So what can I say but “It’s nice to be back”.
Last week Steve Hansen and I were at an event together in Redmond and he asked if I would be willing to start blogging again on the OfficeZealot site. I was honoured to be asked and hope I will deliver some value to the site as time goes on.
It’s funny that despite being an early fan of newsgroups right back to Compuserve, I have developed a reluctance to provide advice and counsel on-line to users (despite being a professional spreadsheet developer since 1985 and an Access developer since Release 1.0). Partly this comes from early experiences where my advice was often jumped on by some a-hole hot-shot who would leap in and correct me with their own subjective version of the truth (and wrongly so I believed most of the time). It was most unpleasant and although I do believe people have learned to be far more civilized on-line in recent years (thankfully), I still do not proffer technical advice to people - except for a fee ;-).
In fact that fee is my other excuse. I make my living providing solutions to corporations and it’s an adequate professional income (if somewhat variable), but I am certainly in no risk of getting rich doing all this. That’s probably a good thing though, because I’m afraid that if I got rich my wife and I’d be gone south (again?) never to touch anything more complex that a Browser or Skype.
Several times I have considered applying to become an MVP, but apparently that designation has less to do with your over-all knowledge or experience as an expert in a particular technology than it has to do with how many questions you answer on newsgroups. I know several MVPs who answer questions because they enjoy helping people and good for them but I just can’t do it – sorry.
However, I hope that by blogging here (and maybe by getting back into speaking engagements) I can transmit to all of you my thoughts on the joys (?) of being an independent Microsoft Office developer. I hope in the end we can find a way to resurrect that endangered species and you will understand why I think it is imperative that it happen.
The complexity of the core technology in Microsoft Office, the complexity of the automation story of Microsoft Office and especially the fact that being a Microsoft Office developer first and foremost means your key skill is as a business analyst, all tell me that this is a “Professional” pursuit – one that can and should be full-time in its activity.
You will learn why I think that in the end being a Microsoft Office developer can and should be an acceptable way for a young person to build a successful and satisfying professional career.
Talk to you soon.