Going to work for Microsoft

by Jesse Liberty

While I will continue to write for O'Reilly, I did want to let you know that on July 9, 2007, I will begin my new job as "Senior Program Manager" in the Silverlight Development group at Microsoft; working on "building Developer Community." (My goal is to do for Silverlight some of what Joe Stagner has done for ASP.NET and AJAX and a host of other technologies).

That said, it is my hope that I can remain a reasonably objective and informative voice about this new technology in my writing for O'Reilly. After all, I took this position because of my enthusiasm about Silverlight (and not the other way around), but of course, as a Microsoft employee my opinions and comments must be weighed somewhat differently (where's that Kool-Aid?). Fortunately, my job is to make Silverlight understandable and usable; not to convince you it is desirable.

In any case, this is my first "real job" in 12 years, so it will be very exciting and consuming, and I will try to document at least some of it in this blog.

The folks I've met in and around the Silverlight team are quite extraordinary; and to tell you the truth, I couldn't be more thrilled to have been offered this position. (Actually, to really tell you the truth, I can't believe they did give me this job, and maybe you want to check back mid-July to see if they woke up and decided it was all a hideous mistake!)

As part of my job, I will be creating new avenues of communication about Silverlight, both here, and of course through sites and portals and who-knows-what-else at Microsoft. Stay tuned... much to come very quickly, I suspect.

Thanks.

-jesse

13 Comments

M. David Peterson
2007-06-22 18:22:18
Nice! Congratulations, Jesse!
SBC
2007-06-25 06:33:47
where will you be based? still in the New England area?


SBC
www.ctdotnet.org

SBC
2007-06-25 06:34:01
congratulations!
where will you be based? still in the New England area?


SBC
www.ctdotnet.org

Jesse
2007-06-26 09:07:57
Yes, I'll not be relocating, but working from home, and traveling to Redmond to work with the team on a regular basis. A good model for my work is that of Joe Stagner - creating videos, teleconferences, speaking at shows, building showcase applications, creating web sites, doing whatever I can to facilitate and ease the use of Silverlight by developers, designers and other potential users. Also working with the team on the direction of the product, priorities, timing, etc. Zero marketing. Details to be worked out once I begin.


One commitment I intend to keep: open, honest and direct. Inside and outside of Microsoft. With frequent blogging here, and on Microsoft.com and lots of articles and books,etc.


Thanks for the kind words.


Peter W.
2007-07-01 18:16:10
Great news Jesse. I have been reading your books for a decade and would say you are in the top percentage of all coders. Microsoft is lucky to have you.
GerardM
2007-07-09 13:49:18
Hoi,
Have fun and be happy :)
Thanks,
GerardM

2007-07-15 20:30:55
Good for you. Why am I not surpised?
Jesse
2007-07-15 21:00:07
Good for you. Why am I not surprised?


Don't know. Personally; I was shocked :-)


-jesse



PS: Here's the quick scoop: I will continue to support my books (current and future) here and on my web site (http://www.jliberty.com). I haven't figure out yet whether I'll consolidate all email under jliberty@microsoft.com or keep my book email separated under jliberty@jliberty.com, but both will work for now.


In any case, I'll be blogging about writing here, and about Silverlight development there, and about politics on my political blog, so I'll be doing lots of mouthing off, as you might expect. In addition, I'll keep my books page and my book recommendation page alive on my web site, so feel free to keep those cards and letters coming.


Fred Arnold
2007-07-16 09:31:16
Wouldn't you rather have an employer you didn't have to apologize about working for?


At any rate, congratulations and I hope it works out well for you. I've always enjoyed your books and writings. I think you're too good for the evil empire, but oh well. :)

Jesse Liberty
2007-07-19 13:33:52
>>Wouldn't you rather have an employer you didn't have to apologize about working for?<<


Was I apologizing? I don't apologize for working for Microsoft, I'm quite proud of it. I've worked for a few big corporations: AT&T, Citibank, now Microsoft. Each has contributed to making the planet better, and each has made its share of mistakes, but there is no doubt that as a programmer and as a person, Microsoft has improved my life. I won't debate the politics, there is no point, but I will say that *I* don't apologize at all; others are free of course to feel or think what they will.


