A quick personal note: today is my first day as a member of the Cloud Developer Advocates team at Microsoft! I'll still be blogging and events related to R, and supporting the R community, but now I'll be doing it as a member of a team dedicated to community outreach.
As a bit of background, when I joined Microsoft back in 2015 via the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, I was thrilled to be able to continue my role supporting the R community. Since then, Microsoft as a whole has continue to ramp up its support of open source projects and to interact directly with developers of all stripes (including data scientists!) through various initiatives across the company. (Aside: I knew Microsoft was a big company before I joined, but even then took me a while to appreciate the scale of the different divisions, groups, and geographies. For me, it was a bit like moving into a new city in the sense that it takes a while to learn what the neighborhoods are and how to find your way around.)
I learned of the Cloud Developer Advocates group after reading a RedMonk blog post about how some prominent techies (many of whom I've long admired and respected on Twitter) had been recruited into Microsoft to engage directly with developers. So when I learned that there was an entire group at Microsoft devoted to community outreach, and with such a fantastic roster already on board (and still growing!), I knew I had to be a part of it. I'll be working with a dedicated team (including Paige, Seth and Vadim) focused on data science, machine learning, and AI. As I mentioned above, I'll still be covering R, but will also be branching out into some other areas as well.