On to New Endeavors: My New Role at LinkedIn


On May 18th I posted a tweet that made public my intent to find a new job. I’m happy to announce that search is over!

I have accepted an offer at LinkedIn with a tentative start date in the coming weeks.

I have waited to announce this publicly until I was sure there were no roadblocks. It has been a kind of open secret as I haven’t shied away from sharing it with anyone who asked directly.

This blog is to share that news and a little bit about the circumstances around the change.

Why Find a New Job?

Over the past few years I have gained a ton of skills and knowledge surrounding things like Azure, Infrastructure as Code, DevOps, CI/CD Pipelines, and application development. Some of this I learned for my job at Mitel. However, the majority of it I learned through working in Open Source and through all the wonderful people in the PowerShell community,

Mitel’s IT decided to go with AWS for cloud services. I have nothing against AWS and think it is an excellent cloud. However, over the past several years I have invested significant amounts of time and effort into learning all there is to about every Azure service possible. This was made easier by being a Microsoft MVP with access to NDA lists and “insider” knowledge of upcoming changes and service additions. I also have access to several “free” azure subscriptions where as I don’t have anything nearly as useful for AWS. All of this means I can go further with Azure than I can with AWS.

My role at Mitel as a Lead IT Solutions Architect was centered around Active Directory, Active Directory Federations Services, SSO, and Office 365 (all services including but not limited to Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Flow, etc.). AD has been my bread and butter since Windows 2000 and my involvement in several migrations from NT and Novell. More recently my interests have drifted away from these technologies. I have always been interested in programming since my first exposure to computers and the BASIC language as a kid. I have been automating via scripting languages my entire career. And, as many readers of this blog well know, I have spent the past year developing features for the Web Cmdlets in PowerShell Core

I have also come to believe the future of IT lies in DevOps patterns and practices. Mitel’s engineering side of the house does practice DevOps, but the IT side of the house is still a very traditional split between operations and application development. I tried, quite unsuccessfully, to advocate for DevOps practices in the IT organization. My role was a bit too far removed from Operations and Applications teams to make a real impact. I tried to at least get some CI/CD pipelines for automation produced by my team, but I was met with resistance in obtaining resources (we were not allowed to leech off engineering's Atlassian products, we were not allowed to make use of VSTS, and my requests for AWS CodeCommit repos kept going to /dev/null.. those kinds of things). This was all very frustrating.

A tipping point for me was having to pay out of my own pocket and take vacation time to attend the 2018 PowerShell Summit. Paying for it was a kind of expected thing since they paid for some of my MVP Summit expenses, but not being given the time off for something that falls heavily under the career development category was a huge letdown. I get it that employers have their limits on what they can give, but I don’t think asking for those days without having to take personal time was asking too much.

So, I set out to find a job that would combine my love for Azure, PowerShell, and DevOps where my career development would not be stunted.

For clarity, I don’t harbor any ill-will towards Mitel. My work there was rewarding and I relished in all the many challenges it provided. I will sorely miss my manager and my team. I will also miss the global IT department, especially all the kohai I helped mentor through the years.

About the New Job and LinkedIn

LinkedIn reached out to me through… LinkedIn. +1 for eating your own dog food!! It’s not the first time they had reached out, but in the past I was opposed to relocation and not really in the market for a new job. This time, I was wide open and very much in the market.

The position will be on a team within their IT department (so, not on the linkedin.com side of the house). This team is tasked with bringing DevOps patterns and practices to their in-house applications and services through heavy doses of automation (PowerShell), CI/CD Pipelines, and Infrastructure as Code. There will also be a heavy push to move everything to Azure.

I will also be relocating to the Bay Area. I have only been there the one time for the interviews, but I loved it. I probably don’t love it as much as I do the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond area. But wearing a hoodie on a June morning is a privilege in the Bay Area that one is not afforded in the Dallas area. I was sold on that alone. It probably weighed heavier on my decision to accept the job and relocate than it should have. You probably underestimate my love for wearing hoodies.

If you don’t know much about LinkedIn, it’s a Silicon Valley company wholly owned by Microsoft. Their offices are amazing if you are into that Silicon Valley type environment. The company is also very passionate about its mission to connect the worlds professionals to make them more successful and productive. They also have a very ambitious (in a good way) goal of building the world’s first economic graph. I really didn’t need to be sold much on the company as I have been a LinkedIn user for a very long time and find it an invaluable tool for professional networking and job hunting. Its one of the few remaining Social Media platforms I still use.

Also, LinkedIn is cool with my continued contributions to PowerShell and encourages my professional growth through continuing to speak, blog, and network within the PowerShell Community. These were huge “must haves” in my asks for new employers. I had some opportunities that would have been equally amazing, but would have restricted my continued participation in the community. LinkedIn is committed to their employees’ career development. I have no fear of a dead end job with no room for growth or opportunity. Plus, it is a company filled with a ton of smart people. 

I am super excited about this role as it seems to check off everything I am wanting to do. I’m also very proud to be part of the LinkedIn family.

No More Microsoft MVP for Me

Unfortunately, working for LinkedIn disqualifies me from the MVP program as it is owned by Microsoft. To you, that doesn’t mean much as I will continue to blog, speak, and contribute to PowerShell Core and PowerShell related OSS. To me it means I lose some perks and access to NDA communications. I still get the honor of saying I was a Microsoft MVP and being part of such an amazing group of peers. The MVP program helped me rapidly build a huge professional network and make some lasting friendships.

Immediate Plans

As you may have noticed, I have not been very active in anything recently. I have been hyper-focused on getting a new job and then transiting/relocating. I still need to find permanent housing the the Bay Area.  Once I have that settled, I already have plans in the pipe that are a bit premature to discuss but involve a certain Bay Area and the words “user group”.

I will also get back to my Web Cmdlets backlog in the PowerShell repo in a few weeks. On the top of my list is working on the download cmdlet. I need to do a second draft of the RFC that incorporates comments from the first draft, and I will also get a PR for it.

Also, in the coming months I will post a blog about the job hunting experience as I’m sure I have some very useful tips to share for those looking for PowerShell related jobs.

Anyway, I will be busy busy busy!