For years, I have blogged about having the coolest job at Microsoft as an Architect Evangelist. That job’s still pretty cool, but I found one that fits me even better: I am now a Premier Field Engineer for SharePoint.
You can read a little more about being a Premier Field Engineer online. I will be a dedicated PFE, meaning my time is dedicated to a small number of customers (one, actually) to provide proactive support through workshops, health checks, risk assessments, and supportability reviews. This is a seriously cool job at Microsoft as you proactively help customers avoid mistakes and adhere to best practices.
In DPE, a lot of things compete for attention, most of them have little to do with technology. In this role, I will be a lot more focused on SharePoint developer technologies from now on. This is great for me, because (as you can see from my blog) I am a geek at heart and worked very hard to remain technical and current with technology. I love fighting the compiler and figuring things out, I was lucky enough to turn my hobby into a career.
When customers buy SharePoint, they can also buy a support contract that includes dedicated support resources. You buy them in 400 hour increments. As a dedicated resource, I work with my customers to build a plan that best suits them based on the projects they intend to roll out over the next year. For instance, many customers plan to upgrade to SharePoint 2010 within the next year. Having dedicated support from Microsoft means you will have someone who can help walk you through the process, avoid common pitfalls, and troubleshoot issues. This is a tremendous value to many organizations who won’t want to get it wrong the first time, only to have to hire consultants to fix it later on. Get it right the first time and reduce your costs.
I am sure I will be posting soon about a job opening with my old group. It’s a great gig, but I felt the PFE role is a much better fit for where I want to go in the future.