Hi there. My name is Michael P. Calligaro, and I live in the Seattle area with my wife and son. For my day job, I've worked at Microsoft as a software developer since 1992, most of that time in what is now the Windows Phone group. (I did try working in the Desktop Windows group once, but I ran away screaming after two weeks....)
Software engineering is one of those amazing fields where they pay you to do something that's so much fun, you'd do it as a hobby. And, in fact, one of my hobbies is writing apps for my phone. The first rule of being "successful" as a creator is to not chase after other people's success, but instead to create the things you want. As such, I write apps that I want to use, not necessarily apps that will sell well. (The second rule of creation is not to measure "success" in dollars earned :-) Writing iPhone or Android apps would be against my religion, but if you've got a Windows Phone 7 device and your tastes are similar to mine, you may find something you like. Taking that second rule to heart, I don't charge much for the apps.
Also in the "don't measure success in dollars" vein, another of my hobbies has been writing science fiction. There was never any risk of me quitting my day job to write full time, but I have written five novels and around thirty short stories. A while back I became disillusioned with the publishing world and stopped publishing them. But we're now getting to a point where, with ebooks, writers can focus more on the writing than the politicking. So I've started to dust off some of my stories and put them out on the Kindle Store.
Lest you think I spent all of my time in front of a computer, my son and I do a lot of skateboarding in the summer time. There are a number of skateparks in the area, and we hit them all. The kids at these parks, seeing an old man strapping on multiple layers of pads over really intense knee and ankle braces, don't know what to make of me. Half of them are probably thinking, "Doesn't this guy know that helmets are uncool, even if they do cover up gray hair?" The other half though, come up and say, "Dude! I wish my dad would skate with me." The kids, especially my son, skate circles around me, but I hold my own. Don't ever let people tell you you're too old.
Skateboarding is cool, but what we really enjoy is snowboarding. We're on the slopes every weekend there's snow. Now, you might be saying to yourself, "That's great. You get out into the real world instead of wasting your time with stupid video games," but, literally, we got into skateboarding and snowboarding as a result of playing video games. We decided to try snowboarding because we really enjoyed a snowboarding game we played on xbox, and we did skateboarding first because it was a cheaper way to get our feet wet with board sports. There's nothing wrong with video games if you balance them with other activities.
That said, I play a lot of xbox too. (If I don't kill the zombies, who will?)
Thank you for visiting,
Copyright Michael P. Calligaro