Microsoft Developer VP's Departure: The End of a Legend
NEWS ANALYSIS: S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, this week said he was leaving the company. He'll be sorely missed.As it did for many folks in my position, the news that S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, was stepping down after 27 years at the company, hit home and hit hard. Immediately I knew I'd miss him. I began to get one-word notices and texts simply saying: Soma! He's been that kind of presence in the Microsoft developer world. His passion and enthusiasm for shaping and then sharing Microsoft's developer strategy was contagious. And his compassion and humanity enabled him to rally troops of supporters even when Microsoft was not cool. Yet Soma embodied "cool" for the Microsoft developer world, particularly as he early on championed Microsoft's adoption of open-source software and practices. Many folks found it hard to believe that Microsoft was serious about open-source or supporting developers not on the Windows platform. But Soma persisted, wooing open-source developers like Miguel de Icaza, CTO of Xamarin and founder of the GNOME and Mono projects, to join forces with Microsoft. At Microsoft's Build 2015 conference last spring, I asked Soma about the most recent transformation Microsoft was making. He said the transformation required a cultural change that Microsoft had initiated a few years ago.
"The biggest thing I've seen is whatever constraints we thought we had, we've created an environment where people no longer view them as constraints," he said. "We internalized the world view, and the world is a multiplatform world. Developers are voting with their feet; developers want the choice. And either we can be there with them and give them the choice, or we can be in our own world."