Would you believe me if I told you that this all started with a conversation on Twitter? There's a lot of noise on social media, but for me it's always been a great tool for professional networking. It's helped me stay connected with my students, keep up with with the people I meet at conferences, discover interesting projects, and now it also got me an interview at Microsoft.
We all see posts, emails, etc about jobs all the time, so what was it about this tweet from Bryan that made me decide to give it a shot?
In Ashley McNamara's post, Why I joined Microsoft, she says "Never turn down an interview". I totally agree, but that's not what I did early on in my career. I remember my senior year in college when I turned down a meeting with a Microsoft recruiter. It wasn't anything against the company. It wasn't because I was afraid of the challenge. It was something else entirely.
Let me add some context to this.
Take a second and zoom out of the map until you can see North America. That should give you some perspective.
This is where I was born, where my family is, and where I spend the first 19 years of my life. The thought of even entertaining a move to the west coast at the time was terrifying to me. That trip is almost half way around the world. No way was I moving that far way. In hindsight, that was probably a silly reason not to go to an interview, but that's what I did. I choose what I thought was a happy medium. I'd stay in Florida where I could work in the industry I wanted to be in and just be a short flight away from Antigua. If you've ever been an international student, I'm guessing you might have felt this way at some point.
Originally when I messaged Bryan, I though why not. The idea of developer advocacy is something I'd become very curious about for the past year or so. It brings together a lot of what I was already doing outside of regular my work with regards to content creation, public speaking and teaching. I love that part of the industry, and you're telling I can do that with the support of one of the most influential company in the world?? I can do this, and I can do this well.
Why not give it a shot? Can't hurt to try right? I know too many people that let fear hold them back. The fear of the big company, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of failure. I'm guilty of this too, but that day I sent the message. The worse that could happen is that I don't get a response. Well, I actually got one. Little did I know that a few weeks later I'd be in Redmond meeting with the team, walking around the campus, and getting a tour of Channel 9. I had such a fan boy moment in the Channel 9 studio .
The new challenge
Some advice I always give to my students is that they should always follow their passions. When you work towards things that you genuinely care about, then it doesn't feel like work but it means more to you at the end of the day. Now I can say that I'll be spending more time doing what I care about as a Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft.
The team that's being put together is crazy. When I look at the level creativity and passion that everyone has, you can't imagine anything other than success. I can't wait to see what we're going to do.
We actually had an interesting episode with Rey Bango on the podcast where, among other things, we spoke about developer advocacy, evangelism and more.