Leaving Microsoft and starting a new Journey

Today is my last working day at Microsoft. For last 6 years, I have had the ideal job which fulfilled my developer appetite. I worked with some of the smartest people in the world and together we developed some of the coolest products. (OneNote on Windows Phone 7 and 8!) After today, I will be shifting my full time focus to KunRuch Creations, a joint venture by me and my wife into the fascinating app world.

Journey so far

It all started when Bill Gates came to India in 2005 and announced a nationwide contest for top student programmers in India: Code4Bill. While the winner of the contest got to work with Bill Gates, rest of the tops got internship and pre-placement offers at Microsoft India. Thankfully I managed to be in rest of the lot who got the chance to do internship (2006) and then to join as Full Time Employee at Microsoft in 2007.

As I started working in my dream company, I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Office on Windows Phone development team. What this meant was that I was one of the lucky few who got to be part of the prestigious Microsoft Office team as well as the glorious and upcoming Windows Phone team. What more could I have asked for to begin my development career with!

6 years later and I am proud to say that I was a part of the development teams for the following products (in chronological order).

  1. Excel on Windows Phone 7
  2. Office Hub on Windows Phone 7
  3. OneNote on Windows Phone 7.5
  4. OneNote on Windows Phone 8

The new journey

Well, my new Journey is not really new and started some 1.5 years back. This parallel journey was made possible by Microsoft’s generosity of allowing an exception in the company’s moonlighting policy and giving developers like me an opportunity to develop for the Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms.

I started making apps as fun side projects and never expected them to become any major success. However, for some reason all the apps I made were well received by users and received 4+ star ratings in almost every part of the world.

(Ratings of my apps in US market)

I tried keeping up with user reviews and feedbacks, responding to user queries, following up with better updates of the apps and doing some marketing while also keeping up with my awesome job. But a point came where I had to take a decision of choosing one between the two and I couldn’t have disappointed close to 1 million users of my apps who keep asking for more and more every day.

The growing market of Windows Phone and Windows Store easily showed me that I can make a career out of app development and make a move to become a full time Appreneur/Entreprenuer.

(Downloads on Windows Phone)

Next steps

I may have quit working at Microsoft, but my love for Microsoft technologies continues. I will keep on working primarily with Microsoft Technologies and will keep my focus on Windows Phone and Windows 8 app markets in near future. I hope to grow my apps from small hobby projects towards more quality products offering more fun, entertainment, usefulness and connectivity with social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I will also finally get a chance to realize some of my unfinished app ideas and more time to tinker around with some of the new technologies.

Hopefully, I will also get some time to blog about my experience and share some of my marketing and monetization strategies. A big thanks to all my colleagues at Microsoft for their motivation, support and wisdom!