Time For a Change – Becoming a Microsoft Evangelist

It’s been a great, and crazy, few years working on Silverlight 4 & 5 and being responsible for a handful of XAML feature areas for Metro style apps. I’ve learned a ton of new skills that I know will serve me well in my new role as a Microsoft Evangelist. It was always one of my personal career goals to end up on the evangelist track and to some degree I tried to tailor my career to fit that trajectory. So I’m thrilled that the day has finally come.

Leaving the product team was a tough decision to make. Being able to directly impact a product on a daily basis was a honor, and working with such a talented pool of people was a lot of fun. At some point I plan to write about what life was like on a product team that details the good, the bad and the ugly.

When I started sharing the news to family and friends about my new role as a Microsoft Evangelist I was greeted with the obligatory congratulations which was quickly followed by “a what?”. A coworker of my wife, who is not in the IT field, was even a little offended when my wife shared the news because of it’s highly religious etymology.

“Evangelist”, because of its religious ties, doesn’t do the role justice because it’s not about preaching. I’m not a big fan of the “Technology Advocate” title either but it’s closer to the truth. Also, since the evangelism role differs across companies and even across teams inside the same company the definition changes depending who you ask. However, at the core, I think an evangelist is someone that couples their technical skills with a passion to inspire and enable customers to leverage technology to reach & surpass their goals. As a consequence evangelists get to improve our products based on customer feedback and help customers be successful. Those customers’ wins may also cause a ripple effect by inspiring other companies to apply the same technology to reach their goals.

I’m really excited about my new role and I can’t wait to start meeting customers and making an impact. I’ll be primarily focusing on helping Fortune 500 companies shape their 3 screen strategy by leveraging Metro Apps, WP7 Apps, Xbox/Kinect, and Azure.

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