Personal

Achievement Unlocked: First Week at Telerik!

It’s been a crazy few days but I’m stoked to be a part of Telerik. In the past seven days, I’ve met with a number of great folks who work both here in the local office in Sydney and overseas. As for myself, there’s a lot of work to do! And like any other time you join a new organization, it can feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose:

Already, I’ve met with customers and had some awesome conversations about our products and technologies. Later tonight, I’ll be meeting up with folks at the Sydney .NET User Group.

Of course, all of this is goodness. Soon, I’ll be writing a number of articles on Kendo UI and other products from Telerik. Stay tuned!

A Short Video About Telerik

A number of folks have asked me why I’ve joined Telerik. There are many good reasons, which I will highlight and detail over the next few weeks. That stated, I felt this video did a pretty good job of giving folks a small glimpse into what this company is all about:

As I navigate my way through my role, it will be my responsibility to introduce to its offerings and to demonstrate why – put simply – they’re awesome. Along the way, I’ll be working hard to support the developer community in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

In the meantime, please check out our homepage and have a look around. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line at john.bristowe@telerik.com.

My New Role: Developer Evangelist at Telerik

Ever since my recent departure from Microsoft, many of you have asked what my next role will be. So, here it is:

I am tremendously excited to announce that I will be joining Telerik as a Developer Evangelist at the APAC office in Sydney, Australia. My role will be to engage and support the developer community, helping them better understand Telerik’s products and technology areas like .NET, HTML5, and much more. My family and I will be relocating to Sydney on October 9th.

I have been a fan of Telerik for many years and have already been impressed with its products. Over the past number of years, Telerik has expanded beyond its fantastic UI controls to a number of tools and technologies that totally kick ass. Telerik is a market-leading provider of end-to-end solutions for application developmentautomated software testingagile project management, reporting, and content management across all major Microsoft development platforms. I was also impressed with Telerik’s commitment to supporting the developer community.

When this opportunity presented itself, it was a perfect fit for a number of important reasons. First, I’ve always loved Telerik’s products. I would strongly urge you to check them out; they warrant your serious attention. Second, my wife and I were already planning to relocate to Australia. Third, the developer communities in Australia and New Zealand are super-ultra-mega awesome. I want to support these great developers and help them out through Telerik’s offerings. And finally, it’s an opportunity for me to expand my experiences and skill sets. As many of you who know me, I’m all about career development. This role will challenge me in new and interesting ways. I’m looking forward to grabbing the bull by the horns and making a huge impact.

My Last Day at Microsoft

For context, please read The Next Step in Life’s Journey.

Today is my last day at Microsoft. It’s been an incredible experience and I’ve loved every minute of it.

I have been at Microsoft for nearly six years and have experienced a great deal in that time. Looking back, it seems like yesterday when I joined Microsoft on September 19, 2005 as a Developer Evangelist. At that time, I was already a strong advocate of the Microsoft technology stack – I was a Microsoft Regional Director and a Microsoft MVP for ASP/ASP.NET – and I was spending a considerable amount of time helping developers understand the intricacies of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio. It was shortly after a couple of phone calls with my soon-to-be-boss, Mark Relph (@mrelph) that I was convinced that being a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft was perfectly aligned with my passion for the developer community and my strengths in software development.

Being a member of the Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) group was particularly inspiring experience for me. The evangelists and management team are the best and brightest with whom I’ve ever worked and I was honoured to have them as colleagues. Under the stewardship of its fearless leader, Gladstone Grant (@gladstonegrant), I leave knowing that the folks in DPE will continue to excel at its mission to help inspire and assist the technical community in Canada.

From a personal perspective, I wish to recognize John Oxley (@joxley), who was my manager for the majority of my time at Microsoft. John made a profound impact on me as a developer and as a person. I attribute much of my success at Microsoft to John; he was a constant source of guidance and support. Microsoft cares a great deal about its people and my experience is testament to that fact. I always felt like I was given every opportunity to grow and was supported every step of the way.

For the nearly six years that I’ve been a part of DPE, my group and I have worked incredibly hard to help developers, IT pros, faculty, students, and hobbyists realize their full potential through software. It’s been a tremendously humbling experience, especially when you consider the quality of the Canadian technical community. I’ve met so many talented developers across Canada. It blows me away just how awesome these folks are when it comes to building software.

I have absolutely loved working at Microsoft. It certainly has been the highlight of my career. Going forward, I believe the future of Microsoft is incredibly promising and I continue to be enormously excited by its solutions and technologies for the desktop, web, cloud and phone.

As for what’s next for me, that’s another blog post for another time. In the meantime, if you need to reach me, I’m available at john@bristowe.com. Cheers!

The Next Step in Life's Journey

In the time-honoured tradition of life-changing moments accompanied by a personal blog post, this one is mine.

Ever since my wife and I have been together, we have discussed the idea of relocating overseas; preferably, to a country with a climate that suits our preferred lifestyle. Once we had a family, this topic of conversation came up more frequently. Overall, we felt that it would be difficult to us to move once our children were in school. If we were ever going to relocate, now would be the time.

That stated, my wife and I have decided to follow our dream by moving to Australia

My wife and I had talked many times about relocating to Australia. My wife is originally from New Zealand and I had previously lived in Melbourne for nearly three years. During my time there, I fell deeply in love with the country and its culture. I remember feeling very comfortable there. To me, Australia is very similar to Canada (i.e. Commonwealth background), except it’s much warmer.

 

If you read the description about Australia by the Canada’s Centre for Intercultural Learning, I think you’ll find that Canada and Australia have much in common from a cultural perspective. Of course, both countries suffer from its share of stereotypes:

 

Needless to say, these stereotypes aren’t entirely accurate.

My wife and I will miss Canada a great deal, especially our friends and family. However, we see this move as the next step in our life together and we’re tremendously excited about our future overseas.

It is our goal to be settled in Sydney later this year. That stated, my last day at Microsoft Canada will be September 16, 2011. At this point, I’m not yet ready to disclose details about my next endeavour but rest assured, I’ll still be heavily-involved with the Microsoft development stack and the technical community.

Microsoft TechDays Canada is a Wrap

Last week in Vancouver marked the conclusion of Microsoft TechDays Canada. Starting last October, our team visited six cities across Canada delivering five separate tracks covering a wide spectrum of technologies.

Microsoft TechDays Canada was an event focused on supporting the skills you need to be successful with today’s technology. To that end, our developer tracks focused on technologies like ASP.NET MVCSilverlightWindows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Windows Forms. They also focused on a few technologies that you may not have heard much about but are as equally relevant to developers. They include the Microsoft Sync Framework, theWindows Vista Bridge, and ADO.NET Data Services. In combination, we believe that the developer tracks did a great job in providing an overview of our developer stack.

Developers Love Silverlight

In most cities, the 2-part Silverlight session entitled, “Mastering Your Samurai Skills of Silverlight” was totally packed. Like me, developers absolutely love Silverlight. It’s a wonderful technology that enables you to build RIAs using your existing .NET skills. For the Web Developer Track, we chose to deliver three sessions on Silverlight. Based on their popularity, perhaps the next time around, we should consider an entire track on Silverlight!

Windows Mobile FTW

As part of the Windows Developer Track, we invited Canadian and Windows Mobile guruMark Arteaga to deliver a couple of sessions on building applications for the Windows Mobileplatform. His sessions were very well received. He did a great job showing folks how to build applications for mobile devices while sharing his top tips & tricks.

Got Feedback?

Please let me know what you’d like to see from Microsoft TechDays Canada the next time around. We’re listening. Got an idea for a session or track? What did you think of the venues? Send me an e-mail.