Since 2007 every April (April 1st to be exact) I’ve received an email letting me know I’ve been recognized by Microsoft as a Microsoft Valued Professional (MVP) in client application development, primarily for my contribution to the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) community. It came as no surprise, but with a small amount of sadness, when I received no such email this year. I say “no surprise” because it has been about 2 years since I’ve done anything significant with WPF (and, as one of my colleagues said, it’s been a bit longer than that since Microsoft did anything with it, unless you count abandonment as “a thing”). My strategy has shifted, as they say in the trade, to single-page applications with libraries like Knockout.js and Angular, to Sharepoint, to Android development, with lots of ASP.NET MVC thrown into the mix. Ironically it looks like Microsoft might be finally stepping up to address some of the issues with WPF (mostly to do with performance) if their recent job ads are to be believed. I’m planning on keeping learnwpf.com going, and posting anything interesting I come across with WPF.
You’d probably expect I’d have lots of sad farewells to say to on the WPF team at Microsoft, and in the WPF community, but I haven’t. Most of the people I know, or know of who were on the WPF team have moved on. Many of them are working evangelising the “other” rich, fast multi-media UI platform that is kicking a lot of goals lately – chrome. The product team never engaged with me in much capacity – occasional Microsoft live meetings at 3.A.M. which I never really made the most of. Locally DPE’s focus on evangelizing emerging technologies (AKA what they’ve been goaled on for this quarter), and living and working in a city where they have no real presence means there won’t be any sad farewells or commiserations from that quarter either.
The software development ecosystem is a vastly different, and more heterogeneous one from 7 years ago when I became an MVP. Its time to remind myself that first and foremost I am a developer, not [just] a Microsoft developer.