Back in 1993, there was no YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch, so companies like Microsoft would have to get creative if they wanted to do a live video broadcast.
That’s why Microsoft held the DevCast, a satellite-broadcast telethon event. The company’s employees would demonstrate the latest and greatest advancements to Windows and the Office suite, and developers could call in live and ask questions.
The DevCast of 1993 had a very, very special guest even if they didn’t know it at the time — Satya Nadella, who would go on to become Microsoft’s CEO just over two decades later in 2014.
In his segment, Nadella pitches developers on using Excel with Microsoft Visual Basic to make new work apps for the Windows NT operating system. Check it out:
This video was resurfaced earlier today by Fast Company, as part of the magazine’s extensive new profile of Nadella. It’s funny, because Nadella is obviously younger here, but his way of speaking is very similar to his keynoting style today.
To contextualize Nadella in this moment in history, this was about a year after he joined Microsoft from Sun Microsystems to work in the Windows NT divison. About a year later, Nadella would enroll in an MBA program at the University of Chicago, flying back and forth from Microsoft’s Redmond HQ every weekend to take classes. Nadella would finish his classes in 1996, and formally graduate in 1997.
Funnily enough, history is also repeating itself: In this DevCast, Nadella is hyping up using Visual Basic in conjunction with Excel to quickly make apps that use your work data. Within the last year, Microsoft has hyped up PowerApps, a new tool that promises to make it easy for non-technical people to build work apps, too.
And on a final note, this video has one more thing for Microsoft fans. The host of this DevCast is Jeff Teper, the long-time Microsoft exec who would go on to invent SharePoint, one of the most popular apps in the whole Office suite.
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