Changes and reflections…

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog-post. When I re-launched my blog on Azure Web Sites I just moved into a new team and a newly formed organization inside of Microsoft Corp.

That organization – DX TED (Developer Experiences, Technical Evangelism and Development) – was meant to bring the technical depth back to Microsoft’s evangelism unit. Indeed, we were all moved to engineering roles (Program Managers, Software Development Engineers). At least speaking about DX Corp. I have the feeling this mission is progressing at huge steps. I’ve spent more time in Visual Studio and even other IDEs such as Eclipse in the past 3 years compared to the time before.

When TED was created I thought it is a good opportunity to re-start blogging after I was absent as a blogger for a while. And given we were supposed to be the spearhead for Azure as a platform with Global Software Vendors I thought ‘how could it be better
than running it on Azure’ … which I did and which is still the case. You’re reading a page served from WordPress-blog running on Azure Web Apps with a ClearDB MySQL database.

why quiet so long?

I think the strategy worked well in the first 1.5 years after joining TED. But then I reduced the frequency of blogging, again. It was mainly due to the high workload with our partners combined with the principles I have applied for my new blog. These were:

  • Only publish after major achievements with a partner.
  • Embrace a white-paper style of writing.
  • Back the post with some sort of a “reference implementation” as source code.
  • Provide that code with a script that automates the setup as far as possible.
  • Don’t talk about anything unfinished.

Based on those five principles, writing a blog-post always resulted in a larger piece of work. In addition, I did not blog or express anything about the “journey” to achieve a goal – which is often more interesting than the reached goal itself. And my posts usually became very long.

In addition, with those principles posts were generally around how-to get things done with less focus on why we did things, how we got there and what my personal opinions are about those learnings and achievements.

a career-change…

Then last summer a change came across – I moved from working with medium-sized Global Software Vendors which we generally call “enablers” to the Global Commercial Independent Software Vendors Group (GISV Commercial) inside of TED.

Organizationally this was a side-step. But a really good one since I consider this move as a huge next challenge! The reason for that is that I do have the pleasure to work on a dedicated basis with one of the largest Software Vendors of the world – SAP! That’s a huge ground for learning a lot of new things at a totally different scale.

SAP might sound very traditional for a personality like me – but it is not, actually. That company is changing rapidly and has become something different, already, compared to the time right after I left my former employer who was an SAP partner. They are anything else but old-school and traditional. They do a lot with new tech stuff including modern web technologies, app technologies (Cordova), cloud etc. … it is just so much that I am confronted with these days. Given that I was careful with broadly spreading that message too early. But after I’ve spent some time in the new role I feel more settled and therefore more comfortable with spreading the word.

…that made me re-think blogging as well

Due to the work with SAP I also thought about changing my attitude towards blogging. With the principles I’ve established above, I realized that I could will definitely not write many blog-posts, either. There’s just so much going on with SAP… The job means a lot of coordination between engineering teams. It means facilitating and guiding engineering teams on both sides, SAP and Microsoft. But it also means learning from them a lot and driving decisions based out of those learnings.

Finally it also means digging into a lot of new technologies which I haven’t touched before or at least for a long time. That includes SAP technologies such as HANA, HANA Cloud Platform, SAP Gateway and Gateway for Microsoft or SAP Fiori.

But it also means broadening my technical capabilities on the Microsoft-side into Office 365 Add-In and App development, Windows 10 UWP app development, development of Cross-Platform Apps with Visual Studio Tools for Cordova and much more. Not to speak about all the Azure stuff which is the most important area for us. Sure, I need to specialize in a few things (identity is still one of my favorites which I can make use of a lot in this alliance), but at least I need to get to a 200-level across all of those technologies above.

I thought about this, and for me it also meant I need to change my approach towards blogging. While the principles I established are good, they’re not good enough on their own. Therefore, I need to extend them with the following principles to increase the cadence of blogging and provide more value through my blog:

  • Share more personal thoughts about both, Microsoft and SAP tech.
  • Develop ideas and get feedback through this blog.
  • Evolve and grow technical information through multiple posts instead of one long post.

To be honest – I don’t know if it will work and how it will work out. But I’ll definitely try it, increase my cadence of blogging with those new principles and hence share much more (hopefully) valuable information for you as far as possible…