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2017 in review… welcome 2018!

Cloud Developer Advocate, Conferences, Microsoft, Personal, Technical stuff, Work, Xamarin
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As we just started 2018, it’s been a tradition in the past few years to pause for a moment and take a look back. This was definitely an interesting year, both in good and bad ways, and definitely a year of changes. As such I must admit that I am looking forward to 2018 being a hopefully more stable year. Change is exciting, but it can also be taxing.

Privately, 2017 has been marked by some difficulties that I don’t want to expand on here. On the professional side, of course the exciting news was that I was proposed (and I accepted) a job at Microsoft. The second half of the year was spent getting to know the new team, understanding what the requirements were, getting up to speed with my partners and management, etc. It was also full of travels to old and new locations, meeting and making friends, speaking to new audiences about new topics. Professionally, it was a really good and fascinating year.

The story of how I joined Microsoft

Now that a bit of time has passed I guess I can tell more about how I joined Microsoft. It all started with a Skype call in March. My good friend and fellow Cloud Developer Advocate Scott Cate who had recently joined the team wanted to know if I was interested to talk about it. Funny thing is that he didn’t think I would be interested because after many years of interaction with Microsoft, I didn’t take any jobs there… and yes, I guess the timing had never been right, or maybe I had never been offered the right job there…

On a later call, I learned that I would be working under Tim Heuer, a long time friend and someone I respect tremendously in our industry. That was one more point for Microsoft. I requested to interview around the Build conference timeframe, since I was going to be in Seattle anyway. That proved impossible however because everyone was so busy. Microsoft offered to bring me back to Seattle for the interview, which I accepted with gratitude because I was not feeling like doing all the interviews online. At Build, I had the occasion to take advice from a few close friends from the community as well as some friends who had recently joined the CDA team. One week later at the Techorama conference in Belgium, I had the chance to talk quickly with Scott Guthrie, whom I have known since 2007, and his CVP of Azure Growth Charlotte Yarkoni, who was instrumental in the creation of the Cloud Developer Advocates. Both were very enthusiastic and I received some great feedback and was really pumped to go interview to Redmond.

The interviews went great, I spoke to people whom I either knew in person, or knew of, and I think that everyone was excited about the prospect. We finished the day with dinner and ice cream in Redmond with Scott Cate, Tim Heuer and James Clarke. I think what I will keep from this day is the feeling that everyone was rooting for me, from the AVIS rental car clerk to the Redmond Marriott desk lady, to the receptionists and everyone I talked to. I am glad I decided to go all the way to Redmond for the interview, it was really worth it.

On the way back home, I noticed that whenever people asked me why I had been in Seattle,  I was starting to talk as “we” whenever I was mentioning the team. That’s when I realized that I had almost taken my decision. While I always loved the team I worked with at IdentityMine and then Valorem, I have to admit that I felt ready for a change after more than 8 years. As such the call came at the right time, and the fact that the job is pretty much the perfect job for me was really a fantastic event.

My only regrets are that I had to give up my Most Valuable Professional award as well as being a member of the Microsoft Regional Directors. And of course working with my friends and colleagues Frank Preuss and Rene Schulte, amongst others. We had such a great time together. I will continue to see Rene at conferences (we just spent a few days in Malmo for Oredev). As for the MVPs and RDs, I will also hang out with them in the email distribution lists and should also be there at the MVP summit in March, which should be really exciting, being on the other side of the fence and all :)

2017 was a whirlwind

2017 continued the trend of more travel, more people to talk to about coding. In fact it is the year I traveled the most, ever.

