Brisbane wunderkind wooed to Microsoft HQ
A 27 year old Developer Productivity Specialist from TechnologyOne has been headhunted to work at the global Microsoft headquarters in the United States due to his in-depth knowledge of the software giant's Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) - a development his current employer believes demonstrates the calibre of Australian software developers.
In keeping with techie tradition, William bypassed university and went straight into the industry - neither Bill Gates nor Apple's Steve Jobs finished university and Tom Anderson, co-founder of MySpace, didn't even finish high school.
In just three years at TechnologyOne, William has written his first book, been involved in the company-wide implementation of a new way of building and deploying software and become a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) in recognition of his contributions to the Microsoft VSTS community.
The next stage of his journey will see him working on the tools Microsoft developers need to build the ubiquitous software which will be used by practically every one of the hundreds of millions of people who have access to computers across the globe.
William's relationship with the world's most powerful technology company started when he volunteered to proofread technical publications and he began to network with current and former Microsoft employees through online communities.
Upon joining TechnologyOne in 2006, William guided the implementation of VSTS across the organisation. His experience uncovered many of the hurdles people might experience with the system and, having no reference book to turn to, he decided to write his own.
In January his book; Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build, which he co-authored with Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi, became the first to provide detailed information on how to customise and extend the software build and deployment processes used by VSTS.
Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, personally signed a copy in April when William attended the Microsoft MVP conference in Seattle and the book has been well received across the world, gaining 11 five-star reviews on amazon.com.
TechnologyOne's focus on employee development means William's bosses have been supportive of his journey, encouraging him to maintain the international networks through online software development communities.
TechnologyOne has given him time off to attend and present at Microsoft user groups in Sydney and at the Gold Coast, and has paid for him to visit the Microsoft headquarters twice in the past two years.
This has enabled William to work with Microsoft developers to offer advice and insights into how Microsoft VSTS can be further developed and improved.
"We look for the most talented and passionate people and encourage them to build networks and be ambitious, so it is inevitable they will attract the attention of other companies," Mr Di Marco said.
"But TechnologyOne's relationship with William doesn't end here; we build our software using the Microsoft .NET Framework and collaborate closely with the US company, as well as competing with them in the enterprise software environment.
"There is also a growing global software development industry and community, of which many of our employees, along with William, are active members. We'll follow his progress with interest through these networks and are looking forward to finding ways we can work with him in the future."
If William decides to return to family, friends and the lifestyle of Australia, TechnologyOne will be ready to welcome him back with a position that will capitalise on his global expertise.
William is equally passionate about maintaining his networks and already has his sights set on a second book.