Joining Microsoft

IdentityMine, Microsoft, MVP, MVVM, Personal, Universal Windows Platform UWP, Valorem, Work, Xamarin, XAML
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Well here is a post I didn’t quite expect to write… but the best things in life are unexpected. I am thrilled and proud to announce that as of August 1st 2017, I joined the Cloud and Enterprise group (aka Azure) at Microsoft.

My role will be a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate and I will explain in this post what it is I will do! I guess an FAQ format is most appropriate here, so here goes:

Are you moving to the USA?

No, I am staying put in Zurich Switzerland, my home for the past 23 years. While I don’t exclude living in the US at some point in the future, now is not that time and I will stay close to the friends and family I have in Switzerland. The role is global, and I will be travelling about the same amount than I am now, including coming to Redmond about 3-4 times a year and going to events worldwide.

It’s really interesting to see all the new people joining the team and I can’t wait to hear more about who else will get on board. Because it is a global role, we will have local offices around the world (in exciting places such as London, Shanghai, Bangalore etc). I really hope I will have a chance to be present at events in places where I couldn’t go yet, especially in Asia and South America. While I am super happy about all the talks I gave in Europe and the USA, I feel that it’s time to go “advocate” in more places now. Can’t wait to create that content and teach.

What will you do?

This is the most interesting part! This group is helping to redefine how we engage with developers on a big scale and be an empathetic advocate to the product engineers building the tools, services, APIs and other tech you use on a daily basis!

If you follow Twitter, you might have seen quite a few very talented people joining the Developer Advocate group. These people have very diverse skills, from web to open source to Linux to Docker and more. Even though I will be “advocating” Azure, my main expertise is going to be with Xamarin development and cloud-connected mobile app experiences, and of course MVVM. XAML has been a primary interest for more than 10 years now, and Xamarin is a technology and a team that I worked with for the past 4 years now. I am really enthusiast about working with these technologies even more intensively now, and most importantly to teach people worldwide how to use them.

Who is employing you? Who is your boss?

Because I am living in Switzerland, technically I will be an employee of Microsoft Switzerland. But I am reporting to Tim Heuer (a great friend!) who is based in Redmond. Our team is a part of the engineering group in Azure and reports up through Scott Guthrie. It’s kind of a hybrid situation, and I expect to be regularly in Wallisellen in the Microsoft Switzerland offices, as well as in Redmond for team meetings a few times a year.

What makes you most excited about this job?

Difficult to answer. When I received the call three months ago, and heard about the amazing job description, I thought it was just great for me. In a later call, I heard that Tim Heuer would be my boss and that was an amazing cherry on a fantastic cake. I have to admit that the thought of getting into Microsoft at this time, under Satya Nadella and Scott Guthrie, is making me very happy. It is a great time for Microsoft and especially Azure. I started getting more and more interested in Azure after I joined the Microsoft Regional Directors group. This group of experts is composed of very experienced people who have strategic roles in various firms, big and small. A large portion of the discussions have been focused on Azure, which led me to understand how important this technology is. There are just so many applications and the pace of innovation is quite breathtaking. I have a huge respect for everyone I will be working with, and especially of course for Scott Guthrie, who I have met many times over the past 10 years. He is as nice as he seems but most importantly, he is really, really clever and drives innovation amongst his people. I am delighted to be a part of this new adventure.

What do you regret the most?

I will certainly miss working for Valorem and especially all my friends. I met some of you guys 10 years ago, and we have been working together as a team for more than 8 years. I will be forever grateful to the IdentityMine team who gave me a chance in 2008 and decided to create a whole branch in Switzerland just for me. I think in retrospect it was a win-win, just look at all the amazing projects we realized!

But maybe most painful of all is the fact that I will have to resign from the MVP awards (both Microsoft and Xamarin) and the Regional Director program. Of course the joke is that joining Microsoft is the best reason for losing these awards, but I will really miss the amazing community of peers, some them who grew to become more than dear friends, a family.

