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Microsoft names new director of developer marketing, plans to launch Insider 'Dev Circles'

The company is placing its global community of Windows Insiders at the heart of this new initiative, led by Jeremiah Marble, who has today been appointed to the new role of Microsoft's Director of Developer Marketing for Windows.

Surface Insider Rings

Surface Insider Rings (Image credit: Windows Central)

"My goal is that everyone in the world codes," Marble said. "We at Microsoft will continue to seek ways to make our platform and products more relevant to EVERYONE in the world."

Marble's comments follow the recent completion of Microsoft's second Windows Insiders4Good Fellowship program – a small-scale initiative in Africa that has had a profound effect on the way that the whole company develops its products. Microsoft's new push to promote coding is a further example of its efforts to harness the collective knowledge and enthusiasm of its Insider community, beyond simply testing new Windows 10 preview builds, the latest of which was released today.

"No surprise, we'll start with Insiders," Marble said. "There are 10-plus million of them around the world. We think ALL of them should learn to code. We believe that code is this generation's literacy."

The first step will be what Marble described as "an evolution of Insider Cohorts" – a new experiment intended to group Insiders into more focused groups of like-minded individuals with a common passion or area of expertise. "We're loosely calling [them] Microsoft Dev Circles. We'll start them up in a few cities, and work with communities of developers to help them help each other. Give them tools. Maybe some pizza and sodas," Marble said.

Cohorts and the upcoming Dev Circles are part of Microsoft's new two-year roadmap, known as "WIP 2020", exploring ways to evolve its Windows Insider Program.

