Kirk Evans is a Microsoft Architect for the Azure Center of Excellence.
Introduction to SharePoint and Azure IaaS
Building SharePoint Apps with Windows Azure Platform as a Service
SharePoint Solutions and Architectures on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services
Understanding Authentication and Permissions with Apps for SharePoint and Office
For the past 7 years, I worked in Developer Platform Evangelism to talk to customers about the latest and greatest technologies that Microsoft would soon be releasing, and worked to gain early adopters of the technologies. This was a very fun job, but I desired a change. This past July, I joined the Premier Field Engineering team as a Dedicated Support Engineer.
When I first learned of the position opening, I though, “ugh, no way am I doing support. Sounds like I will be working nights and weekends.” The Dedicated Support Engineer position is not like that. Instead, you proactively work with customers to evaluate their current environment and make recommendations to improve the health of their environment. I work an average of 40 hours per week, mostly from home, and I very rarely travel. This is typical across the board for the other DSEs that I work with.
My technology focus is SharePoint, particularly development, so I work with my customer to improve the way they develop custom solutions for SharePoint, and find ways to create solutions that help to improve the health of their environment. I’ll admit, there are a ton of areas of SharePoint that I don’t know. Here’s the secret: you aren’t expected to know every tiny detail about every corner of SharePoint in this role. You need to find the people on your team that can augment your skills to better assist your customer. When I run into an area that is unfamiliar (believe me, there are plenty), I reach out to my team for help. Between us, someone usually has the answer.
There are DSEs for different technology areas, such as SQL, Exchange, OCS, SCCM, Platforms, and even general .NET development. Some of the DSEs are more focused on networking and platforms issues and don’t know a lick about programming, and others have deep experience in programming but don’t necessarily focus on the infrastructure side of things.
Simply put, this is an incredible opportunity to deeply learn a technology that you are interested in, with plenty of on-the-job training opportunities to enhance your skill set. Coming into this role, I knew a lot about general SharePoint development, but I knew little about Active Directory, DNS, and networking. I am far from an expert on these, but I am now much more comfortable with the concepts than I was simply because I am exposed to a new set of concepts. This will help benefit me later, I will be a much more effective architect, developer, director, or whatever path I choose to take because of these new experiences.
Enough about me, now let’s talk about why you’ve read this far. We are hiring. If you are interested, just fill out an online resume on http://careers.microsoft.com, and drop me a note (using the contact form on my blog, http://blogs.msdn.com/kaevans) letting me know you applied. I can make sure the hiring manager knows that you are interested and avoid your resume/CV sitting dormant.
Minneapolis, MN http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=33641
Minneapolis, MN http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36081
Non-Location Specific, Houston Preferred http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=28501
Austin, TX http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=30782
Houston, TX http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36800
Chicago, IL http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36084
Fargo, ND http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36558
Charlotte, NC http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36565
Seattle, WA http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36800
Irvine, CA http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36800
Montvale, NJ http://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=36561
Best of luck!