There is an abundance of Azure development information to be found on Twitter and to get the most from the platform it helps to know where to go. To narrow it down, we are highlighting here what we consider some key accounts to follow.
The below is in no particular order:
As Executive Vice President of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, Scott is responsible for company’s cloud, server, database, business apps, security, management and development tools businesses. In this role, Scott oversees the engineering team building Azure and is very often one of the first to make key announcements. You will have likely seen Scott present keynotes (in his famous red shirt) at the flagship Microsoft conferences such as Ignite and Build. Following him on Twitter is great way to hear about the latest in Azure development from the person in charge.
Mark Russinovic is the Chief Technical Officer for Azure at Microsoft. Mark frequently tweets about what you would expect from a technical lead – insights on technical releases, videos of product demonstrations and news that you’ll want to know as an Azure developer.
Azure Dev Advocates
Azure Developer Advocates are an official Microsoft global team of engineers who advocate for Azure development and those in this field. What does this mean exactly? There is not yet an official description available from Microsoft but Jeremy Likeness, who is one of the Advocates, provides an overview from his perspective of what this is in his blog. In it he says:
“We support you by doing things like:
- Ensuring you have the best possible documentation available
- Sharing our knowledge with you at user groups and conferences
- Learning from you at user groups and conferences
- Writing blog posts and articles about topics we believe will help you accomplish more
- Connecting with you over social media
- Volunteering at events like Ignite
- Taking your feedback back to the product teams who can make a difference
- Listening and growing, every day”
The real-world value of this group for those of us in Azure development is the “on the ground” support offered. Although we have not tested it ourselves, theoretically you could reach out to any one of the Advocates to ask questions or for Azure development advice. Currently the UK-based Azure Developer Advocates are:
- Amy Boyd: twitter.com/AmyKateNicho
- Asim Hussain: twitter.com/jawache
- Jim Bennett: twitter.com/jimbobbennett
- Simona Cotin: twitter.com/simona_cotin
- Dean Bryen: twitter.com/deanbryen
Azure Development Community
The Azure Development Community is a blogging team formed of Microsoft employees, MVPs, Partners and development experts. You can bookmark the blog, with their Twitter feed being a good place to be notified about the latest published articles, which are all Azure development focussed.
Scott has the official job title of ‘Partner Program Manager’ at Microsoft and is expert across a breadth of Microsoft technologies. As a software architect, engineer and analyst he currently works mainly in open source on ASP.NET and the Azure Cloud. Particularly for Azure development, Scott hosts ‘Azure Friday’ weekly on Microsoft Channel 9 where he meets with with the engineers who build Azure services (bookmark it). Scott regularly tweets about the projects he is working on and actively engages with developers, often asking for feedback and input.
We should note that here that Scott’s Twitter account is a personal one – he interacts and answers developer/community questions and will also share opinions on politics, the latest films and such.
This account is run by seven-time Microsoft MVP Chris Pietschmann and is all about the Microsoft Cloud. This is a good one to follow because it is run by an engineer for engineers. It is also a great way to keep up with the frequent updates and changes in the Azure cloud, with this account publishing its Build Azure Weekly – a collection of the latest news and interesting articles.
The obvious one! This is the primary source for formal and official announcements. These announcements usually link to technical blogs which give the top to bottom rundown. The feed is updated daily and is a highly useful resource for Azure developers. The weekly #AzureTrivia competition each Monday is a fun way to test your knowledge and gives you a chance to win prizes.
If you are new to Twitter these accounts should help to get you started on who to follow for Azure development insights, news and expertise.
If you are already on Twitter you no doubt have other accounts that you recommend. If you think we have missed anything/anyone important here we would love to know – tell us on @ballardchalmers so we can follow them and update this blog.
By the Ballard Chalmers Azure Team