Since I joined Microsoft, I had the chance to speak and meet coders in Redmond, Amsterdam, Singapore, Koeln, Lima, Hyderabad, Malmo, Sofia, Toronto and Zurich. My center of interest remains around Xamarin, Windows, MVVM, XAML, Visual Studio, and more Azure gets added to the mix as I go of course. Honestly I am really excited about “the cloud”. In the past few years as a Regional Director, I kept thinking that I should really invest time into cloud computing and especially Azure. Well what better occasion than this? Ever since August I started learning what the various services are, and which ones are the most relevant to my area of expertise. I am really digging serverless computing, app services, trying to find my way through the various kinds of data services we have, and making sure I am not missing something important on the way. I predict more of this for 2018 and trying to keep up with all the cool new stuff that the teams are creating.

Amongst others, I am really happy about a few events I was lucky to take part to:

  • The chance to speak to MVPs in Lima (my first trip to Peru ever), in Hyderabad (my first trip to India since 2007!) and in Paris (with the group with which my MVP adventure started 11 years ago).
  • Being backstage with Scott Guthrie and helping him during the Red Shirt Tour (RST) in Boston and New York City. While the RST is a smaller event than Build or other mega conferences, its more intimate nature makes it a great occasion to bond with Scott and the team. I can’t wait for the Red Shirt Tour European edition in the beginning of next year (see below)
  • My first speaking engagement in Singapore. I really want to have the possibility to speak more in South East Asia as well as in India and China, regions where a lot of great coders can be found, and where we are not present enough in my opinion (this counts for South America too!!)

What’s next for 2018

The busy season of 2018 will start early, with a trip to Redmond in the second week of January to meet up with my Cloud Developer Advocate colleagues. It will also be my first trip to campus since August 17, which is unfortunate (but there was no other way because of busy fall schedule). In general I would like to be in Redmond more often, so that I can speak to the teams there and take advantage of the Channel 9 studio, etc.

Right after I come back from Redmond to Europe, Scott Guthrie will be on tour again with four European dates. I will follow him on the tour and should present some Xamarin demos at this occasion (though the schedule is subject to change, so we’ll see :) You can click on the images below to get more information!


In Paris I will also talk at a local Meetup the day before the Red Shirt Tour event (the meetup is on the 22nd of January). I will present about Azure Functions, more specifically how to use them to build an API suitable for cross platform applications. In Birmingham, I will also be a part of the TechSummit and present my “Cross platform development with Xamarin” session. Make sure to come say hi if you are at any one of these events!!

More events will follow, so stay tuned to my Twitter feed for more events in February. I can’t wait to present the latest Xamarin and Azure news to you and get in touch with all of you!

Very happy new year and as always Happy Coding!!

Joining Microsoft

IdentityMine, Microsoft, MVP, MVVM, Personal, Universal Windows Platform UWP, Valorem, Work, Xamarin, XAML

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

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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Le matériel pour ma présentation “HoloLens 101” du DevDay à Mons

Conferences, HoloLens, Personal, Technical stuff, Work
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J’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à participer à l’événement DevDay à Mons en Belgique. Cela fait déjà quelque temps qu’Olivier Matis me demande de participer, et malheureusement cela n’avait pas été possible pour des questions de temps. Enfin cette année j’ai pu dire oui. Connaissant au moins certains membres de l’équipe organisatrice, je me réjouissais vraiment de faire le voyage pour cette ville que je ne connaissais pas encore.

Après un court vol et une heure en train, je me suis donc retrouvé dans cette ville dont le nom signifie « montagne », ce qui est assez drôle pour un Suisse. Très jolie ville, que j’ai traversée à pied dans un froid de canard, mais en admirant la cathédrale et la place centrale avec l’hôtel de ville. Au soir, souper avec certains des speakers et organisateurs, dans une super ambiance, et avec de la bonne bière.

Le lendemain, j’avais l’honneur de donner la première session dans une salle de cinéma à l’écran géant, une chouette expérience pour un speaker. Quelques soucis de micro, et un peu de stress parce que j’ai décidé de donner la session en français… Ca peut paraître drôle mais je n’ai pas l’habitude de parler de programmation en français… d’habitude c’est l’anglais, voire l’allemand.

