The online home of John Pollard

Leaving Microsoft (again) but back at Bing (again)

So after much thought I’ve decided to leave Microsoft and concentrate on my BraveLocation work full time.

However for the next few months at least, I have some contract work back with my old team in Bing in London. Seems like I can’t escape that easily!

I’m excited about the future, and not entirely sure yet what direction this will take me in, but I know many of my friends and ex-colleagues (those groups are not mutually exclusive!) will be wondering what I’m up to. Therefore I’d thought I’d do an FAQ to try to anticipate some of the questions.

I’d also like to say thanks to everyone who’ve sent me very nice messages already - much appreciated!

Q: Why are you leaving Microsoft as an FTE?

As many of you know I live up in Northumberland in the cold, cold North East of England, and I’m trying to get a better work-life balance where I’m not working away from home in London all of the time.

To do that I’m setting up my own business again, hopefully doing some interesting and profitable things!

Q: So how come you’re back at Bing then?

Right now I’m still in the process of figuring out how I can best achieve my long term plan. So after talking with my ex-colleagues in Bing’s London office, they were kind enough to make me an offer to do some contarct work with them for a while.

After the first few weeks, I’ll probably just be in the London office 2-3 days a week, so hopefully that’ll be a better work-life balance for me.

From a work point of view, I’m really looking forward to working with everyone at Bing again, getting back to working in the same area as when I first joined the team 3 years ago.

Q. What was working at Skype like?

Different to Bing for sure – better in some ways, not as good in others. The team I was working with was a great bunch of developers from whom I learnt a lot, and I’m sure what they’re working on is going to make a huge impact on improving Skype in the long term.

Q: When are you leaving/starting?

My last day as a Microsoft employee is March 8th, and if we can sort the paperwork out I’m hoping to start my contract at Bing as soon as possible after then.

Q: What is your “startup” going to be doing?

I have lots of ideas on what I’d like to be doing, but I’m not sure about the long-term viability of any of them right now. Over the next few months I’ll be working through what I hope are the best of them in my spare time, to see if any of them get any traction and turn into something more substantial.

I’ll continue to write about what I’m doing here, so the best way to find out - if you’re interested - is to follow this blog!