For Karthik Bharathy, a Senior Program Manager Lead in the BizTalk product group, this year has been a whirlwind. He co-authored his first book, Getting Started with BizTalk Services. In February, BizTalk Services was released on Microsoft Azure. The book launched in March. And in May, Karthik relocated from India to the U.S. Pretty ambitious.
Karthik has been with the BizTalk product group since the moment when BizTalk Services started, as a set of ideas on the drawing board. He was part of the engineering team that shipped releases of BizTalk Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio.
In his review of the book, Kevin Smith says: “Getting Started with BizTalk Services gives a unique perspective and understanding around BizTalk Services, not only around the product but also how to leverage it in order to successfully deliver real world enterprise systems.” (Kevin is a co-founder of Affinus, a UK-based Microsoft partner. He worked in the BizTalk Server product group for six years.)
I recently spoke with Karthik about his book debut and transition to Redmond. He talked with me about the learning environment at Microsoft, and how the book helps developers and IT administrators hone skills of their own.
Read on to learn why Karthik wrote this book, why he likes the creativity of a PM role, and why BizTalk Services is important for cloud integration.
What’s the book about?
The book is a 101 primer on BizTalk Services. It helps you understand the middleware technology on cloud very fast and help you create integration solutions. If you are a developer or IT administrator and want to get hands-on with BizTalk services, it’s the book to buy.
How did you arrive at Microsoft, and why do you stay?
I started my career as a developer. After three years, I got an MBA from the Indian School of Business. I was recruited into Microsoft as a program manager. I chose the PM role because many aspects of the PM role can be defined by the individual. Most people prefer a crisp definition of a role. I preferred a job that gave me the flexibility to define the role. That flexibility is why I chose Microsoft. I stay because I develop things that people get to see, hear, touch and feel.
Why and how did you move to the U.S.?
I was with the BizTalk team in India for close to four years. After we shipped the product earlier this year, I wanted to invest time in learning other new technologies. I started exploring opportunities outside of the team. Before I changed roles and came to the U.S., I owned the business-to-business technology for BizTalk – this was primarily in the Enterprise space. I wanted to take up an opportunity to work on the consumer side of the business.
A key factor in deciding whether or not to relocate was my family. My spouse and I discussed it, and we agreed it was a good decision. She works in the tech space as well, in product management.
My current and previous managers helped me make the transition smoothly. I also had a lot of friends and colleagues who were already here in Redmond. They helped me get a head start, with things like finding an apartment. I must admit there are few things I am getting accustomed to, such as driving on the right side of the road. With the MS employee onboarding program, I’m getting information on how to get healthcare benefits, enroll in the fitness program, and so on. Microsoft is here to help.
Why is BizTalk the future? Why would someone want to be a part of it?
The middleware space is exciting. Think of our mantra of “cloud first, mobile first” – any service that runs on cloud or mobile needs to talk to another service in the connected world. BizTalk is the glue that makes this happen.
You’re a foodie. Now that you’re in Redmond, what’s for lunch?
I tend to eat a lot of naan with a lot of curry, at the Commons. It’s pretty tasty.
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