Tales from my job search: That time I had a children’s show about technology, complete with a puppet friend

by Joey deVilla on March 29, 2017

The original version of my magnum opus job application, which was for a particular job at a particular company, failed in two respects:

  1. It failed to advance me to the next round of their candidate selection process. I got the “We get many quality applicants that we have to turn down, and you’re one of them — good luck in your future endeavors!” email on Friday. This sort of thing happens, and that’s why I posted a generalized version of the application on this blog. I didn’t want all the work I put into it to be for naught simply because it didn’t impress one prospective employer.
  2. It’s pretty big. There’s a lot of stuff in there because I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career, and it makes for a lot of reading.

There’s not much I can do about the first failure, but there is something I can do about the second. I’m going to highlight some of the items I featured in the magnum opus job application that may have been lost in its deluge of information, starting with this one…

Developer Jr., my short-lived children’s technology show

Back in 2010, when I was a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft, Kelly Bateman and Andy Walker approached me with hosting an web show jointly created by Microsoft Canada and the video tech tutorial site Butterscotch.com (a branch of Tucows). It was called Developer Jr., and it would show its young viewership — around the ages of 8 through 14 — how to make the most of everyday technology. Kelly managed to get funding for two episodes from her department, but we were both unable to find some group within Microsoft Canada that could cover the budget for more; nobody within that branch of the organization had a mandate to reach the show’s audience.

When preparing the show, we shot some test footage with a number of human co-hosts until someone suggested that we get puppeteer Brian Hogg to create a co-star just for the show. That’s how my co-host, Junior, was born.

Here’s the first episode, in which Junior and I walk the audience through building a simple game using the Windows/Xbox 360 game development system, Kodu. To this day, I still get emails from people who see the video and want to know more about Kodu:

In the second episode, Junior and I show our audience how to make their own movies, complete with closing credits, using Windows Movie Maker:

We also shot a couple of promo videos, such as this one where Junior and I are interviewed by Developer Jr.’s co-producer and director Matt Harris

…and this quick teaser promo with Junior and me:

Why you should hire me

If your organization needs someone with technical skills who can also communicate with a wide range of audiences — even to kids, with the assistance of a puppet c0-host — you may be interested to know that I’m available and looking for work.

If you’re looking for someone with desktop, web, mobile, and IoT development skills who can also communicate to technical and non-technical audiences, or a marketer or evangelist who also has a technology background and can code, you should talk to me.

If you’d like to learn more, you can:

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