Graduate Profile - Technical Evangelist
Name: Lilian Kasem
Role: Technical Evangelist
Department: DX (Developer Experience)
Location: TVP, Reading
My name is Lilian and I am currently working as a Technical Evangelist (TE) based in the Reading office. I graduated from Brunel University London with a 1st Class Computer Science degree with a placement year. I was not an intern at Microsoft, but I did intern as a Software Engineer at Accenture for a year – this ultimately made me realise I wanted to be a Technical Consultant and not a Software Engineer! I chose Microsoft as it was leading in the technology and innovation space in the tech world and it seemed like the best place to be to start my career.
I’m a Technical Evangelist (TE) in the Developer Experience (DX) department. You’re probably thinking what is a TE? (I had no idea till I started to be honest!). And the answer is no! I do not preach about religion. A TE in the developer group is someone who talks to the developer community and builds a relationship with them to help them use our technology. I got my job offer to work in DX in December, I met my manager at an event in June, and officially started in September – it’s only been (almost) 2 month, but it has been absolutely amazing.
My day to day job:
My role involves prepping demos, writing blogs and tutorials, giving talks about Microsoft technology, teaching developers how to use our technology, doing workshops, working on proof of concept projects, being engaged with developers through online presence, including contributing to forums. I think I got it all? Or am I missing something?! Oh and I do stuff around hackathons and students too!
What stands out in my role:
The freedom to work on technologies I love (that align with the MS business of course). From working with drones and the Internet of Things to customer applications and teaching children how to code to supporting hackers at events. There’s always something cool happening in DX!
The people I work with:
It’s my first year at Microsoft so I haven’t been assigned to a specific team in DX, I’m reporting directly to the DX Lead. Everyone has been amazing and super helpful; it’s hard to feel lost when you get so much support from the people around you. There are two Evangelism teams within DX, in case you were wondering, the Audience Evangelism side and the ISV side. Audience deals with the community side of things (forums, talks, workshops, hackathons etc.) and ISV is the customer side of things (working with and supporting customers using MS technologies).
What it's like working for the company
It’s great. The people are amazing, the office is cool, there are tons of opportunities for you to get involved with what you are interested in. I just need to stop taking advantage of the £1.50 Starbucks coffee, old programmer habits die hard!
#1 Top Tip for making the most of your role
Get involved with every opportunity that comes up, but at the same time: learn to manage your calendar – it will rule your work life – probably the most useful software I use is my calendar, Wunderlist helps too!
Application Process Tips
Online application: The easiest part: Just upload your CV and use the STAR method when answering questions. Talk about your experiences. Don’t state facts/information about yourself without backing it up with evidence of some sort.
Online test: The questions are scenario based and they are assessing what you would do in different situations. They want to understand if you are a right fit for the company so it’s important to be honest and be yourself.
Video interview: Pre-recorded video interview– here you have a few pre-recorded video questions that you have to answer in a short amount of time. The good way to prepare for this is to record yourself answering some practice questions in a short amount of time. Try to be concise and show your passion for wanting to work at MS and the tech industry.
Skype interview: Treat this like a normal chat and not an interview (to some extent, don’t go wild!). The interview (in my case) was very chilled, the interviewer just wanted to talk to me about previous work and projects and other topics from my CV. Just relax, smile and be yourself!
Assessment centre: Treat the entire day as the interview – it’s very important that you be yourself!
What I found most challenging about the process:
The pre-recorded video interview: You have no idea what the questions are, and you only get short amount of time to think about a response before it starts recording your answer!
Top tip for the process:
Super cheesy I know, but just be yourself and let your passion to work in the technology industry show. You as a person is more important that your skillset, they can train you but they can’t change who you are (if that makes sense). You just have to show them that you would love to work for this company and why!