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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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A story of Murphy – my technical issues at TechDays Switzerland #chtd

Personal, Technical stuff, Work
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This post was imported from my old blog and had 3 comments which are included as a screenshot at the end of this post.

I had two sessions at the recent Swiss TechDays. While the first one (Advanced Development for Windows Phone 8) went extremely well (I think), I had a very annoying technical issue in the beginning of my second session.

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