Today is the first in a series of posts in which we hope to give you, the viewer, an insight in to what the day to day life is like for an ADC at Microsoft. First up, Ryan Simpson.

1. Hello Ryan, who are you?
    Ryan Simpson. Gamer Tag Rioni.

2. Have you always worked in the ADC Team?
    I’ve been in the ADC team for about 3.5 years – before that I was a Sql Field Engineer, before that I was a Sql Developer.

3. What sort of technologies do you use as an ADC?
    Most recently – SSDS, Sql, AS, SSIS, BizTalk, WCF, C#, F#, Linq

4. What do you enjoy about working at Microsoft?
    You’re surrounded by talented and enthusiastic people with a real drive for all aspects of technology – both MS people and customers. This environment is infectious and leads to a great opportunity to deliver your best game.

5. How do you keep skills up to date with the latest technologies?
    I look at ‘Up to Date’ as being relative to what my customers are doing, what business direction they’re taking, and what I’m generally interested in. I then use RSS feeds, channel9 and some regular blogs and samples to guide my research and enrich that by engaging both my customers and people within MS. The key aim is to deliver what my customers and team need rather than a splatter gun approach of ‘latest and most fashionable’.

6. What software do you use as part of your role?
    Usual – VS 2008, reflector, Sql Management Studio, OneNote and more recently – web service studio.

7. How would you describe a typical day as an ADC?
    Intense. The role is a white knuckle ride of dizzying heights and perilously in-depth lows – in the space of the day you can be running high in the sky with an Architecture design session then diving deep into a specific API or protocol. Mix that with then with helping customers, and their customers with reactive issues, whilst bookmarking topics for presentations both internally and externally and whilst managing delivery of the right expertise (either from you or another ADC) into your customer, then you should get the idea. Targeting how you use your time is a real challenge in this role, and you have to be aware with many customers that your focus or direction may have to change rapidly.

8. What’s your technology of the moment?
    I’m really enjoying Sql Server Data Services – it’s a very simple technology to work with that provides an interesting way of thinking about the services and subsequent data modelling in a distributed environment. I’m also looking at Hierarchies in Sql 2008 and having been looking at the benefits of the HierarhyId data type.

9. What’s your best and worst moment as an ADC?
   There have been a lot of very good moments – the most recent being the participation of a very successful PoC. Worst moment was answering the phone during a night out in Seattle and confusing the caller with another ADC I thought was playing a practical joke. Turns out it was one of my customers who happens to have the same first name and was on the UK time of 0900, not the Seattle time of 0100. Fortunately they saw the funny side!

10. Thanks for your time; do you have a closing comment?
      Nothing really – it was good to be reminded of the Seattle phone call – it was also borderline my best moment ;)