Au final, tout s’est bien passé, et j’ai pu montrer les différences entre VR, AR, MR, parler de l’environnement de développement, et montrer une démo d’une petite appli commencée depuis zéro, pour donner un petit peu le goût de la programmation 3D. Enfin, j’ai fini la session avec des démos d’applications que nous développons pour des clients.

La fin de la journée s’est passée à faire des démos HoloLens et discuter avec plein de monde dans une super ambiance. Un petit tour en Tesla X de démonstration avant de reprendre le train et l’avion…

Un grand merci aux organisateurs pour l’invitation et le super travail sur place, ainsi bien sûr aux nombreux spectateurs qui sont venus assister à la session et me parler par la suite.

Vous trouverez le fichier PowerPoint, le code ainsi que quelques vidéos de démonstration sur mon site.

Amitiés à tous

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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A world of devices – Upcoming talk

Personal, Technical stuff
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In September, I will give a special session in Amsterdam, at an event titled LevelUp Mobile. My talk is titled “A World of Devices”. Here is the abstract:

How do you feel when you forget your phone? If, like Laurent, you feel lost, you are probably also living in a world where devices are augmenting you and making you more connected, more efficient and more skilled (or is it addicted?). In this session, Laurent Bugnion, geek, developer and gadget addict will show you next generation devices and the collaboration between
them. From smartphones to smartwatches, from IOT and phablets to XBOX and Surface Hub, from Cortana to HoloLens, we live in a world of devices where software is coming out of the computer more and more. We’ll take a quick look at the past, a good look at the present and a glance at the future with lots of demos.

This talk is based on thoughts that I have had in my mind for many years already: Our devices, even the so-called smartphone (which, let’s face it, is not a phone but rather a pocket-sized computer with which you can, if you have to, place calls over the phone network) are augmenting us with superhuman abilities. How else could we know, with a precision of a meter or less, where we are positioned geographically? How else could we have access, from almost anywhere in the world (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but it is close enough for most of the civilized world) to a very significant portion of human knowledge? How else could we have access, anywhere and at any time, not only to enough movies, music and books to educate and entertain us multiple lifetimes. How else could we keep in touch 24/7 with our families and friends all over the world?

The smart device we have in the pocket is effectively turning us into cyborgs. Augmented humans. And this is only the beginning.


These days, we witness an incredible number of new devices, with new form factors. Maybe the most intriguing ones are the ones placed in the “wearable” category. The most common are smartwatches (which, like the smartphones, are much more than “just” watches). In their lowliest form, they need a connection to a smart device to be effective. But many are doing more than that. For instance the Microsoft Band 2 has a built in GPS and so it can record a run even without the help of a connected device. It also has a wealth of sensors that can be used to build mobile applications: Pressure sensor (so you can use it as a barometer / altimeter), heart rate, pedometer, distance, stairs, accelerometer and gyroscope (so you can use it to control 3D scenes or even physical objects), and even a UV-meter to tell you when you should put on solar cream.

We also saw the appearance, and then the quasi-disappearance, of connected glasses made by Google. It was certainly an interesting sociological experiment. Very soon we witnessed a lot of resistance in the population. Many felt aggressed, violated by the glass wearers (who were often referred to as “glassholes”). They felt that the wearers were displaying arrogance, and invading their private life, possibly recording video or taking pictures. The fact that the device had a low battery life and a low resolution was not playing a role in this concern. Neither was the fact that our lives are already recorded all the time, either by so-called security cameras, or by the constant picture-taking that everyone is doing these days. For some reason, the Google glasses were different and were perturbing the peace much more than any other device. This is (partially, to be completely fair) why they failed to gain traction, and why you don’t see them anymore these days. There are no doubts in my mind that more such devices will appear on the marketplace at some point in the future, although probably in a different form factor, less conspicuous and closer to normal glasses. There are already amazing devices available such as this model which allows an app to inform a person with impaired vision about what is happening around him/her. See Shaqib Shaikh’s great video shown at Microsoft Build this year!

