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Joining Microsoft as a Cloud Developer Advocate

Monday, July 24, 2017

Today, I begin a new chapter in my career as a Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft.

I'll be joining a new and rapidly growing group of advocates led by Jeff Sandquist (there has been a constant stream of announcements like this one recently). I'll be on Scott Cate's team; our focus is on helping .NET developers get the most out of Azure.

Cloud Advocacy Photo of the sweet lights in Bryan Liston's office (used with permission)

Cloud Developer Advocacy

A large part of our team's mission is to engage with developer communities of all technologies and make Azure the best cloud to build and run their applications. We want developers to keep using the languages, frameworks, and tools they already love; we will help them sprinkle on pieces of Azure that make sense.

We will focus on producing useful content with a broad reach: documentation (lots of documentation), blog posts, videos on YouTube and Channel 9, sample applications, presentations, demos, and more. We'll also be at conferences and other developer community events. We'll use these opportunities to learn about what devs are up to and how Azure can help.

We will look for common pain points and scenarios that Azure doesn't support well and work with product teams to get them addressed. Sometimes we'll build tools or libraries if they can fill a need.

By creating these feedback loops between developers, ourselves, and the product teams, we'll be able to make incremental improvements to Azure and make it the best cloud for any developer.

How did I get here?

It all began at Build this year. I was hanging out at the Azure Container Service booth with Ralph Squillace when Shayne Boyer approached me. He then introduced me to Scott Cate and Bryan Liston, who are Principal Cloud Advocates on the team. We talked about their vision for cloud advocacy in Azure and how I might be a fit with my background.

Fast forward 10 weeks... I'm getting my blue badge today. Thank you, Shayne, for finding me that day. I wouldn't have made it here without you!

What does this mean for me?

I've been passionate about Azure for several years now, and I enjoy helping developers discover and get the most out of Azure. I do that by blogging, speaking, and going to and organizing community events such as meetups and hackathons. I've made small contributions to various Azure open source repos, and I've provided feedback to a few product groups.

So far this has been on my own time during evenings and weekends. Now I will be able to do all of these things that I love (and more) as my day job!

I'm joining a team of superstars. It is full of people I've admired and learned from for a long time. As someone who's relatively new to developer advocacy, it's a dream come true to be working alongside everyone on this team. After shaking off the initial impostor syndrome, I look forward to learning a ton from this group and becoming pretty awesome myself.

Joining Microsoft means I will no longer be a Microsoft MVP. As an MVP, I prided myself on being independent: I only recommended products and features that I would use myself, and provided constructive feedback to product teams where I felt things fell short. I expect that I will continue to do this. The main difference is I'll have a bigger platform to share the good stuff, and I can directly effect change where improvement is needed.

I'll miss being a part of the MVP program, but will keep in touch via the new MVP Reconnect program. I'll also be leaning on my fellow MVPs to help our team accomplish our goals.

We're a global team with only a handful of members in Redmond; the rest of us are remote. I'll be staying in Vancouver. I hope to stay involved with the Vancouver tech community, including continuing to help out with the Vancouver Azure Meetup.

I'm totally stoked to get started. Let's do this!