What do you do for a living?

Bram what are you actually doing for a living?

Every couple of months my mother asks me this question and to be honest I find it hard to explain what I’m doing  now and then.

Where do you work?

This is a much easier question to answer. I work for Microsoft. Microsoft is a company that creates software and we create a lot of software. I work for the Dutch subsidiary of Microsoft which is located in at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. Within the Dutch Sub I work for our Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) division. Within that group I hold the position of Web Platform Architect.

Ok so you built web platforms?

Uhm well no. I actually don’t built anything. It is just a title within DPE titles don’t really mean a lot. I run programs and engage specific audiences and try to get people to build stuff with our stuff.

So this DPE is the department you work for?

Yes 🙂

What does this DPE do?

DPE stands for Developer and Platform Evangelism DPE is just an acronym.

At Microsoft we create two kinds of software. Software that can be used as it is (Office, Windows) you can compare this with GI-Joe toys and software that can be used to build other software (Visual Studio) this can be compared to Lego. At DPE we are responsible for all our Lego like software. This category of software is called developer tools. Next to that we show people you can also build upon the GI-Joe tools as a platform. We are working very hard to show the world this platform and the tools and show that they are great. I sometimes call it technical marketing because DPE is a technical content department.

Ok I get that so what do you do? Do you sell these tools or platforms?

No I don’t sell anything. Within DPE we all have focus areas. Personally my focus areas are Web, Windows Phone and Windows Azure or cloud computing. I don’t really want to talk about the difficulties of each area but want to focus on the work I’m doing around these areas.

For each area we try to figure out what the market dynamic and maturity is. Who is buying what and who is influencing this decision. This can be extremely different in different markets. The person who is buying a website is a completely different kind of person compared to the person who commissions a mobile app. But sometimes they are very similar. Once we have identified them we are looking for their pain points and we build content and programs to address that.

So what does your day look like?

Things that I do in a regular day could be. Figuring out new technology. Since we are always responsible for the latest and the greatest we have to be on the bleeding edge. Stay up to date with the industry and see what is happening with competing technology. Meetings with customers that want to start using our new technology. Supporting customers and partners that have started with our latest technology. Doing project management on projects like portals, newsletters, events we are organizing or participating in. Visiting events both about Microsoft and Competitive technology. It depends a lot what time of the year it is which activity has the upper hand.

Posted: June 23rd, 2010
Categories: Microsoft, Private
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