The Duke Health Technology Solutions has offered me a full time position and I have decided to accept! This is a marvelous step forward and I'm very excited to join the team. It does mean that I'll have to pass off my current project to another contractor as I'll be shifting my job responsibilities, but I'm confident that the codebase is well commented and clean enough that it should be relatively easy for another software engineer to pick up where I'm leaving off.
It's been a very interesting transition. The work environment here is much different than what I experienced at Microsoft. Here, the expectations and pressures seems to be much more reasonable whereas at Microsoft I would have been in dire straits if I did not work at least 50 hours a week. This could partly be my aptitude, but I think that everyone in the local office worked at least that much so I certainly wasn't alone. At Duke, while there will still be pressures of deadlines and delivery milestones there will be more opportunity to be flexible in the features to be delivered since we can much more easily push out patches and updates. At Microsoft, such augmentations had to happen via service packs or subsequent releases so could be significantly delayed.
I'm confident that this environment is much better suited to my work style, as well as my desired work/life balance. It feels so great to be joining this team, especially because I'm actually excited to come to work and face the challenges presented here!