Get To Know Our Team: Tyler – Technical Program Manager (Commerce & Subscriptions)


Get To Know Our Team
Technical Program Manager (Commerce & Subscriptions)

Hi, everyone! Wynn here again. Welcome back to another Xbox Insider Team interview. Today we’re sitting down with Tyler—a Technical Program Manager who focuses on the commerce and subscriptions side of the business. How’re we doing today, Tyler?

Feeling great, Wynn. Excited to chat with our Xbox Insider Community.

Fantastic. Let’s start by giving everyone a little background on yourself.

Diving right in, eh? Okay. So, I’m a little bit the “typical” Seattle tech guy. Completely native to the area, raised right here with Microsoft always in the backyard so I’ve always been impressed/inspired by the company.

So, Microsoft—even before your employment—has been a pretty big constant.

Yeah, it comes with the territory a little. My whole life has always been in Seattle. My wife and I are raising our daughter here, my entire family is here, and so it’s always seemed like a natural fit for my circumstances.

When did you end up starting?

It would’ve been back in early 2007. I got brought on in the Customer Support org for Windows and Office. I spent a few years there before moving to work in CS for Xbox.

Ah, another longtime Xbox worker on the team.

Kind of? Haha. I actually had a few different stops along the way. I went back to Windows for a bit, then dabbled with Inside Sales, before going back to Xbox Support in 2019 and then, finally, Xbox Insider Team in 2021.

Oh, wow! I’m actually previous Inside Sales as well. Spent three years in the Fargonian tundra selling Azure.

Sales is brutal sometimes man. I knew it wasn’t really for me after my time there.

Agreed on that.

So, you’re a bit of a newer member of Xbox Insider Team, and I know a lot of your work is sort of behind-the-scenes / under-the-hood. Is there anything you’ve worked on that you’re super proud of?

Absolutely! I think the subscription aspect might be interesting to people. Helping launch Game Pass Ultimate was really cool. I’m also proud of our market expansion work, like bringing PC Game Pass to Southeast Asia. It’s incredibly rewarding to see both Game Pass and Insiders grow as a result.

Yeah, that’s excellent. I don’t think anyone’s complaining about more Game Pass.

Is there anything you’re currently working on you can share with us for the 10th Anniversary?

Unfortunately, most of my day to day falls firmly under the “not for public consumption” label. But I am working on some regular Game Pass Ultimate stuff and with things like EA Play and Ubisoft+, which is pretty awesome. You can bet I’m always working to make our experiences better based on what we’re hearing!

I’m sure everyone will love to hear that!

But let’s move out of the realm of work and to some more of your personal interests. What’re some of your fondest gaming memories?

Oh man. There’s so many. I mean, my first console was an NES, and I can still vividly remember opening that with the Super Mario Bros. Duck Hunt combo pack.

Bring back the Zapper! I want to blow a new generation of minds with the paper trick.

It was such a unique concept back then. It’s still wild how that was so popular. After NES, I picked up an SNES and played entirely too much Super Mario Kart. In a weird way, Duck Hunt and Super Mario Kart kind of informed my future tastes because my two favorite genres are shooters and racers. Though I’m definitely more of a sim-racer now.

I just can’t manage sim-racers. I remember playing Gran Turismo 3 A-spec on PS2 and I think I made it like 3 races deep. I gotta have that arcade-y feel. Like, Blur is my favorite racing game ever.

Haha. Totally understand. Man, you just took me back with A-Spec. I played so much of that game on my PS2.

Another game that holds a special place for me is Ocarina of Time. I played through that with my dad and being able to experience that game—from the jump in 3D to just how meticulously it was designed—with him is something I’ll always cherish.

We’ve had a few different “gaming stories with parents” on here and I absolutely love them every time.

Okay, let’s talk music. You grew up in Seattle, so I assume you’ve seen some of the greats?

Oh man. Hah. I’m almost a little embarrassed to admit it, but I was really into rap/hip-hop through most of my formative years. Dr. Dre, Eminem, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, OutKast, stuff like that. I didn’t really get into the alternative scene until after I had graduated college, so I missed all those shows.

Wow. My entire upbringing was around alt music. My dad was heavy into college radio, so he had plenty of deep cuts that weren’t super big. Throwing Muses, Jellyfish, Tripp Shakespeare. Like, everyone knows “Good” by Better Than Ezra, but I had listened to an entire album before that.

Yeah, I missed that whole initial wave. But, now that I’m more into the alternative and indie side of things, I’ve found a ton of great local music around Seattle. Like, my wife and I just recently went to see The Head and the Heart for the millionth time, and they were fantastic.

There we go. That’s your “we liked them before they were cool” band.

Exactly! I still have some Seattle cred.

I’m that way with a few of the mid-to-late 2000s “scene” bands. Like, I have the first piece of merch that Sleeping With Sirens ever sold, signed by the entire band, and then they’re selling out venues and amphitheaters around the world.

All right. I could talk music literally forever. Let’s move on to the golden/silver screens. Is there a show you always have on in the background?

Oh, like Crews? [Note For Reader: Crews is another member of the Xbox Insider Team.]

Haha. That’s exactly who I was thinking about when I drafted this question.

Man, I’ve fully succumbed to the streaming backlog here. I hardly ever re-watch stuff because there’s so much coming out or catching up on. Recently I’ve been enjoying Reacher though.

Big dude solves problems by being the biggest dude, you gotta love it.

Exactly. It’s really well done and close enough to the books. It’s just fun.

Do you have any hobbies outside of the comfort of the home?

Definitely. Skiing is maybe my favorite thing in the world. It’s an almost spiritual experience for me to be out there. Really just being in the mountains is deeply personal to me. Hiking, skiing, camping. Anything out in nature to give me that mental reset.

I like the idea of nature more than I like being outside in it. But I will say, some of my favorite experiences with that sort of thing have always been picturesque views in the mountains.

Oh, you have to see some of the views up here. Just breathtaking.

Well, we’re about out of time here. Any last thoughts for the Community?

Honestly, I know it’s a little cliché, but I just want to thank everyone for what they contribute to the program and for being so invested in making what we all do better. Across all of Xbox, we greatly appreciate it.

Definitely. We’re always happy to hear our Xbox Insiders give their feedback.

Well, it was great chatting with you Tyler.

Likewise! Glad I could make it.

Xbox Insiders, be sure to be on the lookout for more content all throughout February including more interviews from the team, a trip down memory lane, and so much more. All of our 10th Anniversary content can be found on our Hub Page.

Until next time! Wy\nn/

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