Hello World

Hi, I'm Andy Lewis. Welcome to my blog on MSDN, which is also my first blog.  Even as I type this sentence, I'm a little amazed at what I just wrote.  You see, I've been a professional writer on and off for a long time.  I say on and off because I have taken various detours into multimedia production, web development, and program management.

I'm not sure why I've been so shy about starting my own blog since writing is what I do for a living.  Perhaps I have an apprehension of having to feed this animal with regular posts to keep it fresh.  (If you are a blogger who began the craft with some trepidation, I'd love to hear your thoughts about why you hesitated, or what helped you get over whatever was blocking you from getting started.)

I have written with attribution for the public before, as a newspaper writer and editor.  And I posted photos and comments to family and friends on a private web site about a cross-country drive I did a few years ago, back before blogging had really taken off.  So maybe blog writing will feel more natural to me than I expect.

From Office "assistance" to VSTS "education"

One catalyst that brings me here to dip my toes in the Blogosphere today is a recent job change. It is possible that you are reading this article having come from the Microsoft SharePoint Designer Team Blog, where I posted some articles while working in my former role as a user assistance writer for SharePoint Designer.

A few weeks ago I began my new role as user education writer for Visual Studio Team System (VSTS).  Even though the title switched from "assistance" to "education"; my job is essentially the same, and I love what I do. I learn all I can about exciting technologies and then write content to help make customers successful in using a product.

Now and then when things go really well, a reader might even be delighted by my work. The best way to increase the chances of this happening is to understand my audience as thoroughly as possible.  I see this blog as a potential way for me to hear from and sometimes interact with my customers so that I can better serve their needs.

Do you hear crickets?

It may be kind of quiet around here for a while. The ramp-up time for my new job means I need to devote extra cycles to, well, ramping up.  I think a lot of my blogging is going to be about the user education material I'm writing for VSTS.  As a n00b in this space, I will probably do more grokking and less writing for a while.

But I also have some ideas for more general articles about user education, software, technology, etc.  So maybe instead of crickets you'll hear me ranting right away now that I feel the power of the blog soapbox.  Meanwhile, if you are into SharePoint, check out these articles I wrote on the SPD Team Blog: