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Meet the Developer: Introducing Michael “Show Me the Info“ Washington

October 18, 2018 - Developer Relations, Marketing to Developers - , , ,
By: Yolanda Fintschenko

What about the developer?

Have you ever wondered about the developer experience of your advertising? If you are marketing to developers, you absolutely should. Our goal with the “Meet the Developer” series is to give you, the marketer, insight into individual developers.  Meet the people behind the code and learn about how they experience the advertising and content you are throwing at them.

Michael visits Alvin Ashcraft’s blog regularly to keep abreast of the rapid changes in his industry. He appreciates how Alvin curates his list of what is going on instead of relying on some kind of algorithm. If you want Michael to buy your product and trust your brand, you need to establish trust by making your content available.

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Michael about himself and what draws him to an ad or a product placed in his developer community.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a 49-year-old programmer. Former Microsoft MVP, now in MVP Reconnect: https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/PublicProfile/38654. My resume: http://adefwebserver.com/RESUME/default.htm. I am a web developer (C#/.Net Core/Angular). I live in Pasadena, California and work for the Los Angeles County Office of Education as an Application Architect.

Why is Alvin’s blog important to you?

I use it every day to keep up with what is going on in the industry. A LOT is going on. His blog provides one place with a curated list of what is really going on. (It MUST be human curated, otherwise you would just see a bunch of stuff where people simply “gamed the system” to get their links to appear.) He also covers a lot from mobile to web to podcasts. No other source comes close.

What is the newest tech you are using, learning, excited about, curious about, and why?

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning. My hope is to make business applications that can converse with humans and understand speech and images.

Where do you go for info about developer tools?

Most of my tools are Microsoft, so I get my information from Microsoft Docs online. The posts on Alvin’s blog have some information on tools, but most of the articles I read are using the tools I use already.

What ads for developer tools and services attract you?

Anything that promises information on something that I am interested in. For example, if there was an ad that said, “Try our AI toolkit,” I would click on it.

If you are interested in a product or service because of an ad, do you click on the ad or search the product/advertiser you see in the ad on a separate browser instance?

I click on the ad.

How do you feel when you visit content or another site you are interested in based on advertising, only to find that you have to give a phone number to get what is offered?

The ONLY time I will provide it is if there were no other options—meaning if there was a competitor that would give me what I need without locking me in, I would go with the competitor.

Same as above – except about when you are asked for a credit card?

Requiring a credit card is unheard of. I can even get an Azure account without a credit card.

What makes you bounce? Meaning—At what point do you navigate away when you visit content or a tool trial that you want, but you encounter a lot of requests for personal information? Email? Name? Phone number? Credit card? Other?

I expect ALL information to be provided without requiring anything from me— UNLESS I am about to download a free trial. Then, you can have my name and email.

Once you’ve been asked for a lot of personal information in order to take advantage of an offer, how do you feel about that brand or product?

I know I cannot afford it. The only time I have provided a ton of info was at work when we needed a SAML component ($3,500) or a Lead Tools component.

Have you ever found a technology and purchased it based on an ad run in your developer community? Why or why not?

We bought Red Gate at work and Lead tools. They are high-profile in tech mags.


Yolanda is a scientist, writer, marketer, coach and avid runner who lives and works in Livermore, CA.  She founded Common SciSense, a marketing company for technical products, and co-founded founderTRACTION, lean marketing services for startups. 

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