Joining Microsoft, and relocating to Vancouver in Canada

It’s now almost a year ago I decided to leave Citrix and take a break. Back in December 2014 there wasn’t any bigger plan, other than I needed a break to reflect how I should be spending my time going forward.

2015 has been amazing

The past year has been an amazing adventure, where I’ve traveled and explored 14 new countries. I’ve had time to write more open source, and make more tooling-related experiments. I’ve spoken at new conferences and gotten to know new communities. I’ve meet so many new wonderful people, through my travel adventures but also through new networks like World Economic Forum, where I’ve become one of the Global Shaper’s.

The most important thing during 2015 has been that I’ve had the time to take a step back and reflect on what I really wanted to do going forward.

Making it easier to build software

During this process it became clear that “my mission” since the early days been about empowering people to build software.

Looking back, I joined Podio to empower non-technical people to build their own work tools, by using Podio as the platform to build software. And when looking at the projects I’ve been doing in my spare time, and the talks I’ve given at a number of conferences, it became crystal clear to me, that the next thing I should be doing, had to be about making it easier to build software.

Back in June, I remember sitting in Harajuku, Tokyo, where I after several months of constant travel, just wanted to find a coffee shop with working internet and write code - Just. Write. Freaking. Code.

This was the indicator that I was about time to return to “daily life” and find something more meaningful to do, so I started outlining potential scenarios for what “making it easier to build software” could look like. Could I do this in a startup? Could it be a grant-based open-source project like DAT? What about joining an established vendor? Maybe Something completely else?

Joining Microsoft to build the next generation of DevTools

Every option was on the table, so I started reaching out to my network to explore each of them, and during this process I came to the conclusion that the best option was to join an established tooling vendor who already had a significant reach. This narrowed down my search, and after many interesting conversations with the majority of the browser and tooling vendors, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be joining Microsoft as a Program Manager with a focus on DevTools and Remote Debugging.

In my role I’m going to focus on the overall web development workflow, which in real-life involves multiple tools from many vendors. My mission is to unbreak our daily web development workflow, make it simpler and more efficient. When looking at the modern workflow I think there’s room for much improvement, as I don’t think our existing tooling has managed to solve some of the most fundamental issues, that I’m seeing developers face each and every day.

I’m really excited to be joining Microsoft, who I think, after many years of unfocus, have re-invented itself under Satya Nadella’s leadership, by finding it’s roots of focusing on empowering people to build things.

With Microsoft Edge, Microsoft has been quite clear about investing into the web again, and by joining Microsoft I’ll joining one of the world’s most respected tooling vendors. When combining this re-investment into the web and the solid experience of building tools, I truly think Microsoft is the vendor in the best position to move our web tooling forward.

I’ll be joining a team of brilliant people like Rey Bango, Andy Sterland, Christian Heilmann, Mads Kristensen and many others who I’m exicited to work with. I’m really looking forward to spend my time making it easier to build for the web, regardless of the used platform and browser.

What, wait, relocating to Vancouver?

Yup. In January 2016, I’ll be relocating to Vancouver, Canada, so I can be in the same timezone, and be close to the team in Seattle. Once I’ll get my american visa, I’ll be packing my things and be headed to the Microsoft HQ in Redmond.

This means I’ll be leaving Copenhagen, Denmark, where I’m born and raised. This is going to be quite a change, but after many months of recent travel, and after working on-and-off in San Francisco, the timing feels right, and I’m sure there’s going to be many amazing adventures ahead.

The fun thing about Vancouver, or Canada for that matter, is that I never been. So I’ll be relocating to a city and country which I never visited, but based on what friends and the internet are telling me, Vancouver should be an amazing city. Much like Copenhagen, but with some incredible nature surrounding it.

Living in Vancouver probably means I’ll be starting to explore the nature some more. Maybe it’s time to mountain bike again, or maybe time to learn how to snowboard?. Canada and especially British Columbia looks stunning, a bit cold, but I’m kinda used to that here in Copenhagen.

What will happen to RemoteDebug?

RemoteDebug won’t become a Microsoft project, and will continue on it’s own. I hope to incorporate the ideas and concepts of RemoteDebug into the Microsoft products and projects I’ll be working on.

What about ColdFront Conference?

Daniel and I are still wrapping up this year’s ColdFront, which was a smashing success, so we haven’t decided what will happen to ColdFront now that I’ll be leaving Copenhagen. Maybe ColdFront will continue, maybe it won’t. We simply don’t know.

So the next coming months I’ll be busy wrapping things up here in Copenhagen. This is why I recently stepped down as CopenhagenJS organizer, and why I’m not longer an active part of Prototype, but that’s all for the greater good.

There’s a new adventure ahead, and it’s gonna be great!

/k