“We enter as friends, we leave as friends,” said Mark Relph, then the VP of Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Group as we did my final interview in early October 2008. I started just under a fortnight later, on October 20th, and for the past two and a half years, I have proudly held the title of Developer Evangelist, representing Microsoft to Canadian software developers, and in turn, advocating for Canadian software developers to Microsoft Canada. If you have read anything I’ve written, caught any of my presentations or seen me evangelize, you will know that it is a job that I love and enjoy wholeheartedly.

Mark may have gone off to Redmond to join the mother ship, but his declaration still holds true. I will leave Microsoft as a friend next week on Friday, April 22nd.

zen garden

If life is change, then I’ve had life by the truckload over the past few months. I’ll spare you the details here (if you really must know, it’s best done in person and over a pint or two), but it should be plenty to simply say that if I were a more “New Age” sort of person, I’d say that the universe has been dropping hints that I really need to shake things up. Hence my departure, something I would never have predicted a mere six months ago. Life’s like that.

developer evangelist

Mine is still a great job. I could’ve spent the past few weeks just winding down and wrapping up, but I love this job too much to do that. I enjoy it enough to keeping “Bringing the Awesome”, right to my last minute on my last day next week. Everything I wrote in the “Now Hiring” post when we were looking for a new evangelist back in October remains the same.

What’s changed is me, and I’ve got to go and follow a different path. If and when the opening to fill my position appears, go check it out – you might find that it’s the job for you. It comes with my highest recommendation, and if you’ve got the skills and inclination, I’d tell you to go for it.

joey and microsoft founders

I’m going to wax a little more poetic in a blog post on my final day at the job. For now, I’d like to say that it’s been an honour, a privilege and a joy to have worked at Microsoft. I have worked with bright and talented people on interesting and important projects with some amazing gear, in cities all over Canada. I’ve learned a lot: not just about Microsoft’s tools and technologies, but also about the problems they solve, the customers they serve, the corporation that makes them and the industry said corporation is part of. I am a better geek, a better public speaker, a better writer, a better performer and even a better person for my experiences at Microsoft. For all this and more, they will always have my gratitude. I entered as a friend two and a half years ago, and next week, I leave as one.

Thank you, Microsoft. It’s been a great journey.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

54 replies on “Departure”

Best of luck Joey. We had some good times at Microsoft! From Australian flight crews to creepy sailors to not so silent but still deadly Rajtoots. Keep on doing what you do and being who you are.


Congratuations Joey!

I was so proud to recommend you to join the team with @joxley and @mrelph at Microsoft. You made Microsoft better.

And because I’ve lived the next steps, your future is so bright you might have to wear shades.

Rock on amigo!

Congrats Joey – hopefully I get to hear about your next chapter at a karaoke night soon, but until then best of luck with your last days at Microsoft and the first days of your new journey.


Joe, met you briefly in SxSW and we didn’t get a chance to connect at MIX11 but I’ve always been an admirer of you and an avid reader of your blog. Good luck on the next big thing and following your vision.

Hey Joey!

Indeed a year of changes for you. I’m glad that your experience at Microsoft has been so great, as opposed to some others not to be named 🙂 Look forward to hearing about your next big leaps.


Looking forward to learning about your next adventure.

As with all the things I’ve seen you do, you did Microsoft with style and humour- we’ll have to catch up over a few of those pints.

We need definitely need to get together at a suitable west end pub soon- you going to do a pub night? I, for one, think it a good idea.

Good man, and said with tact and decorum. Will follow your tweets and 4sq to learn what the next step holds. As for pints, I do hope to toast you with one, sooner than later – the Irish in me be ons. Cheers and best, mate.

I look forward to where your next adventure takes you! I know of the need to stir things up in ones life and totally understand. Good luck Joey! 🙂

P.S. If you happen to be at something like GDC Austin let me know 😉

Congratulations, Joey! Onwards and upwards. I know you’ll be a hit with your amazing attitude and wordsmithing wherever you go.

[…] This is my final week in my biggest, most influential, broadest-reaching job to date, and in its honour, I’m marking my last days with a different version of Europe’s classic ‘80s hair-rock hit, The Final Countdown. Today’s rendition: an orchestral version led by three cellos performed by an orchestra from Liepaja, Latvia, still with the head-bangin’. […]

Hey Joey, great to have met you back again at SXSW and didn’t know that you’re leaving Microsoft until I saw your post. Best of luck on your next thing in life and hope to see you again.



[…] I quit a very secure, high-paying job and joined a startup. I moved to Ottawa for the summer and went on a travel binge, racking up 20 flights in 2011. My family has noticed that I’m a happier person. Friends who’ve known me for a long time have told me that I’m like a distilled version of my earlier, more jovial self. Newer friends wonder what I’m on. The new girl probably thinks I’ve lost my mind, but she probably also thinks that’s why I’m fun enough to keep around.  […]

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