This brings us, of course, to augmented and virtual reality. Even though these are not new domains, we are seeing this year a lot of interest and new devices. Oculus Rift is releasing its second iteration, HTC is selling its Vive device which is pretty great. Even on the low end of the marketplace we see devices like the Samsung Gear which takes advantage of smart devices and turns them into a poor man’s VR headset. And on the AR front we have of course Microsoft HoloLens, released to developers, an incredible device that not only places holograms in your everyday world, but also interacts with the real world and allows, for example, virtual objects to bounce off the real tables and the real walls, and for virtual characters to sit in real chairs.

And the most beautiful is when all these devices, from small to large, interact together and create a connected, augmented environment. This is the promise of Windows 10 and its universal applications, of cross-platform computing which has never been so promising, of wireless protocols that connect devices in very short or very large range, and allows them to collaborate.

At the LevelUp event, I will be talking about these concepts but also demonstrating some of the futuristic features that are already available to developers and to the public. I am really looking forward to have the occasion to share these thoughts with the audience, and demo how far we came with devices and their interactions.

Happy coding!

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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Welcome 2015

Blog, IdentityMine, MVP, MVVM, Personal, Technical stuff, Work, Xamarin
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2014 was a great year, with a lot of excitement in the Microsoft community, a lot of awesome news. Microsoft released a few interesting hardware offerings such as the confirmation of the success of the Surface Pro 3, the release of the Microsoft Band and the Miracast wireless display adapter (I have one of each and they work great), a few exciting announcements such as the open sourcing of the .NET core, the release to the public of the free Visual Studio Community Edition, the preview release of Windows 10, continued activity in the WPF team, and more. Microsoft Azure is continuing its expansion in features, and is also becoming more accessible to small business and hobbyists. On the client side, we continue to see a unification of the platforms that will reach its best in Windows 10 with the universal applications running on Windows, Windows Phone and XBOX. And of course the extended partnership with Xamarin (which makes me very happy on a professional and personal level) allows to leverage an ever large portion of that code and run it on iOS and Android devices.

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New sections on my website: Presentations, Podcasts, Publications

Personal, Technical stuff, Website, Work
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Over the past years, I have participated in a number of conferences, podcasts and interviews, and published articles, guest blog posts and other publications. It was a little bit difficult to keep track of everything, and I wanted a better way to show these presentations’ material, and have a central location where to download slides and sample code from, and even to see the video (if available).

Since I am currently reorganizing my website and archiving some of the content, it was the perfect occasion (also, it was really fun to implement this with Razor, but that’s a story for another blog post).

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Fixing keyboard (type cover) failure on Surface Pro 3

Personal, Technical stuff

Currently travelling (for pleasure) in France, I had the bad surprise of switching my Surface Pro 3 tonight and finding the keyboard (the type cover) completely dead. No backlight, no key input, no touchpad, nothing.

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6 years!

IdentityMine, Personal, Work
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Yesterday was my 6th anniversary at IdentityMine, Inc.. The same week, I created a folder for the 100th project I worked on here. It’s amazing how time flies, but more than ever, I feel blessed and happy to work at this amazing firm. I am really proud to work with people whose technical and professional expertise I tremendously respect, and that many of these people became more than colleagues, true friends.

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Microsoft MVP for Client Dev

.NET, Blend, MVP, Personal, Silverlight, Technical stuff, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Work, WPF
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I am happy to announce that I am renewed as an MVP for 2014. This time as Client Dev, which is the new MVP expertise resulting from the merger of Silverlight (my previous expertise), Client App Dev and Blend. This is my 8th MVP award in a row.

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New mobile-friendly theme on my blog!

Blog, Design, Personal, Website
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As I mentioned earlier, I am now self hosting my blog, and am now using WordPress. One of the things I wanted to do for a long time is have a mobile-friendlier presentation. Well, it is the case now! From now on, if you visit this blog from a mobile browser, you will see much more readable and navigable pages.

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