League Of Extraordinary Cloud DevOps Advocates


It’s official.

As of July 3, I will become part of Donovan Brown’s #LeagueOfExtraordinaryCloudDevOpsAdvocates team (or #LOECDOA for short?  hmmm… need to work on that one).

I’ll be joining Damian Brady, formerly of Octopus Deploy and Steve Murawski, formerly of Chef.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Donovan Brown. Damian Brady. Steve Murawski.

Talk about an offer I couldn’t refuse!

I thought you just joined the Marketing team at Microsoft?

Before I dive into my new role, I have to give a shout-out to my current team.  Eight months ago, I moved to the mothership in Redmond and joined the Cloud and Enterprise Marketing Team as a Technical Marketing Evangelist where I had two main roles. Create end-to-end demos using the Microsoft developer platform for our first-party events and travel around the world telling our application innovation story to developers.

This has been a whirlwind 8 months of building out demos and content for the field and traveling to Milan, Amsterdam, Seoul and Las Vegas talking to developers.  And it has been AWESOME!

It’s always exciting for me to go out and talk to developers (my peeps!), sharing with them the insanely cool things they can do with our developer platform.

I can honestly say this was one of the best teams I’ve ever been on.  They are freaking amazing.  Here we are all hanging out waiting for our plane to show up in San Francisco.


I really can’t say enough good things about this team and my manager Erika Ehrli (she’s the one on the bottom right-hand corner).

With great sadness, I’m leaving this team so they are now looking for a technical marketing evangelist with a dev background who will be creating end-to-end demo apps and technical content.  They’ll also be part of a team inspiring developers to modernize and build the apps of the future.  Here is a link to the job opening.

So, if this team and this role are so awesome, why change teams?  It’s really pretty simple.  This new role was just too great an opportunity to pass up.

Throughout my career, I’ve looked at myself as a developer first.  I eat, drink and live writing code.  It’s what I do and it defines who I am.  Yet when I started touring around the world talking to developers about DevOps, Azure, writing intelligent apps etc., I realized that helping developers do great things by sharing with them what I knew was also something I loved.   And when I saw Donovan Brown was putting together a team of DevOps Cloud Developer Advocates, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass.  This is everything I’ve been working towards since before I joined Microsoft.  This role will allow me to become one of Microsoft’s top Cloud Developer Advocates talking about DevOps. And I’ll be working closely with Donovan Brown rubbing ALOT of DevOps on it!

Donovan and I have some serious history together.  I’ve known him for 17 years now, both professionally and personally.  Without a doubt, he is one of the most talented and hard-working developers I have ever seen.

And now as a developer advocate?  Get out of here!  He freaking rocks!  The chance to work on his team again (Microsoft is actually the fourth company where we’ll be working together) is just out of this world cool.



Here we are MUCH younger cracking up about nonsense over lunch.

What will you be doing?

Helping developers kick ass.

Being on Donovan’s team means we’re going to focus on DevOps.  I’ll be speaking at conferences, creating content and working with and learning from our customers.  All with the goal of helping them kick some serious ass.

Notice I didn’t say kick ass using the Microsoft stack.  Because that’s not my goal.  Ultimately, all roads lead to Azure.  So, my job is to help devs implement DevOps into Azure by any means necessary.  OSS, Microsoft stack.  It doesn’t matter.  The goal is for developers to be successful.

This is actually super important to me because for those that don’t know me, I wasn’t born and raised at Microsoft.  I started my career as an OSS/Java developer and worked for Arthur van Hoff, the dude who invented Java.

This was in the 90’s so I was all about open source and Microsoft was the evil empire.  The only reason I ended up writing a lot of code using the Microsoft stack is because Donovan gave me a pile of 6 cd’s with VS.NET and told me I had to try this new .NET thing. To me, .NET was cool and all but it was basically a java-like language.

But what was freaking awesome was Visula Studio.  Man, that IDE was heads and shoulders better than anything else out there!

But I digress.  Because of this open source background, knowing that Microsoft not only is ok with open source, but actually embraces open source (we are the largest contributor to open source today), makes me ridiculously happy.  This isn’t your daddy’s Microsoft anymore.  This is now a company I can be proud to work for.  And I’m beyond excited and honored to be joining this team and working with Donovan, Damian and Steve.

#TheRockstar is joining the #LeagueOfExtraordinaryCloudDevOpsAdvocates.  Time to #RubDevOpsOnIt!

To keep up with what I (and #LoECDA) are up to, follow me at @abelsquidhead on Twitter.



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