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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

I met Lindsay about a year and a half ago at a user group event in Greenville, SC. She has the perfect job that keeps her very very busy but she was nice enough to take a few minutes and answer these NINE Questions.

image 1. Where are you from?
I was born in Singapore, raised in Australia and Guam, went to college in Los Angeles, then Microsoft moved me to Philadelphia!  On top of that, my mom was raised in the Philippines, and my dad is from Scotland.

2. What do you do / Who do you work for / What is your "product"  Give me the 10 second pitch.
I am a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft.  Basically I get to expose and educate developers about how Microsoft can help them do their jobs.

3. How did you end up doing what you do now?
I was hired on to Microsoft out of college.  I graduated in 2005 with a Computer Science degree from USC.  I was looking for a job where a) I got to wear jeans most days, b) I wasn’t sitting behind a monitor drinking Mountain Dew and coding all day every day, that I got to talk to people c) I had heard of the term “technical evangelist” and wanted to be one of THOSE.  Luckily the Microsoft college recruiter knew just the right job.

4. What is one of the biggest challenges of your job?
I would say being proficient enough to teach on the whole plethora of Microsoft development technologies.  We introduce new products all the time, and update what’s out there.  It’s not enough to be able to tell developers what the product does, but show them with code.  Also, being familiar enough with other platforms and technologies.

5. You're on Twitter and Facebook  so what's your take on the whole social networking boom of late? Here to stay or passing fad?
Well, my university was one of the first on Facebook (when it was still a closed community), so it lots it’s novelty to me and I let it idle for a year or so, then it became a developer platform and the whole thing EXPLODED!  Based on that example, I think it’s here to stay.  Both Facebook and Twitter started out one way and users expanded them to fit their needs.  They’ll keep doing that.

6. Your job has you interacting a lot with community... user groups, code camps, etc... so where do you think we are compared to 5 years ago? Is the grassroots community scene growing? is it healthy? how much is too much?
My job is all about forming relationship with developers.  A great way to do that is through user groups, events, code camps, etc.  I’ve only been in this role for 2 ½ years, and in that time I’ve seen a huge shift from top-down to bottom-up approach.  For Microsoft, it used to be the ‘ivory tower’ in Redmond dictating what developers wanted, and now I think it’s the other way around.  And that has to do with developers coming together to have a stronger voice.  In terms of health, it’s different for every geography.  There are some cities where the user group and community efforts are VERY strong and don’t need Microsoft to add too many more events on top of that, in fact more events would be an overload.  Other locations are ‘young’ and need more Microsoft support to get started.  I would say it gets to be too much when you are burning out your leaders, and you aren’t seeing new growth.  Maybe then you should scale back and change things up.

7. Any non-technical hobbies / interest?
I’m an avid tennis fan, I can’t get enough.  Also, I love music – this summer was my “Summer of Concerts.”  I saw the Eagles, Pearl Jam, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, Ben Folds, and Crosby Still & Nash, and a couple of smaller shows.  Lastly, as you can tell from where I have lived, I love to travel.

8. What's something the world probably doesn’t know about you?
I’m a triplet. J  All girls.  Allison is a Mechanical Engineer and Sally is an actress/real estate agent.  I feel that being a DE falls somewhere in between.  Also, I was second place in the Guam Donkey Kong Country video game tournament.

9. Last of all... any tattoos?
Nope!  I’m not anti-tattoo, but I haven’t found an image/pattern that I can commit to for the rest of my life!

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 12:01 PM NINE Questions | Back to top

Comments on this post: NINE Questions with Lindsay Lindstrom

# re: NINE Questions with Lindsay Rutter
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For others interested in your career field, what advice and or insight can you offer in regards to skills, education, capabilities, and personality qualities necessary to excel in your field?
Left by Kim on May 28, 2009 10:53 AM

# re: NINE Questions with Lindsay Rutter
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Hi Kim,

Thanks for the question!

The biggest piece of advice I have is to be passionate about what you do, and everything else falls into place. When you're passionate about something, you do all you can to learn about it, talk about it and and tell others about it. When people see that, they gravitate towards it.

Secondly, learn how to communicate! There are a lot of techies out there, but you will go far if you can be both technical AND a good communicator. If you can bridge the gap between the business/marketing folks and the devs, you will be sought after.

As for skills and education, I wouldn't recommend any particular path. Just keep yourself relevant, pay attention to the latest technologies, you don't have to learn all of them, but stay informed. The worst thing ever is a dev who has been maintaining some archaic business system in a defunct language, and then finds themselves out of a job with no relevant skills.

Hope that helps, Kim! :)
Left by Lindsay on Jul 06, 2009 12:34 PM

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