A Day in the Life of an Advocate

I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to work from home, travel to lots of events, set much of my own schedule, and I work for an amazing, supportive company. I’m incredibly proud of the way Redgate Software has handled this pandemic crisis. From strong leadership, a commitment to employees, the Community Circle, and the very strong work by our Core services team to ensure technology has helped us continue to operate as a business.

We maintain an internal company blog where lots of information is shared by individuals and groups. Each week we compile a list of important posts that are sent to all employees on Friday. It’s a way to understand different things that are happening inside the company, since many of us are focused on our own jobs and might not know what others are doing. Recently, I was asked to write a post for the blog on a day in the life of an Advocate. I was happy to tackle it, but included Kathi, Kendra, and Grant as well, since we all share that title, but have very different jobs.

What do we do? For the most part, we do what the title says: we advocate. We advocate among the public for Redgate, and, as Microsoft Data Platform MVPs, we advocate for people to use the Microsoft data platform. At the same time, we advocate for customer needs inside of Redgate, liaising with developers and others to influence what and how they build software. We advocate at Microsoft on behalf of all the customers that want new features and struggle with existing ones.

For all of us, this might be through meetings, presentations, written content, emails, and more. In some sense, we are communicators that move information and knowledge around. All of us have done that throughout our careers, and it’s what many of you do as well. In fact, I think some of the most successful technical professionals I know are great communicators. They many have great technical skills, but they also have the ability to communicate well with others.

I saw a famous software developer once recommend that anyone really wanting to be a developer ought to major in a subject like English (or your language of choice) to learn how to analyze writing and communicate your thoughts back to others. Certainly you need technical skills, but most of us really need to learn how to work well with others. A soft skill, but a vitally important one.

That’s most of my day as an advocate. Communicating. Hopefully many of you find that I do it well and have learned something, been inspired, or even entertained by my work. I look forward to continuing it for many years.

Steve Jones

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