Friday, January 22, 2016

Coverage in Edge Magazine and on IDG Connect

The topic of combining motherhood and continous learning with a full-time job seems to be of interest to a lot of women, based on the number of opportunities I'm receiving these days.

I've completely forgotten to share the article on upskilling in my maternity leave that was published in Edge (ILM) Magazine. Edge (ILM) Magazine is the official publication for the Institute of Leadership and Management in the UK and you can find my story here.

Yesterday my story was covered by IDG Connect, a global IT publication, reporting key industry trends and news to an international CIO audience. This is probably my favorite article so far, titled "How maternity leave helped make me a better developer".

I have two months left of my maternity leave before I start my new job at Microsoft. And until then, my schedule is surprisingly full.

I'm very excited about an interview I'm doing next week with a major Norwegian newspaper, and there are some very interesting rumours going around about my story being told at a conference at Harvard yesterday, but I haven't been able to confirm that just yet.

On February 3rd, I'm doing a short 15-minute intro for Girl Geek Dinner Oslo on the tools and techniques I use to upskill. After this talk, I'm planning on writing a blog series on the very same topic as I often receive many of the same questions. If my baby girl doesn't have other plans for me, I'll start publishing the series in mid-February.

Until then, you can follow me on instagram to see what I'm doing on a daily basis (no baby pics, I promise!)

Monday, January 18, 2016

New challenges ahead at Microsoft

Seven years ago, I finished my Computer Science degree at the University. I immediately started working as a web developer and consultant focusing on EPiServer development at a consultancy called Objectware (now part of Itera). It didn't take me long to realize that the place to be if you were into EPiServer was a small consultancy called Epinova, and so I transitioned as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I've worked at Epinova ever since, for about five and a half years.

My time at Epinova has been absolutely amazing. We were approximately 20 developers when I joined and the company has more than doubled within my time there. At such a small company, you always know what everyone is working on, talking to management is simply a tap on the shoulder of the person you wish to speak to, and you're often given responsibilities and opportunities far outside of your comfort zone. It has the start-up atmosphere combined with the security of a larger company, and it was the perfect place for me to grow.

When I started working at Epinova, I was an average web developer. Even though my technical skills were not top-notch, I managed to deliver allright in the beginning due to the fact that I was a fast and structured learner. I immediately sensed that something was different though. For the first time, I was surrounded by developers who truly cared about the code they were writing. They wanted the best for their customers, quality always came first. And I was feeding off the energy, constantly growing as a developer, slowly figuring out which areas I needed to excel at and which would land me the most interesting projects. I was given the freedom to deal with customers the way I felt was right, I was given time to focus on side projects and I was trusted to make the right decisions. This shaped me both as a person and as a developer, and gave me the confidence I needed to go the extra mile.

Unfortunately, I slowly started losing interest in our main area of expertise: EPiServer. I ignored this petrifying feeling by digging deeper into other areas such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Octopus Deploy, Azure, E-Commerce, and general Research & Development tasks. Inevitably though, I reached a point where I could no longer ignore the fact that EPiServer just didn't do it for me anymore. I slowly started thinking about Microsoft, I'd heard stories about the Developer Experience team and the work they were doing. Could that be my next move?

Today, I am superexcited to announce that the Developer Experience team at Microsoft, in fact, will be my next move. From the beginning of April, I will be their new ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) Solution Specialist. This is an amazing opportunity I'm very grateful to have received and I suspect there are plenty of challenges waiting for me ahead. I've already had the honor of meeting the team, a loud gang filled with laughter and knowledge. I can't wait to pick their brains!

Until then, I'm going to enjoy two quiet months at home with my daughter. Well, not completely quiet. I'll be giving a talk at Girl Geek Dinner Oslo on February 3rd about how I spend my maternity leave continously learning new skills. And of course, I'll spend some time reading up Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, Visual Studio Code etc.

Did I mention how excited I am about all of this?