Adios Avanade!

Well it has been an interesting and decidedly bumpy ride. Earlier today, I stopped working for Avanade Managed Services (or UCCMS – or whatever fucking acronym they’ll call it next week). I gave an entire month’s notice because I wanted the extra paycheque.

A little over three years ago, my chummer (and former colleague) B. helped me join Azaleos. I was about to get hit by a bus during performance review on the Microsoft SharePoint PSS team. Joining Azaleos was how I dodged that bullet.

Azaleos was a small but growing company that provided managed services for Microsoft technologies. Since they had expanded into SharePoint and Lync, they needed a SQL Server expert. So for a time, I was a big fish in a medium pond. I developed a ton of training videos and gave lots of live talks and demonstrations – I loved that part of the job.

Avanade – a giant British consulting company created by Microsoft and Accenture – bought Azaleos. Cue the drums of doom… But there was some really good people in Azaleos and we all worked well together. However; between Accenture and Avanade, things deteriorated. They wanted bigger contracts and allowed the smaller contracts from Azaleos atrophy.

People began leaving but the management chain refused to pay attention. That only accelerated the attrition rate. When B. told me that he was leaving, I knew it had gone too far. The writing was on the wall. As it turned out, two other major gurus also announced their departure. With my own announcement, that made four subject matter experts leaving in as many weeks.

Management noticed then. But it was far too late. They’re screwed and more people have left since and more are still planning to leave. Avanade has made their bed and now they have to lay in it.

I’ll end this now. There is no need to turn this into a 20,000 word bitch-fest. I hope that the good people still there can escape as well. They deserve far better than Avanade.

Saying Good-bye To Microsoft

Next Tuesday, the 28th, will be my final day as a “blue badge” employee of Microsoft. Although it would have been nice to stick around until May and have my 5th anniversary; an exciting new opportunity has presented itself.

I owe a great debt of thanks to every Escalation Engineer in Developer Support Database. I learned at least one thing from each of them. My deepest appreciation is extended to Bob Ward, Bob Dorr, Keith Elmore, Suresh Kandoth and Joseph Pilov for the triages, tools, training and mentoring that they provided. You can also learn from “The Bobs” and Suresh (and others) from the CSS SQL Server Engineers blog.

Starting in March, I will begin working for Azaleos. This will ultimately mean moving from Texas to Washington; which is great, because I love the Pacific Northwest.

My experience with both SQL Server and SharePoint will help Azaleos customers ensure that the correct hardware and configuration choices are made. I’ll also be helping solve some of the occasionally nasty performance problems that can arise in SQL Server when hosting SharePoint databases.

This is going to be an exciting change. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

SharePoint and SQL Server’s Error 8628

This morning I posted my first blog post on the SharePoint Escalation Team MSDN blog.

This explains the reason behind SQL Server’s query compile timeout error and how SharePoint can cause it to happen. I include some DMV queries that you can use to see if you are at risk for hitting this error.

If you have further questions about this problem, please contact me at and I will advise you on the best course of action. You’ll likely need to open a support case if your question involves deep troubleshooting.