We’ve been focusing on careers lately, but haven’t really drilled down into 'roles' specifically.. Instead of looking at some of the traditional roles out there for an IT Pro, we thought it'd be fun to investigate some of the weird, wonderful and down right bizarre job titles in the Tech Industry. What they are, what do they mean and who’s doing them?

Today’s world of work is going through a transformation, work-life balance is changing and ‘Flexible working’ is the latest buzz word around companies. Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International was interviewed by the BBC back in 2012 about the ‘new world of work at Microsoft’ where he gave a comprehensive review of flexible working at Microsoft.

This new approach to the way we work and manage could  help explain many of the humorous job titles we’ve gathered below, having a ‘flexible approach’ to working empowers employees to innovative, work smarter and potentially improve the way they interact with their customers or ‘evangelise’ their products. More often enough allowing certain employees to branch out and change their role to suit them.

We asked on social  “What’s the strangest job title you’ve ever came across..?” and received responses like "Professional technical specialist” and "Information Management and Technology Technical Engineer Specialist" great examples, more buzzwords than you can shake a stick at, but semi-acceptable when compared to some of the roles we discovered below.

Introducing the Bizarre job titles in Technology

David Shing, Digital Prophet at AOL

 Image Source: AOL Advertising

David Shing or ‘Shingy’ as he’s better known as is AOL’s Digital Prophet. According to his AOL bio ‘He spends most of his time watching the future take shape across the vast online landscape. The rest he spends talking to people about where things are headed, and how we can get the most out of it.’ Cushty work for a Prophet - find some of his future teachings here.

James Mickens – ‘The Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence’ at Microsoft.

 Photos by Brian Smale / © Microsoft

Introducing the ‘Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence’… bit of a mouthful, eh? We stumbled across James’ story last week. What a fantastic job title, but what does James do? According to his Microsoft Story, he’s a problem solving researcher, who has learned almost everything he knows from studying ‘Seinfeld’.

Matthew Shoup – Senior Hacker in residence at LinkedIn.

imageImage source: Fast Company

Starting off at LinkedIn in 2010, Matthew was a mere ‘Technical Marketer’. Nowadays though, he’s better known as ‘Hacker in Residence’ moving from a ‘fairly circumscribed job to a very free one. He wears a lot of hats, works on a lot of projects, and acts as a hub connecting a lot of people’ Fast Company's David Zax reports. Read more into life as a ‘hacker-in-residence’ in his Fast Company interview.


Dave Coplin – Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft

 Image Source: BBC - The Bottom Line

According to his twitter account, Dave is the ‘Author of Futures, Technology Alchemist, Reimaginer of Business and Inventor of Pretentious Job Titles. Oh, and Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK.’ Which shortens to CEO of Microsoft, nice try Winking smile. He helps organisations and individuals envision the full potential that technology offers a modern, digital society. Find out more about his role here - theenvisioners.com and watch his great Re-Imagining Work video here.

Sheryl Connelly – In-House Futurist for Ford Motor Company

imageImage source: Ford Media Center

We realise that ‘Ford’ isn’t a name you would expect to see knocking about Silicon Valley. Sheryl's role however seems to very tech-focused, hence why we've chosen to include her 'Futurist' role.  According to her Ford bio, Sheryl ‘has been serving as the in-house Futurist for Ford Motor Company for almost a decade. In this role, she tracks global consumer trends to aide in the discussion of long-term planning and strategy across the entire company, including design, product development and corporate strategy.’

Andrew Fryer – Technical Evangelist at Microsoft

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Technical Evangelist, one of the perhaps more familiar roles from the list above. We have two of our very own, @edbaker1965 and Andrew Fryer A.K.A @Deepfat, who you can meet out on the road at our IT Camps  in the coming months. But what does he actually do? We asked Andrew to help explain the role of a Technical Evangelist.

“Evangelism comes from the Greek 'to bring good news', or to 'bring a message' and at Microsoft, an evangelist is there to explain technology, how the new stuff works and why it matters to IT guys, in my own case the broad church of 975,000 or so IT Professionals in the UK. That’s still sounds a lot like preaching but actually I listen more than I preach and I learn more than I teach to ensure that the blogs, webcasts and events I work on with the UK TechNet team are relevant.  For example if you’ve been to one of our camps you’ll know it’s you the audience that set the agenda and ask the questions and challenge us to make your attendance a good use of your time.  So my biggest reward is the thanks I get for helping IT guys get stuff done.”


So which of the above roles would you classify as Weird, Wonderful or Bizarre? Have you came across any others? Comment below or let us know via @TechNetUK

On a side note: we’ve got some free Microsoft Career Evenings in London coming up in the next month for you to check out. We’re not saying we can help you pave the way for a career as a ‘Digital Prophet’ or ‘Futurist’ but who knows... We’ll have career advice from industry experts, free drinks and dinner. Man of many Jobs Andrew Fryer will be playing the role of Careers Jedi, to find out more click on the banner below.