I'm joining Microsoft - and I couldn't be more excited!
A while back I shared that I was leaving Oracle. Around this time I was casting my net out to friends at four companies I wanted to work at, with one of those companies being Microsoft (the others shall remain nameless, but needless to say I enjoyed chatting to all of them!). After JavaOne I was even more interested in Microsoft as I heard a lot about their push to supporting Java on Azure. Around this time I spoke to Tim Heuer on the phone, and less than a week later I was in Seattle interviewing with Microsoft. A day after that (literally whilst I was standing in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) a job offer was confirmed, and now (after the usual protracted background check process to ensure I'm not a criminal, am educated, and have actually worked where I say I've worked), I'm joining Microsoft on December 11. This was an incredible pace, and actually, it left some of the other companies I was talking to in the dust. After only a short amount of soul-searching, I dropped all other discussions and jumped all in with Microsoft. The other upside is that I will be joining Microsoft but working remotely from my home in New Zealand - a setup I'm extremely familiar with :-)
The ten year old inside of me dreamt of one day working for Microsoft (I was a pretty huge Bill Gates fanboy). To fulfil that dream is very pleasing (and surprising, considering my career as a Java developer). Additionally, it appears as if in recent years the culture at Microsoft has improved significantly under Satya Nadella, so it feels like really exciting times to be joining Microsoft.
I am joining the rapidly growing Cloud Developer Advocate team, where I will be focusing on growing the use of Java on Azure. This is exciting to me as I see that the Cloud Developer Advocate team is staffed full of passionate open source community members, and our goal is to not evangelise for Microsoft but to listen to the community, and ensure that developers get what they need and want out of Azure. Most critically, this team falls under engineering at Microsoft. It means our function is to work with the engineers building Azure and to act as an interface between them and the wider community. We are not marketing, and we can play an active role in advocating for community requests, and showcasing the work of the engineers building Azure.
From my point of view, it feels like there is a huge amount of potential here to grow the use of Java on Azure, and I look forward to that challenge. In my research so far into Azure/Java, I already have formed a lot of my own opinions on ways to improve the developer experience, and I will be working incredibly hard with the skilled engineers at Microsoft. I look forward to bringing my skills and experiences in API design and Java development to Microsoft, and I look forward to attending conferences around the world and continuing to exist in the excellent Java community that I have called home for a very long time.
This role will be a change of pace for me too - I'm moving from being a full-time engineer to being a developer advocate. Time will tell how this works out, but I'm interested to experience different career paths and the opportunities they present over my career. I know this role will be less 'deep' coding, but I suspect there will be significant amounts of code in my future in this role. More interestingly for me, it is a big step away from my client-side work into a whole new world of the cloud, including its entirely different lexicon, which I will be getting familiar with :-)