What can you expect from me as an Evangelist?

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/12drhU8
Creative Commons: http://j.mp/12drhU8

You probably know it by now, I’m looking for a new opportunity as I’m leaving Microsoft. The next challenge that I’m looking for will certainly be in the Evangelism space (or something related) as it’s a role I like so much, and that is what I want to continue to do for a living.

Since the announcement, I‘m overwhelmed by the comments, testimonials, and job offers I got. I thought it would be a good idea to do a more complete post on what I’m looking for, but also what I have to offer. Firstly, to be an Evangelist, you cannot just promote any technologies, products or companies: you need to be excited about what you’ll have to evangelize. It’s a matter of being honest, and true to yourself, but also, to your employer, and to your audience.

Who am I?

For the first 9 years of my career, I was doing development: Web, and mobile. I played with many technologies like Java, PHP, EmbPerl, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, C#, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Linux, Windows, BlackBerry, iOS… A little less than 3 years ago, I finally mix two of my passions together, technology, and people, to become a Technical Evangelist. In that role, I had to work with technology like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Windows 8, Windows Azure, and Windows Phone.

Whenever you’ll see me, I’ll wear jeans (or short), and a t-shirt. The Geeky or funny t-shirts are now part of my brand. I also like people, so it’s why I’m doing this job: I like to share my passion, and help people being successful. Transparency, and honesty are part of who I am, so you can expect to have an open relationship with me.

Unpretentious, I call myself a doer, someone who make things happen. As an example, I created a festival to promote the Geek culture in Montreal, and with the help of passionate people like me, we created a non-profit organization, and were able to have more than 750 attendees on the second edition. I also co-founded an HTML5 user group that now has around 600 members with monthly meetings. I like to take an idea, and make it a reality.

If you want to learn a little more about me, please read this blog, it’s an open book!

What is Evangelism for me?

Call it an Advocate, an Advisor or an Evangelist, the role is sometimes different from one company to the other. Of course, the goal of having an Evangelist in your rank is to get more people to use your technology, your product or to promote something your company believe in, like the Open Web. But the role is all about people: connecting, creating relationships, and helping them to be successful. I separate the role in two parts: offline, and online. I put offline first as I think it’s critical to go where they go to win the heart, and mind of your audience.

More concretely, it means going to conferences, user groups, startup incubators, universities…. to present about your technology, to talk with, and meet people. This is where you will build strong relationships, and where you’ll find influencers to help you achieve your goal, and scale. It’s not just about conferences, think about hackathons, and workshops: they are good places to help people learn your API, or start to use your product. You can also leverage what you are doing offline, online, by doing video interviews, recording your talk or doing recapitulation blog posts.

Online is also important as you can’t be everywhere, and it’s easier to scale online. Social media will be one of the key tools you use: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn… it all depends where is the audience you want to reach. The blog is a critical asset for an Evangelist: whether it’s on his own property, or the one from his employer, this is the place to do announcements, put code demos, do technical posts, and much more. Depending on your goal, taking time to go to forums like Stack Overflow to help people can be an amazing tool for success. Last, but not least, webinars, and videos will help you reach people in a different way. Keep in mind that if you can reach people, you won’t have the same relationship with them as when you do it offline.

So this is how I’m seeing the role of an Evangelist, and what is great is that at the end, I have experience with all of these.

What kind of role exactly I’m looking for?

I want to do presentations as it’s one of the main things I like, and it’s how I see the path to success for an organization: sharing the love of the platform. I have no problem going in company once in a while, but I prefer a broader approach. I like to travel for work, and I have no problem to do it very often (I even have a Nexus card, the best 50$ I ever spent). I cannot deal with micromanagement, as for me, you need a bit of latitude in this role, and I can manage my day to day to reach the goal I have been given. I’m also used to work at home, and not having to work from 8 to 5 for a couple of years now, so it’s something I’m looking for also. Last, but not least, I’m not looking to move, for now, as I’m happy in Montreal, but hey, I’m not far from the airport. Oh, and keep in mind that if I can’t be myself, who I am, at work, it’s because the job is not for me…

What will you get?

This answer is simple: you’ll get an Evangelist with experience, that like challenges, who is creative, and who is probably too much social. You’ll find an honest, and effective person with already an online presence, and strong network. Last, but not least, you’ll have someone who don’t take himself seriously, who like to share, and have a passion for technology, as for people. One transparent person, no surprise.

So If you see a fit for a role you have, the company, and the team, please let me know. You can also check my LinkedIn profile for more information.

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