Of course the good news is that I will continue to see many of you at conferences and other events around the globe. I will also continue to participate to some of the distribution lists and so we will be able to keep in touch. And as always, if you come to Zurich, let me know and we’ll have a fondue! (or something…).

Will something change for MVVM Light?

Short answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: Microsoft is very open regarding open source. I retain the full ownership of the project and I expect to be working on it about the same amount of time than I do now (of course on my free time). In the next few weeks you will see a move to Github as well as a version for .NET Standard so keep watching this space for updates.

What’s next?

Well while today is officially my first day at Microsoft, it is also Switzerland’s national day (Happy 726th birthday Switzerland!) and so my first day will be tomorrow. I have the new employee orientation (NEO yay) at the Swiss HQ in Wallisellen near Zurich. I expect that I will get my blue badge as well as a ton of information. At some point I should also get a new laptop (I was given a choice between a PC and a Mac and selected a Surface Pro 4 because I still love the Surface form factor, especially when I travel). Then I will spend a few days in Redmond next week, and connect with some of the team. Really impatient to get started!

I am sure I will have a lot more to say about all this in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Happy coding

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Responses to “Joining Microsoft”

  1. Kelps Says:

    This is cool! Congratulations Laurent! If you ever come to Sao Paulo, let me know.

  2. Robert Mühsig Says:

    Congratulations – working for the mothership is certainly interesting and each employee of Microsoft that is not based in Redmond is a huge win to get a more diverse MS-crowd!

  3. Jeremy Sinclair Says:

    Congrats Laurent!

    You completely deserve it and I hope that you continue to kick butt while at Microsoft :).


  4. Khalid Abuhakmeh Says:


  5. Clemente Giorio Says:

    Congrats! :)

  6. Keith Elder Says:

    Congrats and all the best wishes!

  7. Caleb Jenkins Says:

    Congrats Laurent!

  8. Fallon Says:

    Congrats, but this reads a bit strange. You said,

    “When I received the call three months ago, and heard about the amazing job description, I thought it was just great for me. In a later call, I heard that Tim Heuer would be my boss and that was an amazing cherry on a fantastic cake.”

    They just called you out of the blue and you weren’t doing anything so you took the job? It reads funny, were you looking for the job?

    Just wondering…

  9. Ben Reierson Says:

    Huge congrats! I’ve been using MvvmLight from the early days with WPF right through today with Xamarin Forms. So the UI is a breeze, but I have to admit the choice of backend tends to still be a more complex and difficult decisions process. Maybe you can bring some of that simplicity with you to the cloud group! :)

  10. Kunal Chowdhury Says:

    Congratulations and best wishes Laurent!

  11. Simon Jackson Says:

    (odd not sure if this is a duplicate or not, didn’t get feedback from the site if it was accepted or not)

    Congrats on the move to the internals of the beast. Yet commiserations at the loss of another excellent MVP :D and so soon after you were re-awarded.

    Best of luck and if they need a gaming advocate, feel free to loop me in :D

  12. lbugnion Says:

    Yes they called me. I was working for Valorem but the job description was good enough to make me consider the offer. I was not looking for a job, but when you get such an opportunity, you consider it, and if it’s good enough (which it was), you take it. The relationship with Valorem is excellent, and they understood that this opportunity was too good for me to pass on. They of course regret my leave (and for me it’s also bitter sweet of course), but they understand and we are in great terms.

  13. Shawn Martin Says:

    Congratulations Laurent! I’ve been an MVVM Light fan since 2009/2010 and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of your work at Microsoft.

  14. wekempf Says:

    Congrats Laurent. I’m jealous. :) Keep the MVVM light shining for all of us Disciples of yore.

  15. lbugnion Says:

    Who’d have thought, right Bill?

  16. wekempf Says:

    That you’d be hired by MS? Probably a lot of people. :)

Comments for Joining Microsoft