As I am writing this, I just came back from Kansas City, Missouri, where I met with a few people who are going to be an integral part of my next adventure.
I often tell this story: When I was working for Siemens and my passion for software was facing a difficult time, due to the frustrations of not being able to render my designers’ visions in HTML/CSS, I was sent to Las Vegas to attend MIX06, the first ever MIX conference, and to discover Windows Presentation Foundation and Expression Blend, which became two passions of mine. Working with the various teams at Microsoft responsible for these amazing new products, I started blogging about my experiences. This led Microsoft to give me the MVP award in 2007 (and every year since then), this also led Sams publishing to contact me and ask me if I wanted to write a book about Silverlight 2 which Microsoft had just started in preview. I started speaking at conferences, first within Siemens and then at various conferences. This became a side activity that was often crossing paths with my day work as a software developer.
My public speaking, blog writing, and other publishing activities were just something I felt like doing. It was profitable both for the firm I was working for, IdentityMine, and for myself as I was building my personal brand.
In May 2016, IdentityMine was acquired by Valorem, and our activities started encompassing more than the client application development we were known for. Valorem had always been very active in back-end development, from Sharepoint to Azure to Office365 to PowerBI to many other areas which I know of, but which I don’t know much about. This year, I will be starting a new role, which neither Valorem nor pre-acquisition IdentityMine has ever officially had: That of Senior Technical Evangelist.
In this role, I will educate myself in all the various areas where we do business. I want to be able to talk to anyone in the firm and have an understanding of what they are doing. Then, I will be responsible to give visibility to all the amazing people who work at the new Valorem. This includes blogging about activities that we do, projects that we work on, but also exciting new activities which I cannot talk about yet (but video should be involved, fun!!). I also want to make people proud of what they are doing, and to teach them how to talk about it, maybe at local user groups, maybe at conferences, maybe writing for the Valorem blog, maybe writing articles for magazines etc. Teaching people to manage their personal brand, coaching them to put themselves out there, work with the community, etc.
Everyone at the executive level is very excited because that is something that we just didn’t do before, not in any official capacity. This is a new role, which should allow me to explore and try new things, see what’s working. It should also allow me to visit all our various locations, talk to the people, understand what they do, and get more knowledgeable on all the areas that we are covering (which is a lot). Also, it will give me the opportunity to look into new areas that might be interesting for the firm, such as Cognitive services, Blockchain, and many more.
Next to this, I will of course continue to support our sales teams in pre-sales operations, as well as give a hand in architecture or coding for our development teams where needed. And of course I will continue to support our European operation, which as small as it is right now is still generating enough leads and projects to keep things interesting.
I’ll be looking forward to meeting a lot of Valorem employees in the months to come and work with all of you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions, remarks or suggestions. This role is for you in the first place.