A warm welcome to Madalena Pinto de Lima, Microsoft Dev PMM for Portugal as she joins us for ‘Voices of the Azure Community’.
We hope you enjoy this insight into the work Madalena carries out to support the Azure Community.
Please tell us about your own role as an Azure Developer Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft for Portugal? How did you become a Dev PMM?
As an Azure Dev product marketing manager (Dev PMM), I am responsible to implement the Azure product marketing strategy for the technical audiences, in Portugal. My focus is to create Azure awareness and engagement among technical audiences and to help them developing their technical skills. I became a Dev PMM following a previous experience in marketing at Microsoft. I had worked 3 years in the CMO team, dealing with partners and B2B customers from a marketing perspective. After 2 years living and working abroad (and still in the digital world), I decided to come back to Portugal and took this amazing opportunity, which combines both technical and marketing skills.
Could you describe what your working week entails?
My working week entails some internal and external meetings – to align on content priorities, define technical speakers and initiatives and to get to know new product content and current projects. It also entails executing activities such as events, webinars or specific programs, supporting the ecosystem of MVPs, communities and partners, researching to be up to date with Azure products and advocating on Azure services and possibilities.
Would you outline what you find to be the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of your role?
The most challenging aspect is to keep the pace with Azure information, in regard to content and initiatives since Azure is a huge world that is constantly evolving. The most rewarding aspect is to feel and be part of the enthusiasm of the community members, their hunger to develop their skills and their passion for sharing their knowledge with others.
We understand that through your role you support and sponsor local Azure events. Would you outline the criteria and process to receive support?
There are different approaches, it depends on the situation. We can directly talk with a specific community and ask if they need any kind of support. It can be a Microsoft related or non-related community. Regarding MVPs, we have meetings and they know that I would help them as much as I can, either sponsoring an event, trying to find a speaker or just amplifying their messages.
Some other times, as it happened in the Virtual Azure Community Day, we organized the event and opened a Call for Speakers, connecting speakers from around the world. Or else, I am always available through my social networks.
To date what has been your proudest accomplishment in this role?
I am really proud of having created from scratch the Microsoft Virtual Mornings, together with my team. They consisted in a series of webinars with the objective to upskill technical audiences. This is a special accomplishment because it was born in the beginning of this new and sudden remote work “new normality”, as a plan to support with knowledge all people and organizations during these times. We quickly adapted to the situation and were able to offer relevant content every Thursday and during 2 months, so people and organizations could obtain the skills to either quickly adjust to the situation (for instance, technical knowledge about the Windows Virtual Desktop) or to able to transform their businesses.
In your opinion what is the most exciting thing about working with Azure?
Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Azure is all about our mission, as it comprises a world of opportunities. Azure is part of the digital transformation of so many companies, in so many areas and with a so huge impact. My tiny contribution to this makes working with Azure really exciting.
What is your favorite Azure Product and why?
My favorite product is Cognitive Services, which consist in a comprehensive family of AI services and cognitive APIs to help customers build intelligent apps, embedding the ability to see, hear, speak, search, understand, and accelerate decisions.
I have a particular interest about AI for Good which uses Cognitive Services and provides technology, resources, and expertise to empower those working to create a more sustainable and accessible world.
What in your opinion has been the biggest advance in Azure in the past 18 months?
I think this is a very hard question because Azure has so many big advances! On one hand, I would say that the Azure global expansion is remarkable. It is currently served in 61 regions around the globe – more than any other cloud provider. This means more than 140 countries. As so, Azure enables developers to connect with customers and employees closer than ever before. On the other hand, the shift that Microsoft has done to Open Source is also impressive. We are now the single largest contributor to open-source projects. We have extensive partnerships with OSS providers like Red Hat, Suse and Cloudera, among so many others. 60% of solutions in the Azure Market Place are Linux based and even over 50% of all our VMs running on Azure are running Linux.
Would you describe the ‘Azure Heroes’ Programme? How has it been received by the community?
This is a blockchain-based program that rewards contributions of the Azure developer community across different categories. Some examples of contributions are promoting a diverse line-up of speakers and audience members for an event, organizing meetups or creating a blog post. These contributions are rewarded with badgers which are verifiably scarce and publicly-visible, giving a deeper value to their recognition.
As these digital badgers take normal badges to a whole new level, as they are cute, fun and valuable, they had been super well received by the community. However, there are still many people I would love to recognize and I am open to your nominations!
Could you describe what the unique spirit of the Portuguese Azure ‘Community’ means to you?
It is an interesting question. In the other day, a person responded to one of my LinkedIn posts saying that all the communities are great, but the Portuguese Azure “Community” is special. To be honest, I do not have a term of comparison and I believe in the value of diversity, also in regard to cultures. However, I can say that I am really amazed with the Portuguese Azure ‘Community’. On the technical level, people are incredibly well prepared, they are constantly challenging themselves and developing new skills. More than their technical skills, I truly appreciate their eagerness to help, their proactivity and their warm welcoming to everyone around. It is an honor and a pleasure to know and work with them.