I have some mixed news to report in this letter from the editor. Effective immediately, I have resigned from my former company, Berkeley Software Design, Inc. I wish them the best, of course, but the time has come for me to move on.
And speaking of moving on, I am leaving the UNIX and USENIX communities. I am leaving my position as Head Coach with the USA Computing Olympiad and am stepping down from the editorial position here at ;login: effective with this issue. It has truly been a great pleasure to work with all of you for the past 17 years.
Some of you are no doubt asking what's come over me. I have finally seen the light. I have accepted a position as the Senior Vice President in charge of Research & Development with Microsoft, Inc. I'll be reporting directly to Bill Gates, and be a technical advisor to Microsoft's Board of Directors. I'm in the process of moving to scenic Redmond even as I write this, my final letter from the editor for USENIX. By the time this letter sees print, I should be in Washington state.
Since we've been colleagues for so long, I feel I should share my reasons for this change. First, Microsoft is offering me eighteen times as much money as I currently make with BSDI. It doesn't hurt that Bill Gates has more money than God.
Second, I find that I am basically technically obsolete in the UNIX community. I figure I have another good deacde or two of technical excellence at Microsoft.
Third, and perhaps most important, it really appeals to my sense of irony that I, longtime UNIX compatriot, have the chance to co-opt Microsoft from within its own ranks. As Senior VP in R&D, I have the opportunity to make Windows more like a real operating system, more like UNIX. And as an advisor to the Board of Directors, I have a chance to make some real policy changes in the technological arena.
Long hard talks with Mike Karels (former VP of Engineering at BSDI) and Kirk McKusick have convinced them to join me as we move to what surely will be a healthy economic environment for the long term. I am hoping they can shore up the engineering staff at Microsoft and move things forward toward the Grand Plan even more quickly.
I have really enjoyed this stage of my life and career. Working with such a talented group of individuals at several different companies, attending USENIX-sponsored conferences and even speaking at them, in addition to helping tomorrow's programmers and system administrators with the USA Computing Olympiad has given me more pleasure and joy than I could ever hope to express. But everything comes to an end, no matter how enjoyable, and my time has come to move on.
Have a great April,
Thanks to Josh Simon for his guidance in this career transition.