On May 7th 2007 (a little over a year ago) I posted "I surrender - I am no longer a developer...". The problem I was trying to solve was simple enough. I was trying to be helpful/valuable in too many areas which was leading to problems with work/life balance and limiting my ability to add real value. Hence something had to be dropped and I chose to drop writing code. It has proven to be a decision which significantly helped my work/life balance BUT came at a cost. I am no longer doing the very thing that I loved most about computers - the ability to help people by creating interesting solutions to problems through the clever use of programming languages. Somthing needed to change.
I mentioned in my last post that there has been a lot going on in the last few weeks. One of the reasons for that is a few weeks back I reached a decision that I would return to being a developer - and that to do this would mean a change of role within Microsoft. I am pleased to say that a pretty much perfect role came up as a Developer Evangelist in Microsoft UK. I applied and I was accepted (thankfully there was no "code the solution to this in 5minutes or less" test!). My official start date is July 1st which gives me plenty of time to continue to work with my UK ISV early adopters and to also ensure they get continued help from the UK ISV team in July once I move on (so don't panic if you are one of my ISV that I haven't yet mentioned it to)
I am really excited by the new role, the new challenges and above all the need to fire up Visual Studio on a daily basis again.
Before I forget - I just know you were thinking "what is a developer evangelist?" (or maybe you were just thinking "why am I still reading this post?")
Wikipedia has a stab at defining a technical evangelist and I think this snippet does a decent summary of what the role involves:
"An evangelist promotes the use of a particular product or technology through talks, articles, blogging, user demonstrations, recorded demonstrations, or the creation of sample projects."
With one important addition (for me anyway!)
"A good evangelist does one thing more. They set out to help, not to sell."