Microsoft was looking to connect with developers on a deeper level to be top of mind as developers were exploring new AI use cases and deciding on hyperscaler partnerships.


We launched UpDev. Grounded in Reddit culture, UpDev was designed to celebrate outstanding developers and engage the broader developer community. UpDev consists of two parts:

DevHeroes Recognition Program

A recognition and praise program that spotlights developers. Microsoft’s account team nominated customer accounts to select one stand-out developer within their organization to be celebrated. Selected DevHeroes were rewarded with their very own, personalized Funko Pop figurine.

This novel approach sparked genuine joy. But we didn’t stop there. We invited developers to turn their joy into an immersive learning journey.

DevCloud Skills Challenge

Innovation comes from continuous learning. We developed a pathway to encourage developers to improve their skills and acquire new ones. Through a gamified leaderboard experience, developers navigated scripting environments and completed coding challenges. Each learning module enhanced developers’ familiarity with Microsoft cloud solutions.


Developers were highly engaged in the program consuming tens of thousands of learning modules, equating to more than 31,000 hours of learning.

Based on the overwhelming engagement, DevHeroes has evolved into a national thought leadership community. DevHeroes join roundtables with Microsoft engineering and product leaders, generate customer success stories, and play an integral role in growing their organization’s investments in Microsoft cloud solutions