things one must do out on their own. Going in-house releases me from my least favorite kinds of work and lets me focus on what I’m good at and enjoy.

Of course, there’ll be a lot of personal growth happening as well! This will be my first time working inside a large company as an employee, not a consultant. It’s exciting to think about how I’m going to have to adapt to this new environment. But I’m not scared: I’ll be surrounded by some of my favorite people, and I have great mentors.

Sadly, this position does mean I’ll be leaving Portland. The past three years here have been the best of my life, and I’m not exaggerating. Portland is beautiful, wonderful. I’ve wanted to be here ever since I was a teenager. But I’m ready to try another Pacific Northwest city: Seattle.

There are some things I want to do, have to do, must do—for myself and for the community. And at Microsoft, I feel I’ll have the backing to accomplish those things. I’d list my goals here, but I’ve found that publicly displaying my agenda is the surest way of disappointing everyone—including myself—when projects take longer than anticipated or must be abandoned.

But you know me. And you know what I like to do. I’m sure you can imagine what I’m going to get up to on the Edge team. I look forward to building the Web forward… with you.

A manga-style illustration of Rachel Nabors winking from behind a computer monitor in an implied Microsoft cubicle.


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