It's not a state secret that we're in the early stages of development for the next version of Windows (given the internal name of Windows '7'). The specifics of what comes next are always the subject of fevered and sometimes inaccurate speculation, but you can be sure that we're not resting on our laurels. Windows is one of the most complex and sophisticated pieces of software in existence, and since it's about the most widely-used piece of software on the planet, it's a pretty exciting project to be working on.
I've got a once-in-a-lifetime open position on my team that I'm currently trying to fill - a Technical Evangelist for the next Windows client release. In fact, the Technical Evangelist at this point in time. This is an extremely challenging, high-profile senior role, with tremendous reach and influence across the organization. Not only will you be the first to see what's coming down the pipeline, but you'll actually have an influence in setting the agenda for Windows development. This isn't just any software gig - it's one of those career-defining roles that puts you at the heart of the software revolution. In years to come, you'll be able to look back with pride and say, "I was part of that".
There's of course a high bar to entry: not many people have the breadth or depth of skills needed to be successful in this role. We're looking for someone who is an all-rounder; someone with personality and charisma, someone who is deeply technical, but also able to see the bigger picture and articulate the strategic value of a technology; someone who can play the roles of diplomat, ambassador, analyst, writer, developer, public speaker and visionary all at the same time; someone who displays a blend of curiosity, creativity, passion, optimism and persistence.
For obvious reasons, I'm not able to write anything about what's coming in Windows '7', but you'll hit the ground running from day one. This isn't a 9 to 5 job: it's more of a vocation - you'll work hard not because you've got someone breathing down your neck but because you're passionate about making a difference and you see the impact of your work.
If you're still struggling to grok what an evangelist actually does, I wrote up a few thoughts when I was advertising a previous opening. Although this was written as we were hiring a WPF/Silverlight evangelist, the generalities still apply.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Windows '7' role, check out the formal job description on the Microsoft Careers web site. You can submit a resume online, and/or reach me via the "email" link at the top of my blog.
Update: for the sake of clarity, I should highlight that solid Win32 and .NET development experience is required. You'll be focusing on Windows as a developer platform, which means understanding the APIs as well as the high-level functionality.
I agree with Brandon. I'd like to see MS consider someone without a development background and with some experience making sure that Windows 7 performs the way it should. Clearly Vista was released without much regard for what people really notice in an OS - performance. Sure the semi-transparent borders are interesting but after 5 years of development I would hope that an OS offers other gains. Hardware has advanced a great deal in the last 5 years, the OS should significantly outperform the old OS in every aspect on the new hardware as it should take advantage of the 64 bit path, it should take advantage of better hard drive caching, it should take advantage of the advanced functions of video cards - not require them just to perform almost as well as the previous OS on old equipment.
Hopefully MS will reconsider this position and make it more for someone who really wants to improve the user experience and not someone who has to care about how to fix the issue. MS didn't listen to users last time - I informed MS about the sluggish performance immediately during my testing of Vista and they ignored it - claiming the fault wasn't with Vista.
I'd like to second some of what Brandon has said. I would rather have MS spend more time listening to people who actually use MS products and actually champion fixing the things - passing it on to people who are more skilled technically than in interpersonal skills. I think MS has enough developers - just not anyone actually looking at what needs to be fixed.
Oh, stop your belly aching about how vista is so much worse than XP. Look at how bad XP was until SP2. I know it has bugs, but hopefully MS will fix them in SP1
If Microsoft wants to compete, then they need to get out of their own way. I think that an above post said it best: they need a NON-DEVELOPER to be the evangelist. Yes, it would be great if W7 core kernel took up less that 50MB out of the box. Yes, it would be great if the system became a "Just in Time" system (JIT), where it installed what was needed only when it was needed. But that's only the start. Truly getting the user experience is a HUGE aspect of being able to compete. Focusing on a core that better enables and integrates the web will be critical. If they don’t, then the next decade will see Google dominate. I’m hoping MSFT figures it out, but I’m not betting on it…
Is the opportunity AGE biased? Is the opportunity NATIONALITY biased? Aussies usually have a wider encompassing focus of the end user (even as geeks) and we do get on with practically everyone.
Yes, I am. I'm working for RedHat.
I realize that many think the job of Evangelist should go to someone without a developers skill set. I disagree because the evangelist will have to work with and understand the product. This is a role that initially is best suited to a developer.