About

The Journey

My big journey started in 2012 when I was at university. I was so passionate about many things and doing all of them at the same time: studying in a double major program (Electrical&Electronics Engineering and Software Engineering), working on Electric Car project funded by Scientific and Technological Research Council and getting ready for the “Electric Vehicle Race”, having internships at e-commerce, gaming companies and most importantly being a Microsoft Student Partner.

As a Microsoft Student Partner, I was developing games for Microsoft Store, joining/organizing events, giving tech speeches at the student conferences, meeting new MSP friends from different universities, different countries. We (MSPs) became the experts of new cloud technologies before our graduation even though there was no cloud lecture at universities back then. MSP Program was another school for us, where we get a chance to learn the new stuff, cool stuff! When I look back today, I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

I was so excited, interested in learning everything new. Sky was the limit, why would I focus on one thing if I could do it all!

Note to young self: being an expert on a specific thing requires A LOT of attention and work.

The Internship: a year in DX

I remember the day I got accepted to the internship program at Microsoft, my heart was racing when I was reading the “congratulations!” e-mail. I was joining the Developer Experience (DX) team as an intern for a year. It was my last year at university and as you can imagine, I was half time at school, half time at Microsoft Office in Istanbul. I can confidently say that there was no other time I learned as much, worked as hard and felt fulfilled.

A note about being an intern at Microsoft: according to my experience, there is not much difference between an intern and a full-time employee at Microsoft. First of all, you get the same blue badge with the full-time employees. You cannot recognize if the person presenting in the meeting is an intern or an FTE. Second of all, you are expected to join the team meetings, share your insights, take actions and be responsible.

I was responsible of Microsoft Student Partner Program and luckily surrounded by the amazing people in Developer Experience (DX) team. There is one thing about DX team that I can never forget: their passion. I respected the way they think, the way they work and I learned a lot from them. In fact, they were the ones who encouraged me to drive the conversations, organize/lead various student related projects and pointed me as a lead of those everywhere in the communications. In the end, we achieved great success stories such as Student Partner Roadshow, Microsoft Summer School and Imagine Cup.

None of this would have been real and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without DX team…

“Believing me as a passionate kid and helping me become a professional engineer, from my first day, till today… I can’t thank them enough…”

The first job: Microsoft Services (MACH)

I gained a great technical muscle about the cloud technologies during my internship, so It was a very smooth transition from the internship to FTE for me. Right after I earned my degrees, I joined the MACH (Microsoft College Hire) Program in Microsoft Services as a Premier Field Engineer.

Being a MACH hire at Microsoft gives you a lot of privileges and support. To begin with, you get to be hired with many college graduates at the same time. So, you figure out many things all together. Also, you get great friendships during the program and you always stay connected with them over the years! Another benefit of the program was the specialized onboarding process for MACHs. Since we were the fresh graduates, we got many technical and soft-skill trainings before starting to our actual roles. After having fun, learning a lot of new things and gaining many friendships, we were ready to start working in real life.

I should admit, working onsite with the customers as a fresh graduate is not easy. You should put a lot of effort to become a trusted engineer. I was already trained about Azure App Services, Bot Framework, Cognitive Services and IoT during my internship, so after my onboarding I directly started working with the customers onsite.

Becoming a Senior

During my Premier Field Engineer role, I worked onsite with more than 100 customers, delivered thousands of sessions (projects, workshops) and traveled more than 30 different countries in the process. This is the time I continuously learned, developed, shared, grown and became expert on what I’m doing. It’s a great feeling to be accepted as a mature developer.

A new journey: Cloud Advocates

Today is a new start for me. After being a part of MSP community, an intern in DX team and working onsite with many customers as a PFE, I am proudly joining Cloud Advocates team at Microsoft, focusing on Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Teams.

Highlights
  • People
    • Advocacy team is full of passionate people about technology. I watch them in MS Build, read their articles and realized how much they touched my life and helped me as a developer over the years. Even before I decided to join the team, I pinged some of the advocates and chat with them. They were so welcoming, happy to get to know me and got excited with me that I might be joining the team. They made me feel like “I should be part of it!”.
    • Microsoft Graph team was a team whom I followed their work from Channel9 since my MSP days. During my interview process, I got so excited to meet them in person. I have been collaborating with some colleagues from Microsoft Graph team due to my customer projects (Bots, web apps, mobile apps etc.). So, the idea of working with them was the biggest excitement!
  • Collaboration
    • Being a part of the developer community is the greatest feeling for me. Sharing my stories, projects, collaborating with the community, learning from them and supporting each other are the things I will continue doing regardless of my job. My admiration to the Advocacy team is that they are active members of the dev community and supporting the community with their day to day work. I am so excited to be part of this!
  • Learning
    • I am a passionate person about learning new things. It is like having breakfast every morning for me. Without it, I don’t feel complete. There were times that I was so busy working, didn’t have much time for learning anything new. Maybe, I couldn’t prioritize it, or I was so focused on being an expert on one particular area. But lesson learned.
    • Today, with this new journey, I am given a great opportunity to learn, create and share with the community. I know, it will be an amazing experience!

Note to young self:
If you believe in yourself, people will believe in you.

Never hesitate.

-Ayça

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