Microsoft Regional Director
The Microsoft Regional Director (RD) program is a community of independent developers, architects, trainers, and other professionals who form a vital link between Microsoft and the developer community. These technical experts provide insight and informed perspectives about Microsoft software development tools and technologies. Regional Directors are not Microsoft employees, nor are they monetarily-compensated by Microsoft. They are recognized by Microsoft for their technical expertise. Many Regional Directors are also Microsoft MVPs.
As of Spring 2008, there were approximately 50 Regional Directors in the United States and 120 Regional Directors worldwide. Microsoft selects Regional Directors in geographic areas based on customer and developer density. Although "regional" appears in their title, Regional Directors are not bound by any set geographic boundaries. In fact, most travel to evangelize their technologies. You will find Regional Directors speaking at conferences such as Tech Ed, PDC, Visual Studio Live!, Dev Connections, Mix, PASS, and various user groups and Code Camps throughout the world.
RD vs. MVP
The MVP program is broader in scope than the Regional Director program. Regional Directors tend to be experts focusing on software development tools and technologies, where MVPs can be experts in any of the numerous Microsoft product lines. Regional Directors also focus more on evangelizing the business and technical value of these technologies. Logistically speaking, there are far fewer Regional Directors than there are MVPs. MVPs number in the thousands, whereas there are around 120 Regional Directors.
The term of a Regional Director is two years. During that time they are expected to regularly engage with the software development community and Microsoft customers. This can take the form of speaking, training, writing, blogging, or podcasting. Occasionally, a Regional Director will hire on to Microsoft, in which case they immediately lose their membership in the program. When a Regional Director slot opens up, Microsoft looks at both internal and external nominations to locate a qualified candidate.
How the RD program got started
The Regional Director (RD) Program at Microsoft officially started back in 1994 when a group of Visual Basic Users Group leaders met at a pool hall in Seattle and were proposed a novel approach to launching Developer products called DevDays. This was a day long event around the launch of a product that emulated a true "Community Driven" Users Group meeting. There was an original group of eight RD's. Since then the program grew beyond the DevDays concept to be a group of over 100 worldwide community Microsoft technical evangelists. This group of community leaders speak, write and participate in a myriad events centered on Microsoft technologies. Probably most importantly, this group of leaders holds no punches when telling Microsoft their candid ideas and feelings about their products and services!
Since 1994, there have been several managers of the Microsoft Regional Director program.
|1994 – 1995||Mike Werner|
|1996 – 1997||Kostas Malios|
|1999 – 2001||Jennifer Ritzinger|
|2002 – 2004||Eileen Crain|
RD of the year
|1998||Joe Homnick and Sten Sundblad|
|2004||Scott Hanselman, Paul Sheriff, Fun Jin Lim, Tomislav Bronzin, Adolfo Wiernik, Michele Leroux Bustamante,
Carl Franklin, Kevin Schuler, Ken Getz, Jackie Goldstein,Kate Gregory, Juval Lowy,
Scott Stanfield, Kimberly Tripp, Goksin Bakir, Clemens Vasters, Abdelmalek Kemmou
At Microsoft's Tech-Ed conference, June 2007 in Orlando, Florida, the Regional Director program announced the creation of "The Region". The Region is a website which serves as a global hub, aggregating all of the blog and profile information of the various Regional Directors. The Region is designed to help circulate insights, information, inspiration and inquiries among the Regional Directors as well as the broader developer community.
- Who are the Microsoft Regional Directors?
- Even with its success, .NET causes some consternation
- Goodyear, Jonathan. "Demystifying the Microsoft Regional Director". asp.netPro.
- Lowe, Alex. "What is a Microsoft Regional Director?". blogs.msdn.com.
- Desmond, Michael (2008-09-25). "Friends in High Places". Redmond Developer News.