We are right now in the exciting and overwhelming process of moving our family from Seattle, Washington to Tokyo, Japan.
A few months ago, Katsura Ito who leads Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) at Microsoft in Japan reached out to see if I would be interested in joining her team. She said she had a role I could interview for if I was interested, but also warned me it would be challenging for me to get the job and also work in the Japanese environment. Wow, what a decision to make. Is now the right time? Is this the right role? Can I be successful in Japan?
Some of those questions will remain to be answered, but after a few days of discussion with my wife Aya, we decided to give it a shot. After a few weeks of interviews by phone, I was offered the job of Technical Evangelism Manager for the Cloud Evangelism Team.
Family in Japan
On a personal side, my family will have a chance to spend some time living in Japan. My wife grew up in Sapporo, Japan but has been in the US for over a decade. This is an opportunity for her to be back in her home country and also share more deeply with myself and our children her cultural background.
My older daughter was worried about leaving her boyfriend behind until she learned that they can still meet in Minecraft which is 95% of their relationship anyway. My son wanted to make sure our Xbox still works and he was good to go. My youngest daughter just thinks its cool and can't wait to get there.
For me, I'm excited to learn Japanese. Since I've met my wife's family who do not speak much English, I have never had the chance to have a full conversation without my wife or her Aunt translating. So I also am excited to emerse myself in the Japanese language and get fluent enough to have a direct conversation with my father-in-law, mother-in-law and the rest of Aya's family.
Joining a great team
I'm really excited to join a termendous team of Technical Evangelists in Japan. Over the past few years, I've had a chance to watch many of the great things they've accomplished through their technical depth, leadership in the developer community and creative approaches to evangelizing Microsoft's technology.
Obviously it will be a challenge for me to integrate into a Japanese team. The business environment is very different in Japan so my first few months will just be understanding. My goal is that I can find ways to enable the people on our extended team inside and outside Microsoft to accomplish their personal goals while we make an even bigger impact in the Japanese developer community.
The next few months
We are packing up our stuff, putting our house on the market, selling cars and furniture. It's a lot to think about. We'are also looking for a place to live in Japan and finding good schools for the kids. I'm also awaiting my visa to work and live in Japan.
Our hope is to be in Japan by the end of May if everything goes well.