28 Comments
  • 🙄
  • As interesting as that is, how about someone to head up a marketing team for products? That's genius. Who would have thunk it!?!?!
  • Wait a minute... You think this is interesting?
  • Well yes! Some people are more interested in development than gadgetry.
  • Well, it would be interesting if the effects of MS's plans to entice developers yielded considerable results. Nevertheless, I can't complain about them doing something, but I sense this "something" will just be another afterthought, before long. Not trying to be negative, but it would be nice to see MS follow through with something big, disruptive, and exciting, for once.
  • Excuse me but MS has been more disruptive in the past decade in almost all their field than any of their direct competitors... The fact that the masses follow is an other matter... But from XB to surface, from azure to windows, from office 365 to visual studio they have been more innovative and disruptive than any competitors that can't be denied..
  • ahhhhh....no! Was being nice, damn, I shouldn't do that.
  • Yea, but the job of Head of Product Marketing at MS is the easiest job in the world. The role profile goes something like 'Sit there and maintain a slightly confused smile at all times...'.
  •   CES 2018 - Alexa and Google dominate, Cortana dead --- Microsoft announces new head of Cortana Microsoft Build 2018 - Not sold out, developer interest dead --- Microsoft announces hew head of Developer Marketing They should look at why they are falling behind so badly, not just reactionly hire someone to fix the problems their leadership and stratgies have created. 
  • Took them long enough. UWP is dead according to developers and the Centennial Bridge will not save it. Something needs to be done quick or future Windows 10 builds will be basically what Windows 7 was or could of been.
  • The crux of the fault is with Microsoft they had dropped the ball not just in Mobile but with UWP and Artificial intelligence. Hence now we are seeing them scramble to retain what they have. Hindsight is a wonderful thing lol. Foresight would have prevented this.... but whatever the past cannot be changed (yet). I am hoping 2018 will mark a renewed focus on consumers because whether they like it or not. The mobile smart devices industry is a trillion dollar global industry and is set to grow with 5G. All that money is not in the enterprise but the bulk of it is in the consumer space.
  • Omg, this sounds absurd. I'm a long time developer. Not only should not everyone spend time coding, but I'd be shocked if they wanted to. It would be a horrible waste of their time. My wife can barely stand to USE a computer, let alone think about coding. What universe is this guy from?
  • >Not only should not everyone Gees, I hope your coding logic is better than your grammatical logic :/  
  • Well, though the wording is about as smooth as an Android phone (not really the grammar), the logic is correct. Devs are not always the best communicators though. That's what Marketing departments are for. Except at Microsoft of course...
  • I'm confused or maybe you're confused, and thus making me confused about your comment. It's not like they're forcing everyone to code.
  • Is Build 2018 sold out yet?
  • No, tickets are still available: https://register.build.microsoft.com/register
  • Stop asking this in every article
  • I think it is a relevant question with all the developer talk today. Microsoft Build usually sells out in minutes. What is going on with it this year? Are they really hurting that bad?
  • Maybe since they are hosting it in a different place they can house more people.
  • I hope this also means they will reengage consumers on a broad spectrum? If the plan is to make windows relevant to everyone then you need a consumer outlet, a siloed focus on the enterprise will make a liar out of that statement and by extension the new director of developer marketing. Either way you look at it, Microsoft must engage consumers if they wish to stay relevant. Developers and enterprise users / customers are consumers first. People generally work to live (sadly in some places some only live to work).
  • ROFL, does that really sound like Ol' Nads?
  • Well, profits speak volumes. So when sales decline what do you? You find new markets and what's the biggest market for smart devices? Consumers. Where are most of the AI driven smart devices sold? Consumer sector. How does Microsoft benefit from in the AI space and make that sector profitable? More smart devices running Cortana. So where can you sell on volume and sell iterative upgrades to smart devices? Consumer space. It's not rocket science lol. If Microsoft does not re-engage the consumer space then profits will slowly dwindle, we've seen that with the Surface line up. There is only so much a company or corporation can cut before it has a negative impact. We've already seen that with the fiasco that was the fall creators update roll out. So if Microsoft is to prevent another debacle like that then they need to re-hire the programmatic testers and allow developers to iterate freely. There aren't enough coding hours to iterate and test everything. That's what programmatic testers do in a nut shell and provide in depth analysis. Not to mention people suffer from code fatigue. Where you start to imagine lines of code that should be there but aren't there. Everyone does it, we generally fill in words when going over a long document after a long day. The difference is self awareness and rectification. Lastly, in order to minimise cost you reduce over heads but with a company like Microsoft they can't afford to concede ground. Which they have done as result they have been left in the dust in sectors which they were leading. If this continues profits will decline rapidly. Because the current infrastructure won't be self sustaining. So then you end up a downward spiral to the ground and irrelevancy. That is what happened to many companies who were once deemed "too big to fail". In addition if this happens, the CEO of any company will have very tough questions and let's just say the shareholders won't be using polite language. Since we have a rather risk averse CEO or those who are advising are risk averse. They will want to prevent that from happening. After all, profits talk.
  • I hope it works out for them, but as a developer it doesn't sound that interesting to me.  I stay away from the Insider builds on my main device.  I want resources and tools that are stable.  The only thing I use Insider builds for is to keep up with what is changing.  It doesn't really intersect with my development unless there is some kind of huge breaking change (which has never happened for the stuff I do). I'm kind of surprised this is a new position. Didn't they have a Director of Developer Marketing already??? I think that not only do they need this position they should also have hundreds of developers under the director whose sole purpose is to promote and help developers adopt the Windows platform and Microsoft tools. I am not even that confident they are going to do their job the way I hope they do.  The way Microsoft has been moving I'm fully expecting them to promote iOS and Android development (using Windows tools) over Windows development. Windows development was struggling when they were trying to transition to UWP and trying to push Windows Phones.  After they dropped Windows mobile I feel like developer interest in Windows development plummetted into areas difficult to come back from.  I hope Microsoft can turn it around, but I'll get back on board when I see real effort and results from Microsoft.
  • Their tools aren't the issue. The whole VS family is good to great. Main issue is clarity on where they're heading... Edge is taking ages to adopt new specs (biggest issue for me as a web dev, don't talk to me about IE!!) but as I was working in Xamarin (about 2 years ago) it was never clear if you could do x-platform on all 3. Android and iOS for sure, but always lacking in the other. Even their Mobile Dev tool always lacked support for Windows. I don't know if this was intentional as they wanted everyone on UWP natively but it surely was confusing, resulting in bad trust. We'll see how it goes from here. As about Build, there are LOADS of confs nowadays. People just have more choices and maybe (probably) leaning towards the JS centric ones this year. A couple of their best known dev advocates (John Papa, Sarah Drasner...) are all JS centric.
  • Sounds like a super good initiative
  • Hey window help me to download Dream league
  • Web client where is it