Windows ‘7’ Technical Evangelist: Are YOU The Person We’re Looking For?


Link to job posting It’s not a state secret that we’re in the early stages of development for the next version of Windows (given the internal name of Windows ‘7’). The specifics of what comes next are always the subject of fevered and sometimes inaccurate speculation, but you can be sure that we’re not resting on our laurels. Windows is one of the most complex and sophisticated pieces of software in existence, and since it’s about the most widely-used piece of software on the planet, it’s a pretty exciting project to be working on.

I’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime open position on my team that I’m currently trying to fill – a Technical Evangelist for the next Windows client release. In fact, the Technical Evangelist at this point in time. This is an extremely challenging, high-profile senior role, with tremendous reach and influence across the organization. Not only will you be the first to see what’s coming down the pipeline, but you’ll actually have an influence in setting the agenda for Windows development. This isn’t just any software gig – it’s one of those career-defining roles that puts you at the heart of the software revolution. In years to come, you’ll be able to look back with pride and say, "I was part of that".

There’s of course a high bar to entry: not many people have the breadth or depth of skills needed to be successful in this role. We’re looking for someone who is an all-rounder; someone with personality and charisma, someone who is deeply technical, but also able to see the bigger picture and articulate the strategic value of a technology; someone who can play the roles of diplomat, ambassador, analyst, writer, developer, public speaker and visionary all at the same time; someone who displays a blend of curiosity, creativity, passion, optimism and persistence.

For obvious reasons, I’m not able to write anything about what’s coming in Windows ‘7’, but you’ll hit the ground running from day one. This isn’t a 9 to 5 job: it’s more of a vocation – you’ll work hard not because you’ve got someone breathing down your neck but because you’re passionate about making a difference and you see the impact of your work.

If you’re still struggling to grok what an evangelist actually does, I wrote up a few thoughts when I was advertising a previous opening. Although this was written as we were hiring a WPF/Silverlight evangelist, the generalities still apply.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Windows ‘7’ role, check out the formal job description on the Microsoft Careers web site. You can submit a resume online, and/or reach me via the "email" link at the top of my blog.

Update: for the sake of clarity, I should highlight that solid Win32 and .NET development experience is required. You’ll be focusing on Windows as a developer platform, which means understanding the APIs as well as the high-level functionality.

Comments (21)

  1. boe says:

    Please OH PLease, PLEASE make them read the comments of this article before they take the job.  I really do hope Windows 7 is GREAT!  I haven’t given up on Microsoft yet but I have given up on Vista.   Vista is the worst OS MS has released since ME and there was nothing else as bad before that.   No OS is perfect when it comes out but the patches don’t fix the sluggishness of Vista they only make it faster than it was.   A turtle with a strong tail wind might be faster than one without but it doesn’t make it fast.  

    http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2008/01/30/speed_up_vista_tips/

    Please OH please make your mission to make Windows 7 – as fast as XP on old equipment and faster than XP is on the same newer equipment.   THe point of the OS is not to require new hardware to do the same thing as the old OS but to take advantege of the new hardware so it can run faster than the old OS on the same hardware.

    http://gizmodo.com/337768/battlemodo-windows-vista-service-pack-1-rc1-vs-shipping-vista

    http://www.news.com/Windows-XP-outshines-Vista-in-benchmarking-test/2100-1016_3-6220201.html

    http://exo-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/vista-sp1-performance-dud.html

  2. John says:

    What is the usual salary as technical evangelist?

  3. tims says:

    Hi John, that’s not really a question I can answer in sufficient detail to be helpful on a public blog, but there’s plenty of scope dependent on experience and skills. It’s a senior role, and we pay a competitive salary – the exact details are something that we work out with a successful candidate.

    For more information, check out the jobsblog on salary issues, here: http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog/search.aspx?q=salary&p=1

    Best wishes,

    Tim

  4. boe says:

    Please have them read this site as well so they know what people think of Vista so they don’t make the same mistakes with Windows 7

    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/130626.asp

  5. Tim says:

    The first day introduction of your new Technical Evangelist…..

    "Ok guys and gals this is our new Technical Evangelist, you probably know all about him, he needs little introduction – lets have a big welcome for Linus Torvalds wooo yeahhh! come on everybody clap yeaahh! <astonished crowd>"

    😉

  6. Tim,

    Can the job be remote, or does the person HAVE to be in Redmond?

  7. simon says:

    Bummer, this is based in Redmond. What a cool role though.

  8. tims says:

    Hi Robert, it is indeed a Redmond-based role. The reality is that this job requires very close collaboration with others in the product group – it just wouldn’t be possible to be nearly as effective from a remote location. Feel free to drop me a line offline to discuss further, though – would be an interesting converstation! Tim

  9. Steve says:

    sounds like a great opportunity. Would love this, and Redmond. I submitted my resume – I know I could do this!

  10. Michael says:

    Hi Tim,

    as i read the Job description it sounds to me more being a developer? At least i stumbled over .NET and struggling with Code. 😉

    The rest reads fine, senior is what i’m feeling if i think back handling  DOS 1.0 and now Vista.

    Unfortunately – heading over to Redmond every day is a tough trip.

    Regards

    Michael

  11. Satyajit Tambe says:

    I am ready to take the challenge!