The "evil empire" thing is, in my opinion, kind of silly, but I see where it came from. What I do experience day to day are a lot of amazingly bright people working incredibly hard to build products that people want. Silverlight, I believe, will be amazingly important.


As I say all the time, I don't like Microsoft because I write about it (or work for it) I write about it/ work for it because I like it.


Is it the only company making great stuff? Of course not.


Now, if you want to go out for a long discussion on American corporations, the relationship between large corporations, the government, the world economy, the role of American foreign power, intellectual property rights, human rights, queer rights, civil rights, labor laws, child labor, the use of American military, fair trade, patent law, competition, capitalism and how all of these things fit together and how Microsoft plays in that space; that would be a gas... but I don't think this blog is the right place (though my political blog might be. [http://blogs.delphiforums.com/n/blogs/blog.aspx?webtag=queerpolitics].


Thanks.

David Y
2007-07-24 08:59:34
Congratulations, Jesse. I too have been a fan of yor books for a while now.


Personally, I am hoping one of the first things you will be able to do is provide us with a comparison between Silverlight and the Adobe Flex/Flash tools. I would be much interested in your opinions.

Jesse Liberty
2007-07-25 12:13:19
David wrote >>Personally, I am hoping one of the first things you will be able to do is provide us with a comparison between Silverlight and the Adobe Flex/Flash tools. I would be much interested in your opinions.<<


Well, as a Microsoft employee I'm not going to be in a position to do that, it wouldn't be objective and I'm not going to start my new job by anything that looks like "my dog is bigger than your dog."


In addition, while it appears that Silverlight competes in that space, I think our stories are different. Flash and Flex are great tools, and very mature, but Silverlight offers different opportunities, with different promise. I'll be glad to talk more about what Silverlight offers, and how these stories are different, as I learn more.


Now, that sounds a bit contradictory so let me clarify: a point by point, feature by feature comparison I'll leave to someone else, but a story to story comparison seems fair. And by story I mean the total context of the technology; how does it fit into the programmer's life, goals, objectives, existing skill set, etc.


Silverlight is an infant; an emerging technology that has to be seen within the context of .NET, .NET 3.5, WPF, Visual Studio 2008, etc. It also has to be seen not only for what it is today, but for what it will become.


I know that was not a satisfying or full answer. I will work on a much more complete answer during the summer and be sure to put something on silverlight.net.


Keep an eye on the blog here and check out my new blog on http://silverlight.net/blogs/jesseliberty/

Jesse Liberty
2007-07-25 12:13:33
David wrote >>Personally, I am hoping one of the first things you will be able to do is provide us with a comparison between Silverlight and the Adobe Flex/Flash tools. I would be much interested in your opinions.<<


Well, as a Microsoft employee I'm not going to be in a position to do that, it wouldn't be objective and I'm not going to start my new job by anything that looks like "my dog is bigger than your dog."


In addition, while it appears that Silverlight competes in that space, I think our stories are different. Flash and Flex are great tools, and very mature, but Silverlight offers different opportunities, with different promise. I'll be glad to talk more about what Silverlight offers, and how these stories are different, as I learn more.


Now, that sounds a bit contradictory so let me clarify: a point by point, feature by feature comparison I'll leave to someone else, but a story to story comparison seems fair. And by story I mean the total context of the technology; how does it fit into the programmer's life, goals, objectives, existing skill set, etc.


Silverlight is an infant; an emerging technology that has to be seen within the context of .NET, .NET 3.5, WPF, Visual Studio 2008, etc. It also has to be seen not only for what it is today, but for what it will become.


I know that was not a satisfying or full answer. I will work on a much more complete answer during the summer and be sure to put something on silverlight.net.


Keep an eye on the blog here and check out my new blog on http://silverlight.net/blogs/jesseliberty/