Mike-as-a-Service (MaaS)

Tuesday, June 09 2015

UPDATE [July 1st, 2015]: I have accepted a position with a new company and will be starting on July 20th. I’m pretty excited to get started with them and will post more about it right after I start!

TLDR:

  • I've been working with Red Gate on the Cerebrata team now for almost two years and have loved every minute of it, but I'm off to find a new adventure.
  • Red Gate is an awesome company, and they are hiring! Go check out their openings.
  • I'm looking for work. If you are interested in talking to me about working for you, or have opportunities you'd like me to think about, please contact me, but please do read at least the “What am I Looking for?” section below about what I'm looking for as it may save us both a lot of time if the opportunity isn't a good fit.

The Extended Version:

I have had my dream job for almost two years now. It all started with some emails back and forth with Luke Jefferson, who at the time was the Product Manager for Azure Management Studio and the Cerebrata tools at Red Gate. I asked him if they needed a Technical Evangelist for the product, but they didn't need one at the time. After a year or more, and continuous feedback, I got a call from Luke saying they'd like to talk about the position again more seriously. A few months later I started.

Over the last 19 months I've had a blast. First, I got to work for a non US-based company and got a serious dose of British culture on a daily basis. My vocabulary has certain grown as I now understand yonks as a time measurement, chuffed as an emotion and the fact that a wicket is more than just an ewok. I got to teach others about Azure through presentations, conferences and helped spin up the JustAzure.com website. Here more recently I've been able to really help steer product decisions and help dig in with support as well. I've learned a lot in this role.

I also got to do something I truly love: teach others about something I'm passionate about. I have given many presentations during my time at Red Gate in all sorts of places. I've been able to travel to the UK multiple times to visit the Red Gate HQ in Cambridge, as well as speak at conferences in Belgium, Sweden and a myriad of places here in the States. As with all my presentations I've learned from those I've come into contact with. It's truly been a blast (well, I think I've mentally blocked out some of the overseas flights).

So why am I leaving? Red Gate is focusing heavily on their Database Lifecycle Management tooling going forward, which means some shifting of resources and such in other areas. Because of this, my role as a Technical Evangelist for the Cerebrata tools is going away. Red Gate and I looked at the open opportunities at the company, but in the end we didn't find something that was a good fit for both of us.

Red Gate has been a very generous company to work for. At all stages of my time there they treated me well and with respect. I wish them the best possible future.

So, I'm looking for my next adventure.

Why Hire Mike?

"Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome." -- Randy Pausch

I'm a huge believer in this quote from Randy Pausch and I feel like I have a lot to bring to the table. I have 18 years of experience in the industry, ranging across a wide variety of roles: developer, tester, architect, team lead/scrum master, product manager, technical evangelist, content editor and more. I have mentored people and I enjoy sharing my experiences and lessons with the people I work with.

I also understand that even with all my experience, there is still much I haven't experienced, or come into contact with. Our industry changes rapidly and to keep up you have to be a continuous learner. I enjoy working with teams where everyone learns from each other, sharing their knowledge.

I have primarily worked in the Microsoft stack, but I'm definitely open to looking at opportunities that are for other platforms as well. For the past five years I've have specialized in Microsoft Azure, which Microsoft has recognized with a Microsoft MVP in Azure for four years straight.  I’m also an Azure Insider and have helped organize the Global Azure Boot Camp event for the past three years.  I'd definitely be able to help with roles that require knowledge of the Microsoft Cloud platform on day one.

The development community has been a big part of my life over the last ten years.  I’ve been involved with volunteering with organizing user groups, local events and even global ones.  Through this work I’ve also been able to present to audiences in the U.S. and internationally, both teaching to and learning from the incredibly diverse community.

You can find more of my background and skills on my LinkedIn profile.

What am I Looking For?

Over the years I've gotten a good sense of where I fit in and what types of roles fit me well. Here are some things that are important to me as I look for my next adventure:

  • A company that believes in and helps support the developer community. This is a must. I've seen the power of the developer community and its effect on companies who participate. I enjoy sharing my knowledge in conferences, user group meetings and company lunch and learns. Bonus points if doing this type of community outreach on a decently regular basis is actually part of the job.
  • A company that promotes continuous learning. Whether that's having an education budget for employees, sending them to conferences or helping provide training of any sort. If companies do not believe in investing in their employees, I won't be a good fit there.
  • I have really enjoyed working directly with users in the past. I've liked seeing suggestions from our users turn into working features that they find indispensable. An opportunity will certainly get bonus points if it is more than just coding and involves some aspects of working with the users either through evangelism, training, requirements gathering, etc.
  • Remote work/telecommuting with a flexible work schedule. For quite some time now I've worked out of the house and love it, plus my family is very happy here in Northern Kentucky. If the opportunity is in the Cincinnati area I'm still looking to work out of the house the vast majority of the time. I'm not completely ruling out moving for a job, but it would have to be one really awesome opportunity (and not in the boiler plate "exciting opportunity" kind of way).
  • I am willing to travel, even overseas, if the target is 30% or less. If the opportunity you have is more than 30% travel it will not be a good fit for either of us. 

Interested?

If after reading this far you think I might be a good fit for your company please reach out to me via LinkedIn or my contact form.  My time at Red Gate is winding down, and while I don’t need to start right away somewhere, I’d like to get the next adventure lined up sooner rather than later.