So long and thanks for all the fish

So long and thanks for all the fish

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My time is up.

It’s been eight years since a friend suggested I join him on a contract at Microsoft Support (thanks Pete). Eight years since I sat sweating in an interview with Steve Taylor, trying desperately to recall the KDC’s listening port (his hint: “German anti-tank gun”). Eight years since I joined 35 new colleagues in a training room and found that despite my opinion, I knew nothing about Active Directory (“Replication of Absent Linked Object References – what the hell have I gotten myself into?”).

Eight years later, I’m a Senior Support Escalation Engineer, a blogger of some repute, and a seasoned world traveler who instructs other ‘softies about Windows releases. I’ve created thousands of pages of content and been involved in countless support cases and customer conversations. I am the last of those 35 colleagues still here, but there is proof of my existence even so. It’s been the most satisfactory work of my career.

Just the thought of leaving was scary enough to give me pause – it’s been so long since I knew anything but supporting Windows. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity though and sometimes you need to reset your career. Now I’ll help create the next generations of Windows Server and the buck will finally stop with me: I’ve been hired as a Program Manager and am on my way to Seattle next week. I’m not leaving Microsoft, just starting a new phase. A phase with a lot more product development, design responsibility, and… meetings. Soooo many meetings.

There are two types of folks I am going to miss: the first are workmates. Many are support engineers, but also PFEs, Consultants, and TAMs. Even foreigners! Interesting and funny people fill Premier and Commercial Technical Support and make every day here enjoyable, even after the occasional customer assault. There’s nothing like a work environment where you really like your colleagues. I’ve sat next to Dave Fisher since 2004 and he’s made me laugh every single day. He is a brilliant weirdo, like so many other great people here. You all know who you are.

The other folks are… you. Your comments stayed thought provoking and fresh for five years and 700 posts. Your emails kept me knee deep in mail sacks and articles (I had to learn in order to answer many of them). Your readership has made AskDS into one of the most popular blogs in Microsoft. You unknowingly played an immense part in my career, forcing me to improve my communication; there’s nothing like a few hundred thousand readers to make you learn your craft.

My time as the so-called “editor in chief” of AskDS is over, but I imagine you will still find me on the Internet in my new role, yammering about things that I think you’ll find interesting. I also have a few posts in the chamber that Jonathan or Mike will unload after I’m gone, and they will keep the site going. AskDS will continue to be a place for unvarnished support information about Windows technologies, where your questions will get answers.

Thanks for everything, and see you again soon.

We are looking forward to Seattle’s famous mud puddles


- Ned “42” Pyle

  • Over the last 8 years you have also become the public face of Active Directory for Microsoft.  This blog has been such a great place for the Active Directory community.  I can't imagine anyone that works with Active Directory in any capacity that hasn't learned from the blog.

    It is sad to see you go Ned.  I know the team will step up but I can't imagine that it will be the same without you running the ship.

    I wish you well in your new job and moving from NC to Seattle.  Your new boss should be ready to give you 1's on all future reviews.

    I need to  find this Gunny to stop you and say Nooooo!

    Thanks again Ned,  and we now know who to yell at if we don't like a feature in the next version of are not going to totally ditch the GUI yet are you :)



  • I had heard this news about you a couple weeks ago, but this confirms it.  It's going to be sad to see you go, as this blog was not just a magnificent place to discuss and learn about the technology in AD, but it was also steeped in your personality.

    However, I know Jonathan and Mike are going to do a great job of taking over ownership here, and I'll still be an active reader and commenter and I'll still be looking forward to every new post from them, just as I looked forward to yours.

  • Well played sir, well played. :)

    Have fun Ned, maybe I will catch you out there f2f sometime for an MVP Summit if I can ever get my butt out there again myself. In the meanwhile go find deanwe and tell him to buy you a beer and put it on my tab for the times you have helped me out. I'm good for it and he probably owes me anyway. ;)


    p.s. Don't forget your towel.

  • Thanks guys, that definitely takes the edge off. :) I had not seen that GIF, it definitely brought back some memories.

    Hell, Joe, I am still in arrears with you for a decade of joeware tools; you don't owe me squat. :)

  • Ned, thanks for putting so much of your time and energy into taking nigh-impenentrable techno-babble and turning it into consumable goo.  That's no easy under-taking.  

    Don't forget to pack your towel, toothbrush, babel fish and electronic thumb.

  • One of the best posts I've ever read:

    "Accelerating Your IT Career"  -

    Thanks Ned, good luck!

  • Congrats on the promotion and I beleive that your co-workers will continue in your steps on this blog. Your post helped me a lot and I often shared them to others. And yes, you will be missed even by us foreigners. ;)

    Best of luck!

  • Sad to see you leave the #1 AD blog, and thanks for all the time you have spent on creating the Mail Sacks, answering emails and all the great posts. I hope Jonathan and Mike will follow the excellent trend you've made in this blog.

    Good luck in your new job!

    PS! Both dogs have your eyes. There aren't anything genetic?  

  • Sorry to see you go, Ned. Do come back and let us know if you start blogging somewhere else. Good luck!

  • Thanks for all the great posts Ned. Wish you all the best in the future.

  • Thanks for all your great writing Ned ! you made my reading times fun :) thanks again and good luck !!

  • Congrats Ned and good luck!!!

    As a side note, my dreams of getting destroyed in a DS interview "again" by you are over =-]

  • Congratulations and best wishes on your new role!

  • Congrats and thanks for all those great AD stuff !

  • Congratulations Ned and good luck in the new role. ASKDS is one of the best AD sources of information in my opinion, mostly all because of your hard work. Keep blogging :)