“We enter as friends, we leave as friends,” said Mark Relph, then the VP of Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Group as we did my final interview in early October 2008. I started just under a fortnight later, on October 20th, and for the past two and a half years, I have proudly held the title of Developer Evangelist, representing Microsoft to Canadian software developers, and in turn, advocating for Canadian software developers to Microsoft Canada. If you have read anything I’ve written, caught any of my presentations or seen me evangelize, you will know that it is a job that I love and enjoy wholeheartedly.

Mark may have gone off to Redmond to join the mother ship, but his declaration still holds true. I will leave Microsoft as a friend next week on Friday, April 22nd.

zen garden

If life is change, then I’ve had life by the truckload over the past few months. I’ll spare you the details here (if you really must know, it’s best done in person and over a pint or two), but it should be plenty to simply say that if I were a more “New Age” sort of person, I’d say that the universe has been dropping hints that I really need to shake things up. Hence my departure, something I would never have predicted a mere six months ago. Life’s like that.

developer evangelist

Mine is still a great job. I could’ve spent the past few weeks just winding down and wrapping up, but I love this job too much to do that. I enjoy it enough to keeping “Bringing the Awesome”, right to my last minute on my last day next week. Everything I wrote in the “Now Hiring” post when we were looking for a new evangelist back in October remains the same.

What’s changed is me, and I’ve got to go and follow a different path. If and when the opening to fill my position appears, go check it out – you might find that it’s the job for you. It comes with my highest recommendation, and if you’ve got the skills and inclination, I’d tell you to go for it.

joey and microsoft founders

I’m going to wax a little more poetic in a blog post on my final day at the job. For now, I’d like to say that it’s been an honour, a privilege and a joy to have worked at Microsoft. I have worked with bright and talented people on interesting and important projects with some amazing gear, in cities all over Canada. I’ve learned a lot: not just about Microsoft’s tools and technologies, but also about the problems they solve, the customers they serve, the corporation that makes them and the industry said corporation is part of. I am a better geek, a better public speaker, a better writer, a better performer and even a better person for my experiences at Microsoft. For all this and more, they will always have my gratitude. I entered as a friend two and a half years ago, and next week, I leave as one.

Thank you, Microsoft. It’s been a great journey.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

Comments (7)

  1. Colin Melia says:

    A million thanks Joey for your support, friendship and overall awesomeness.  See you soon.

  2. Maxime Rouiller says:

    Ahhh man… I hate to see you go! I'll miss your accordion. If you go by Montreal at some point, do not forget to come take a beer with us (nothing like a cold one on a terrace!

    On that note, I'll wish you luck in your future opportunities! Take care man!

  3. Joel Faigan says:

    It was a pleasure meeting and talking with you at all the Montreal conferences.  You and your accordion will be missed.

  4. Sean Kearney - Powershell MVP says:


    I am truly honoured to have met you.  A Person who truly on every level shows you can follow your dreams and never lose who you are.   You brought forth spark and spirit in the Community I've only seen in a few people.   I suspect things at Microsoft will be a little less exciting with you gone from the picture.    Keep up the excellent work in wherever your endeavours take you and please keep in touch.

    Thanks for the amazing show you did in Redmond, that was one of the biggest highlights of my first ever trip, getting to see "The Accordion Guy" on stage belting out "Born to Be Wild"

    Yes folks… CODING ROCKS

      and so does Joey "The Accordion Guy" Devilla

    Keep in touch man 🙂

    Sean "the Energized Tech"

    MCSE, MCTS, MVP – Member of Sprinboard Technical Experts Program

  5. Flip says:

    I'm sorry to read your leaving MS, BUT very excited for you and your next opportunity!  Your next team is getting a fantastic super-start!  Kudos, good luck and keep in touch!  Thank you for your support!

  6. David Wesst says:

    Joey, you kick ass. Remember that. Stay on the Twitter and we'll stay in touch sir.

    Good luck on your future adventures.

  7. Sorry to hear, I was glad to have had the chance to meet and work with you at TechDays.

    Wes MacDonald

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