Journey of an Autistic Insider

Windows Insiders, Microsoft fans, geeks and users around the world,

I’m Callum Moffat, an Autistic teenager and avid Windows Insider. From my home in New Zealand’s Central Plateau, I’m trying to make the world a better place. I’m a self-proclaimed incurable know-it-all, currently in my second-to-last year at college (high school to all you Americans). In my spare time, I participate in the Windows Insider Program, and create awesome apps for Windows 10.

In terms of participation as a Windows Insider, I focus my feedback on pretty much any area I can find an excuse to use. I’ve been on the Fast ring since its creation, and consider any time not on preview builds wasted. My eventual goal is to work at Microsoft, as a member of the awesome WDG team.

I think the Insider Program is the best thing that ever happened to me (and indeed to many people, and even Microsoft itself). Anybody can literally shape the future of the world’s most popular desktop operating system – which is truly awe-inspiring! With the advent of Winsiders4Good, an initiative dedicated to making the world a better place, it is my firm belief that everybody should give the program a try.

To get an idea of why I’m such a firm believer in what Dona and the team are doing, let’s turn back time to September 30th 2014. Terry Myerson had just announced Windows 10, and more importantly, the fact that for the first time, users would be able to help develop Windows alongside Microsoft. I was in my first year at college (high school) at the time. My interest in computers was fading, and I had all but given up coding. I decided to install the Technical Preview in a virtual machine…

Build 9841: Return of the Geek

Within two days of installing build 9841, I was hooked. I installed it to a VHD, and finally, on bare metal. I never once looked back. I found myself submitting feedback at ever-increasing intervals, and eventually, joining Twitter to nagging Gabriel Aul for new builds. I campaigned for a faster Fast ring, and quickly began making friends (which, by the way, is not something I consider one of my strengths). In mid-2015, I decided to pick up coding once more. By the end of September, I released my first UWP application. I was hooked. What had begun as simply sating my curiosity had become a mission (some might even call it an obsession).

The Journey

As a Windows Insider, I’ve watched Windows 10 go from being near-identical to Windows 8.1 to one of the greatest triumphs in Microsoft history. In one year, Windows 10 gained over 300 million users. It also acquired a bevy of new features and enhancements, bringing it from ‘good’ to ‘great’. The WSL, Windows Ink Workspace, and many others have changed the way I use my computer.

Even more exciting, I’ve watched the Insider Program progress from being a mere beta program to a community of like-minded people, working to make the world a better place. When the program began, my life-long fascination with computers was close to disappearing. Two years later, it’s never been stronger.

 

I would recommend the Windows Insider Program to anybody with an interest in making the world a better place. In the near future, I’ll be making blog posts about enhancements to development workflows (one of my main workflows).

 

Thanks,

CJ

25 thoughts on “Journey of an Autistic Insider

  1. Fans and enthusiasts such as yourself have made the Windows Insider program what it is today. Your insatiable curiosity, appetite to help, and the desire to make a real impact will not only help make Windows better for everyone around the globe, but will push you to leave an indelible mark on everything you put your mind to and lay your hands upon.

    My unending thanks to you and to every Insider that helps make this program successful each and every day!

  2. Callum, it has been a pleasure working with you as part of the Windows Insider program. You’re a great example of the kind of engagement we should strive for, and it always makes me happy to see how excited you are about new ideas, technology, and making the world a better place! THANK YOU! 🐱‍🏍

  3. What a FANTASTIC post Callum! Thank you for your dedication in testing builds and sending feedback to help us make Windows 10 awesome for all our customers!

  4. Lovely post, Callum! Really is awesome to think of how far we all have come – looking forward to what’s next! 😊

  5. Callum, indeed a great post. Full of the passion and curiosity we tend to feel in the fast ring.
    The program may have started as a big beta program. By now, it has become so much more on so many levels due to the fine people participating with passion. We are defining a kind of openness and collaboration, which is unprecedented in scale. And kindness, cookies and socks (I am looking at you, dear Jen) 😂

    Talking of passion, insert nag for build here 😇

  6. Great post Callum! This journey in the Windows Insider Program has indeed come a long way, and has been very rewarding not only for those in the program, but also for the hundreds of millions of people using Windows 10 and all the great new features dedicated Windows Insiders like yourself provide feedback on. 🙂

  7. Great to hear stories like this from around the world about people who want to make win 10 into the best OS ever. Hats off to MS for giving us all a chance to help make history and make windows better.

  8. Nice man,
    I love your story. I also had a similar one. I started from the beginning on my personal pc and by january I had it installed it on all of our pc’s at home (4). It was a blast and I love doing it still.
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Joe (W10FG)

  9. Tēnā koe e hoa Callum
    (Greetings, Hello to you friend)

    Well meatia ki koe “- ko koe i te Inspiration ki ētahi atu e whawhai hauātanga
    (I want to say “Well Done to You” – You are an Inspiration to others who fight disability)

    hiahia ahau ki a koutou nga angitu i roto i to outou mau tautooraa
    (I wish you every success in your endevours)
    Tangohia tiaki
    (Take care)

    CubbySnr 🙂

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