Joining Microsoft

Joining Microsoft

Today is a great day! I’m excited and proud to announce that as of February 1st, 2019, I’m joining Microsoft. I will join the Microsoft Azure Engineering (Cloud + AI) team as a Senior Cloud Advocate. After being a Microsoft MVP for seven years and working very closely with Microsoft in the last couple of years, this is a great new opportunity and an exciting time ahead.

Microsoft Cloud Advocate

Microsoft Azure Cloud Advocate

The Microsoft Cloud Advocate Mascot by Ashley McNamara

My role is part of the Microsoft Developer Relations group and more specific the Cloud Advocates. I’m joining the AzOps team of Rick Claus, which many of you know from Channel9, Microsoft conferences and his overall work at Microsoft. Our team is focused on the IT Ops and IT Pro community. This allows me to do what I love most, which is being an advocate for customers in the Azure product group, sharing knowledge and engaging with the community.

We are advocates for the IT community within Microsoft. Using the products, listen to customers, and help the product teams to prioritize their work. We develop tools to help use the products, we write documentation and tutorials, and we build connections between the community and the engineering teams.

Our team’s charter is to help every technologist on the planet succeed, be they students or those working in enterprises or startups. We engage in outreach to developers and others in the software ecosystem, all designed to further technical education and proficiency with the Microsoft Cloud + AI platform.

A large part of our mission is to make Microsoft Azure the best platform to run your applications and services, as well as making migration to the Microsoft Azure ecosystem simple. Our team looks for common pain points and works with the product teams to address them. In other cases, we build the missing pieces like tools and documentation.

My focus is going to be on the Azure and Microsoft hybrid cloud strategy. Besides the Azure services, this will include products and services like Windows Server and Azure Stack, which will help to bring that consistent cloud experience to life, so our customers can make the best out of the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge.

If there’s anything, you would like us to improve reach out to our team or me. We listen to your needs and consider your feedback in our future developments.

Why joining Microsoft

Thomas Maurer at Microsoft

Microsoft Ignite 2018. Picture by Kristopher Turner

When Rick Claus first approached me back in Summer 2018 and explained to me that he starts a team which is focusing on IT Ops advocacy, I got super excited. I agreed that Microsoft had a significant focus on developers, which is good but didn’t really focus yet on the large group of IT Ops/Pro people. This team is built to change that and to give the IT Ops community a louder voice inside the Azure Engineering team. When I had the first talks with Rick and the team, I realized that this is the job I want to do!

After I have been working with Microsoft for a while now, I strongly believe in their vision, strategy, and culture. Especially, I think that in the Cloud era, Microsoft and the Azure team under Scott Guthrie are doing a fantastic job. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but I think Microsoft is in a perfect position.

I also believe that Microsoft, as a company, is taking the company’s social responsibilities seriously. Projects like the Xbox Adaptive Controller and making the cloud more green are great examples.

Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

 

The decision to leave my current job wasn’t easy. I was super happy with my job at itnetX. I was working with a lot of great people for years, and we were working at some super cool projects. However, I realized that after seven years, it might be time to step out of my comfort zone and accept a new challenge, meet new people, and keep on learning. I’m joining a team of rock stars, and I’m excited to learn from the team and the community as well as bringing my experience into the team.

There are many reasons why I decided to join Microsoft. In short, I would summarize it like this; stepping out of my comfort zone to keep learning and joining a great and talented team, doing the work I love, in a company which is shaping the future.

Time to say goodbye!

As exciting as this is, it is also a sad moment for me. Seven years ago, I joined itnetX as a Cloud Architect. The last couple of years, I worked as a Lead Architect with customers and the community, helping them transform to the cloud. It was a great time, and I had the chance to learn a lot. I will definitely miss working with my colleagues and friends. I want to thank itnetX for the great time and opportunities I had. Especially, I want to thank Markus Erlacher, Dieter Gasser, Philipp Witschi, Marcel Zehner, and Chris Greuter. I also want to thank my colleagues for supporting me. Over these years, I had the chance to work on awesome projects, focus on exciting technologies, and engage with Microsoft and the community.

Microsoft MVPs

Microsoft Hyper-V MVPs at the MVP Summit 2015 in Redmond. From left to right: Alessandro, Didier, Carsten, Thomas, Aidan, Charbel, Tudor, Brian

Joining Microsoft also means that I won’t be a Microsoft MVP anymore. This is another big part which I will miss. However, my new role will allow me to engage even more within the community. It also means that I keep on doing what I did for the last couple of years. I am sure I will work together with a lot of friends from the Microsoft MVP community, and of course, I will join the MVP Reconnect program. With that, I also want to thank the MVP community and a lot of people within Microsoft.

What is next?

We are a global team, with a few team members located in Redmond (USA), and many of us working remotely worldwide. For now, I’m staying in Switzerland. My first day at Microsoft is on February 1st, where I will start in the Microsoft office in Wallisellen (Switzerland). The day after, I’m already flying to Seattle to visit the Microsoft HQ in Redmond.

I am looking forward to connecting with my team and the product groups.

After that, I’m looking forward to being part of the Microsoft Ignite The Tour. Ignite The Tour has several stops in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States.

I will start building content for the Azure team. I will also join the Microsoft ITOps Talk blog, where my team covers exciting topics for IT Ops, focusing on Microsoft Azure. That said, I will also continue writing on my blog on ThomasMaurer.ch.

I am very excited to start in a couple of days, and I am sure there will be a lot more to say and write in the future. Stay tuned and Azure on.

Thomas