Joining Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist

I’m very excited to announce that, starting on September 4, I will be joining Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist for the East Coast region focusing primarily on Windows 8 HTML5 gaming and apps. As many of you know from my posts and tweets, I have been a big fan of what Microsoft has been doing with Windows Phone 7, so when the opportunity presented itself to be a part of Windows 8, I couldn’t pass it up. Taking this job will allow me to focus on what has been my hobby for the past few years: creating open source code samples, technical writing, speaking at conferences, doing workshops, and helping others become better developers.

While it saddens me to be leaving Roundarch Isobar, I’m looking forward to changing careers. I have been there for almost three years now, and it was an amazing experience. Three years is a long time in the interactive development space, and during that time, I have seen the demise of Flex, the rise of mobile apps, and JavaScript become the de facto language of the web. And, while I am lucky to be able to adapt to these changes, I have also grown increasingly frustrated over being reactive without having any control over what comes next. Ultimately, this is what led me to take the job with Microsoft. For once in my career, I will be on the true bleeding edge of technology and helping lead the way for others. This is something you just can’t do in consulting; most clients are years behind the technology curve.

So, while I will miss the people I have worked with at Roundarch, I look forward to working directly with all the people who follow me on Twitter, purchased my book, attend my talks, and follow my open source work. What is even more thrilling is the fact that Windows 8 is really embracing the “open web” and treating HTML5 apps as first-class citizens. This means I can take my years of web development experience and immediately start developing apps for Windows 8. I have also been a big fan of C# and look forward to digging deeper into C++, which were opportunities I would have needed a specific client or project for. Now, I am free to explore all of this new technology for my day job, and the best part is that I will finally be able to follow one of my dreams, which is to focus on game development.

Now, the big question is what will I be doing at Microsoft? While I still need to sort most of that out when I start, here is the basic idea. My goal will be to help enable developers to build the best possible apps they can for Windows 8 and eventually Windows Phone 8. I will be focusing my efforts in NYC but will probably do some travel up and down the East Coast. I’ll be working specifically on HTML5 casual gaming, as well as HTML5-based Win8 apps. I’ll also be attending lots of meetups and looking for people with interesting ideas for apps, so if you have any in mind, I’ll be posting more info in the upcoming weeks to help you get in touch with me. I will also continue to speak at conferences; I have two coming up: Screens (workshop, talk, and panel) as well as the Halifax Pop Explosion where I’ll be doing just a talk. As you can see, I am going to be very busy in the upcoming months, but stay tuned for more info on my new role, how to get in touch with me at Microsoft, and make sure you follow me on Twitter @jessefreeman for more timely updates on what I am doing.

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