Microsoft Developer Dream Team Targets Next-Generation Developers

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-05-15 Print this article Print

Shewchuk told Foley he felt like he was working in a developer’s playground. “This is like geek heaven,” he said. It’s more like a Microsoft Dream Team. This is not the first such dream team Shewchuk has worked on at Microsoft and it will not be the last.

Although Shewchuk’s new team’s role is to partner with top ISVs to build next-generation applications using Microsoft’s devices and services, and share those experiences with the developer community, for the last several years Shewchuk focused on Windows Azure developing key platform services including Windows Azure Active Directory, Service Bus, and SQL services. Previously he was a key contributor on a wide range of technologies including: Visual Studio, .NET, the Windows Communication Foundation, the Windows Identity Foundation, Internet Explorer, and Active Directory.

Moreover, “to do this work I have an incredible team with people like Eric Schmidt, who leads our consumer applications efforts and has done ground-breaking work on projects like Sunday Night Football (which is up for a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series),” Shewchuk said in his post.

“We’re building out the team by adding top-notch developers and evangelists from across the industry,” he added. “Two recent examples: James Whittaker–a known industry disruptor and incredible speaker joins us from Bing where he has been leading the development team making Bing knowledge available programmatically–many people may know him from his viral blog post on why he left Google for Microsoft. And Patrick Chanezon just joined us from VMware where he was driving their cloud and tools developer relations – he has a ton of expertise in the open source space which will be increasingly important given our new Azure IaaS support for Linux. As you can see we are bringing together a fantastic team, so if you are an amazing developer and want to get onboard, please let us know.”

Still, with any new developer thrust from Microsoft there is a requisite amount of detraction from certain camps in the industry. Some argue that Microsoft’s time has passed as a key target for developer interest. However, line-of-business app developers argue that they live by Microsoft tools and will not be giving them up for the next new thing. The arguments are as old as .NET vs. Java.

“Sure, some people say Microsoft’s time has passed because of open source, but we have all kinds of solutions,” Shewchuk told eWEEK. “And we’ve been very active in the open-source world. We brought in Patrick Chanezon who was involved with Spring and Cloud Foundry and is well-known in open-source circles, we founded MS Open Tech [Microsoft Open Technologies Inc.],” he said, beginning to rattle off a list of Microsoft’s open-source accomplishments.

“I think Microsoft still has a sizeable and mostly loyal ecosystem that can be mobilized,” IDC’s Hilwa said. “This effort is great and will likely move the needle. Microsoft is known for its evangelism efforts. Developer ecosystems are not pure as many with Microsoft skills have picked up Web skills and even iOS/Objective C skills over the last few years.”

“I think people have this old view of Microsoft as in it’s the Microsoft way or the highway, but that’s just not the case,” Shewchuk said. “We have people doing Linux, iOS apps, Android apps. Not everybody’s on Windows anymore.” Microsoft has long understood that, he said.

Indeed, Shewchuk himself has been an advocate and contributor to open-source initiatives and cross-industry interoperability including the development of many Web standards–most recently he drove many of the early contributions Microsoft made to OAuth 2.

“Over time, it will help the device market share story if enterprises buy into the Microsoft vision,” Hilwa added. “A more converged operating system architecture, coming before most of the consumer developer ecosystem dissipates, is essential if the Microsoft effort is to succeed in the long run.”

Shewchuk said he held the first “all hands” meeting of his new team and even as long-time industry vet, he was impressed with the level of excitement surrounding this endeavor. “The level of excitement is off the charts,” he said.


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