Thanks to be a competitor of Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012, I had the chance to serve as a Microsoft Evangelist. This was my job between April 2012 and October 2012.
It was super simple, and it was unpaid work. Normally I had to assist to different events, normally events where Microsoft were the sponsors and talk about Microsoft’s technology.
I and my friends had expertise with C#, Azure and some APIs from Microsoft, so it was easy and I really like it. Microsoft paid for all my expenses: plane tickets, bus tickets, food, hotel and so, but they didn’t pay me for my labor – I didn’t expect it either.
Meanwhile, I assisted on a daily basis to a coworking space named SUMA Conectivo, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, I organized some small events for other coworkers and outside people where we discuss different stuff about technology.
Once, in August 2012, we organized an Internation Hackathon, between Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and the United States. It was 12 hours and the idea was to build something in that timeframe. It was great that the Miami Herald mentioned me for my creation.
At that time there wasn’t a lot of apps and services that offer you a feature to live stream from your camera. Facebook Live wasn’t a thing nor Instagram Live nor Snapchat. So I made a web-app that allows you to live stream and next to the video player you can see all the tweet activity for a hashtag. We used #hacklatam.
Here are some valuable lessons I learned about talking about technology to real-world audiences.
- Talking in public: I think this is a skill, and as almost all the skills, you can improve it. How to improve it? By doing it, each time you present to an audience you are improving. This helps me improve a lot of my skill.
- Networking: when I was young I underestimate the power of networking, I was a strong believer that you can connect with everybody via DM (Twitter, Facebook, email, …). But I was wrong, of course. Having real talks and connect for real with other human beings in much more powerful than send and LinkedIn invite or doing a cold mailing/calling.
- Internet and Technology audiences are huge: I grow up sitting on my computer at my own home, alone. I used to belive that I was weird because my friends didn’t have the same interest or knowledge about the Internet than me. And the time shows me that I was wrong. There is a lot of people doing awesome stuff in Technology.
- Always have a Plan B, C or Z: normally when you have to do a live demo of a product or run code in front of an audience, there is a lot of stuff that can go wrong, in ways that you can’t imagine. Thanks for this short experience as an Evangelist I learned that you need to have a backup plan in case everything fails.