Working on the Open XML campaign was an amazing experience. I joined Microsoft in late 2005, thinking I was going to work as a SharePoint technical evangelist, but in my first month I found myself thrust into a role I never knew existed before, which had nothing to do with SharePoint and everything to do with international standards development.
My job became more about politics than software development, and I traveled the world with lawyers for the next two and a half years. When the dust settled in the summer of 2008, I had been to 28 countries as a technical representative to various standards working groups, and Ecma Office Open XML had become an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 29500.
Along the way, I made many friends – and a few enemies – all over the world. Some of my experiences seem unreal in hindsight, such as watching Stephen Colbert from a hotel room in India late one night and calling my wife to say "quick, turn on Colbert, he's making fun of ME!"
I took the time that summer to write up my Open XML journey and create a book of photos and stories. I had 20 or 30 color copies printed, and passed them out to selected friends and colleagues, as mementoes of our wild ride together. Here's a link to a PDF of the entire book – 86 pages of Open XML memories. What a trip!