Joey Devilla spreads the gospel at Microsoft Tech Days

Joey Devilla, the well-known blogger and Accordion Guy, was on hand to dispense both music and advice on integrating AJAX and ASP.NET at Microsoft Tech Days 2008, held January 21st and 22nd at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Devilla came to Microsoft via b5media and Tucows, and for the passionate open source evangelist, the new gig couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Microsoft achieved their goal of getting a computer on every desktop, so…what to do for an encore?” he said. Microsoft’s new approach of emphasizing software and services, along with the heterogenous nature of the software and hardware landscape and the ascent of Ray Ozzie to head the company’s technology has resulted in a sea change for Microsoft, DeVilla said, to the point where he felt it was the logical next place to practice evangelism.

“The great thing about Tech Days is that I get out of my own personal cocoon. I’m used to the Toronto start-up scene, with one, two, maybe three person shops, but now I’m talking to people who’ve been working on projects that have been ongoing for years, in companies with 500 or 1,000 employees. And it’s interesting to see people working on these kind of projects, finding out what they need, and making connections with them,” DeVilla said.

Devilla’s session dealt with AJAX extensions and ASP.NET, and he said his job is to show people the little tricks they can use to maximize their efficiency. Due to the demands of their jobs, most people just don’t get the chance to make the slight changes work habits and coding methodology that can make them much more efficient in the long run.