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If you like this episode and are planning an internal hackathon (or thinking about sponsoring one) - work with me!
Brief overview of your background
started on the product team
was a software dev just out of college
5 years wanted to move back to Michigan with husband (to raise kids where they are from :)
Brief overview of your product
windows phone / windows OS
It is BaaS (backend as a service) supports Windows and Linux
databases - supports hadoob, mongodb, mysql, etc
languages - python, java, ruby, node.js, etc
you get free credits (for startups only, no consultants!!)
get access to whole suite of software licenses for microsoft products
What does a dev evangelist do?
get paid to play with tech
opportunities include speaking at conferences, going to user groups, blogging, tweeting, etc
Take feedback from front lines (even if it’s bad) and bring back to product team
MSFT does this through connect.microsoft.com
best if a dev evangelist can get feedback ASAP
it’s great to make the product dev cycle more effective if not faster
concrete example - Azure Active Directory had a code snippet (online sample) which wasn’t working correctly - when Jen and the team found and corrected the issue
Organize cool events -
brought a high decision maker for visual studio on a multi-state road show (“product team tour”)
Jen learned that 2 weeks is too long, 1 week is a better duration to shoot for
3 meetings per day, and a user group at night
Work style of a dev evangelist
so many different ways to do it well
be a good open source contributor is a surefire bet
Jeff Blankenberg - specialized in community
you need to get good at answering “boring questions”
How long have you been running your Dev Evangelism program
Jen started as an evangelist in 2006, so MSFT started their program before then for sure!
Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers - Steve Ballmer (former CEO of MSFT, who <3’s developers)
MVP summit - http://mvp.microsoft.com/summit
people fly in worldwide….
What is an API or product (not your own) that you love?
Emotiv - reads brain waves and has an API
can record brain waves as a reference “training” point
What is your favorite hackathon format?
Competitive - pitch for big prizes (Salesforce, Disrupt, AT&T)
Collaborative - science fair expos, finalists demo (MLH)
Themed - (Space Apps)
All formats have their place - it’s important that there is an option for every developer
Interesting to explore serious issues (civic, etc) with technology but also the ones that are just plain fun (like Comedy Hack day) have their place
Detroit tech scene -
Your dollar goes further
tax credits for being a startup
Tell me about a great event you’ve been to in the past year
OzBot - explains robotics to young girls
Throw a hackathon vs sponsor one - Which choice is better for a company who wants to get involved?
A major tenet of evangelism is meet people where they are, so you should sponsor first …
You’re out of your tree if you want to throw a hackathon before having been to a few
(John helps hackathons with organization/sponsors - hit me up!)
It makes sense to throw your hackathon if it has a theme
Do you think hackathons will play a role in the future of education?
Going to hackathons really helps your career!
Technical screening - Jen has asked “what is the hardest problem you’ve had to solve?” - she hears the same answer over and over (taken from CS term projects) - when a hackathon goer talks about something they’ve built they immediately stand out
Where do the you see the dev evangelism scene evolving to?
There is a split between wide reach and deep reach evangelists (‘consumer” vs “enterprise”)
MSFT would like to expand their Student and Startup programs
Getting an email from someone you’ve helped is the greatest feeling in the world
Many big projects inside of companies are bottom-up, begin as hacks - having a wide awareness of your service makes it more likley that your software gets ‘locked in’ at an enterprise level
Anything (product, API, idea) you want to plug?
Is there anything I forgot to ask that I should have?