It's an exciting day for me

RossI've been involved with open source software for just shy of 15 years now. During that time I've seen open source software become a fundamental part of technology innovation.  It is that technology innovation that has fed me and my family for many years. I like to think I've given back and played a small part in the growth of open source software through my code contributions and my open source strategic consultancy services.  But, today I am presented with an opportunity to give back even more. From today onwards I will be joining Microsoft UK, where I’ll be serving a global role supporting the amazing team at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

MS Open Tech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, was set up to advance Microsoft's investment in openness - including interoperability, open standards and open source. Those of you who know me through my open source work will know just what this means, but for those who don't know me I guess a mini-bio might be in order.

I've held a variety of roles including software development, academic research, university lecturing and strategic consulting to both academic research community (via the OSS Watch service at the University of Oxford) and to the private sector (via OpenDirective, a small consultancy company). In all these roles open source software has been a fundamental part of my work. Through this work I've been able to contribute back to many projects, particularly within the Apache Software Foundation where I currently have the honour of standing on the Board of Directors.

More important than my history and my contributions, however, is what the open source experience has taught me. I can honestly say that I have learned far more from my open source engagements than I have in any other of my activities (including amazing experience such as being vice-captain of a national schoolboy sports team and not unsuccessful band manager). This new role is an opportunity to work in this new mixed IT world of devices and services; and play my part in maximizing Microsoft's investments in openness.

This is the first of many exciting days, I am sure. I look forward to telling you about others in the near future.

Ross Gardler

Microsoft UK (Supporting Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.)