  12. Pete says:

    Why bother… Scoble is just gonna get it anyway… Damn high-profile senior…

  13. Tim,

    I personally am disappointed that Windows 7 is looking at hiring someone with Dev Background.  Windows Vista is reasonably well accepted by the dev/geek crowd, it is the "normal" people that just don’t get it.

    Take a look at 2008 Server beta, the CDN, and Hosting Providers are chomping at the bit to get it.  It has a nice spec sheet that people understand.  

    This is the antithesis of Vista which has a similar spec sheet and can’t gain traction the way it should.  And even if the Sales numbers aren’t "that bad" on Vista it is not as well recieved as XP was, or possibly more importantly as much as the last MacOS update was.

    I am hoping to see Microsoft hire someone who is willing to ground pound in Silicon Valley to get Venture Capitalist excited about putting their products on the platform, to get Hardware manufacturers to get drivers ready at release, and then hop a plane to the Midwest to work with Educators to understand why they can lower costs with a more stable more secure platform.  Then go back to Redmond and talk with the dev team and the project leads about what all of those people said.

    This is going to require a very technical background, but I don’t think it is a Developer background per se.

    The problem with most corporate Evangelists are that they are like Televangelists.  They only spread the word they don’t hear it in return.  You can attend the Crystal Cathedral via television each week, and it will be an uplifting experience, but you won’t get a sense of community, and it won’t get your concerns addressed, Dr. Schuller won’t pray for you directly.

    Robert Scoble did a pretty good job of reading the blogs of hundreds and discussing some of the issues that were raised, but he was a bit two-dimensional in that regard.  He didn’t go to meetings with house wives and school superintendents .

    In that regard Chis Pirilo or Jake Ludington were far superior evangelists to Microsoft.

    Microsoft’s MVP program never seems to get the love of Microsoft’s paid evangelists.  Larry Hyrb doesn’t do monthly conference calls with the Xbox MVP’s and Ben Waggoner doesn’t do a monthly conference call with the Windows Media MVPs.

    All in all Microsoft has sucked at building an audience, and getting end users to feel they have a stake in the finished product.  If there is one thing Dr. Rober Shuller knows, it is how to make you feel like you have a bigger part of something than you really do.

    -Brandon Wirtz

    Brandon@xyhd.tv

    (Microsoft Alumni)

  14. Rob Connolly says:

    It’s really a fascinating post and role, but it’s even more interesting to see the comments people are putting in – Brandon’s is really insightful… some great points in there. I would agree that MS hasn’t done a good job in really selling itself to the masses – Apple (read Steve J) is doing a better. In fact, Fake Steve is probably doing a better job!

    I summed up some thoughts on this in a post here (http://novusres.blogspot.com/2008/02/coming-soon-windows-7.html) so if anyone is bored enough, feel free to read it!

    I can’t imagine how anyone would not be interested in a role like this – even if it meant moving to Redmond… in fact, I’d probably chop off one arm for a role like that so not only would I be brilliant at the job, I’d probably be the first 1-armed evangelist!

    R

  15. Jim says:

    I agree with Brandon.  I’d like to see MS consider someone without a development background and with some experience making sure that Windows 7 performs the way it should.   Clearly Vista was released without much regard for what people really notice in an OS – performance.   Sure the semi-transparent borders are interesting but after 5 years of development I would hope that an OS offers other gains.    Hardware has advanced a great deal in the last 5 years, the OS should significantly outperform the old OS in every aspect on the new hardware as it should take advantage of the 64 bit path, it should take advantage of better hard drive caching, it should take advantage of the advanced functions of video cards – not require them just to perform almost as well as the previous OS on old equipment.

    Hopefully MS will reconsider this position and make it more for someone who really wants to improve the user experience and not someone who has to care about how to fix the issue.   MS didn’t listen to users last time – I informed MS about the sluggish performance immediately during my testing of Vista and they ignored it – claiming the fault wasn’t with Vista.

  16. Jim says:

    I’d like to second some of what Brandon has said.  I would rather have MS spend more time listening to people who actually use MS products and actually champion fixing the things – passing it on to people who are more skilled technically than in interpersonal skills.   I think MS has enough developers – just not anyone actually looking at what needs to be fixed.

  17. dark ligh+ning says:

    Oh, stop your belly aching about how vista is so much worse than XP. Look at how bad XP was until SP2. I know it has bugs, but hopefully MS will fix them in SP1

  18. tedescokid says:

    If Microsoft wants to compete, then they need to get out of their own way.  I think that an above post said it best: they need a NON-DEVELOPER to be the evangelist.  Yes, it would be great if W7 core kernel took up less that 50MB out of the box.  Yes, it would be great if the system became a "Just in Time" system (JIT), where it installed what was needed only when it was needed.  But that’s only the start.  Truly getting the user experience is a HUGE aspect of being able to compete.  Focusing on a core that better enables and integrates the web will be critical.  If they don’t, then the next decade will see Google dominate.  I’m hoping MSFT figures it out, but I’m not betting on it…

  19. Tony Harris says:

    Is the opportunity AGE biased?  Is the opportunity NATIONALITY biased?  Aussies usually have a wider encompassing focus of the end user (even as geeks) and we do get on with practically everyone.

  20. Donald Duck says:

    Yes, I am. I’m working for RedHat.

    Sorry, guys.

  21. Norm says:

    I realize that many think the job of Evangelist should go to someone without a developers skill set.  I disagree because the evangelist will have to work with and understand the product.  This is a role that initially is best suited to a developer.