Today I start a new role on the Azure Developer Advocate team! If you're not already familiar with developer advocacy check out this awesome post by Ashley McNamara. She does a really great job of describing what a developer advocate and advocacy in general are and aren't. In short advocacy isn't about selling or marketing but rather giving a voice to developers everywhere whether or not they use a company's particular products.

If you don't use Microsoft products (e.g., Azure, VS Code, etc.), that's alright; I still hope to try to represent you and your needs to those inside of Microsoft. I also hope to show developers everywhere that the Microsoft of old is not the Microsoft of late and to work hard to make sure that it stays that way.

So what does this all mean in more concrete terms? How does one actually advocate for developers and for open source? Well, this is a question I expect to be constantly revisiting during my time on the team. I have ideas of what I might want to do, but these will shift in priority and I'll incorporate other ideas the more I learn.

Here are some things I'm hoping to get involved with:

  • Contributing to open source through code and community: In particular I want to focus on the tech community I've been most closely involved with over the past few years: Rust. The Rust community represents what I love about open source software. I want to advocate on their behalf. Of course, I also think Rust also has a huge potential to be useful for cloud computing both at the application layer and below. I want to be involved in helping build that. Which brings me to…
  • Seeing what place Rust can have inside of Azure. For example: what place does it look like to have Firecracker in Azure?
  • Blogging and speaking a lot more: I really enjoy writing and speaking (in general just sharing what I'm excited about with other people). Some of this will probably be at least tangentially related to Azure, but only if I think it will be helpful, interesting, or exciting to people. If there's a conference or meetup you think I should speak at, let me know!
  • Producing other types of media: I love watching YouTube and Twitch streams of live coding. I'm slightly terrified of the idea of doing this myself, but it's something I would love to try out. Beyond that I'd also like to try my hand at podcasting and/or more structured video content.
  • Getting to know more developers in Berlin, Germany, Europe, and the rest of the world: Talking to devs about stuff they're passionate about gets me really excited. My hope is that this role means I'll get to learn from as many talented people as I can meet. I'd also like to take any constructive feedback developers have for Azure or other Microsoft products back to those teams. If you want to share cool stuff with me, don't hesitate to reach out

Overall, I'm looking forward to trying to help make developers lives better, learning new stuff, and meeting new people. Here's to an exciting 2019!