Jouni is a Microsoft Regional Director
Starting February 2015, I am a Microsoft Regional Director (RD). Needless to say, I am honored and happy for the award.
The Wikipedia RD article linked above doesn't paint a fully accurate picture of the program (at the time of writing), but the gist of it is correct: Regional Directors are not Microsoft employees, but rather an unpaid group of 130 senior technology professionals who are charged with the task of advancing communication between Microsoft and developers using Microsoft technology. And, starting from 2015, RDs' reach will extend from just developers to some broader categories of IT Professionals as well.
The legendary Ahti Haukilehto has traditionally been the Finnish RD вЂ“ for the last two decades or so. He still is, but alas, only until the end of June 2015. I am glad we have a few months of time together, and will work hard to be a worthy replacement.
What does this mean in practice?
I will devote a considerable slice of my time to this. I will blog and speak more, and I will be more available for discussions. How exactly will all this happen, I don't know yet вЂ“ there are a lot of good options, and I need some time to think about this first.
I have some preliminary plans. They include visiting some Finnish Microsoft partners in order to better understand their business and needs for Microsoft. I will also have more in-depth discussions with various product managers and specialists at the local Microsoft subsidiary to understand where they stand with their products. With this, I hope to get an understanding of what's going on in "my region".
Once that is done, the next steps remain to be seen. I will have frequent contact with the product groups at Redmond, and will hopefully be able to turn all this into some benefit for the Finnish Microsoft community. There are a lot of possibilities, ranging in scope from simple (bringing new people together in projects) to maniacal (a Finnish technology conference ГЎ la NDC or Oredev).
I will release more details as my plans progress and the future becomes clearer. In the meantime, if you think there's something a Microsoft Regional Director would be able to help you with, get in touch with me. I look forward to energizing the future, and the Microsoft of 2015 is most definitely an excellent platform for that.
Expect more stories on this blog.