Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The different paths to Becoming... a Technical Evangelist

Secret Microsoft Communications - How to become a technical evangelist

"This is an important job for many companies and Alice has written a great blog on how to become one, make sure see it at:

Becoming a technical evangelist

That is how Alice Pang became a technical evangelist. My road was completely different, as yours will be.

Many companies need people to explain how their technology works, and not have a sales metric. Sales people are the respected soldiers of the corporate world, focused, with a good work ethic, but once the sales is made, the relationship changes. With Evangelism, you don’t aren’t attached to commission, or a salary and commission.

What I like about evangelist is that I can build relationships and community.


Adventures of a Technical Evangelist in Southern California - Becoming a technical evangelist

"Note: This was my first Toastmasters (icebreaker) speech, because I was asked to give my job title prior to delivering the speech and decided to give a 5-minute answer to the inevitable question.

The first question most people ask me when I tell them what I do at Microsoft is, “What is a Developer Evangelist?” Often I get, “Is it a religious position?” (The answer is no.) To be honest, I had no clue such a position even existed before I started looking for my first job out of school. I didn’t grow up telling myself I wanted to become a Developer Evangelist; but when I think back to what I wanted to be when I grew up, I realized that perhaps I did want to be a technical evangelist all along.


But really, I am all of these things. I’m a performer, because I often stand in front of large audiences (sometimes on a stage) and deliver presentations. I’m a reporter, because I bring the news of the most exciting technology to people via various forms of media (videos, live stream, Twitter, articles, etc.). I’m a teacher, because I show people how to develop on our platforms at 1st party, 3rd party, and community events. I’m a networker, because I travel around and connect with influential people in order to spread excitement for our technology. And, of course, I’m an engineer, because I write code for my demos and build things (that thankfully work better than my robot did!).

I can’t say that I went out looking for a role that fit exactly everything I wanted to be; I guess I just got lucky after completing a number of software internships that gave me good experience in preparing for this role. (For example, as an intern at Microsoft, I learned about all the cool technology built by various product teams. And while interning at Nokia Research Center in Beijing, I began the summer fixing bugs in phone apps but got the opportunity to present the apps to executives from around the world during the 2008 Olympics, because I could speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese.) After finding the Developer Evangelist role, I’m optimistic that there really is the perfect job out there for everyone; you may just find it under a different name.


I'm thinking that when I grow up I might want to be technical/dev evangelist of some kind... maybe... or a space pioneer... or in FBI... or a specialty (science Fiction/Fantasy of course) bookstore owner... or... or... :P

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