This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.
That’s half-a-versary as in the celebration of something that took place half a year ago. It’s been half a year since I joined this organization:
…and I have to tell you, it’s been quite good.
The two things I value most about my job as Developer Evangelist for The Empire are the freedom and the ability to make a splash. The only working situation where I’ve had even more freedom and control of my destiny was back in the late 1990s at a consultancy that was just me and one other guy, and I’ve never had the reach nor the opportunities that I now enjoy as a Sith Lord.
As a mobile worker, they cover my transportation costs too.
They’ve been pretty cool with my wacky ideas, from my re-appropriation of their image as “The Empire” to the stunt at Richard Stallman’s GNU auction at CUSEC to starting Coffee and Code, a weekly happening that most companies might dismiss as an attempt to loaf on company time.
I’ve been free to inject my offbeat, earthy sense of humour into my work, from celebrating InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer 8 to the time I made Bob Muglia – then a Senior VP, now President of the Server and Tools division — run away from me at a Los Angeles rooftop party when I serenaded him on accordion with a song about InPrivate Browsing, sung to the tune of Tina Turner’s Private Dancer:
I’m your private browser
A browser for po-orn
One-handed surfing for you…
And maybe, just maybe, I’ve either helped a software developer get some piece of information or consider using some Microsoft tool or technology. Maybe.
I’ve enjoyed my return to using Microsoft tools and tech, and there sure is plenty of that! It may take me another six months just to be able to say I’ve done a reasonable review of the stuff that I’m supposed to specialize in – the web and mobile spheres — and that’s just a piece of a much larger pie.
I relish the challenges of being an evangelist for The Empire. It’s easy to fling poop at Microsoft, and there are cases where the poop-flinging is warranted. It’s often harder to see that Microsoft is also behind some solid tech that drives our industry and is undergoing an interesting “sea change” in both its tech and its approach.
And most importantly, I enjoy the opportunities to make connections with people, both inside and outside Microsoft, from the students I met at CUSEC to developers I’ve met a various conferences and gatherings to my manager John Oxley and VP Mark Relph and especially with the Developer Evangelism team to which I belong, from:
- Christian Beauclair (who, if we were the A-Team, would make an excellent Hannibal) to
- Qixing Zheng (Face) to
- John Bristowe (oh yeah, dude, you are soooo B.A. Baracus)
…I’m very honoured to be “Howling Mad Murdock” for this A-Team.