As Microsoft continues to remake itself into a devices and services company, it’s stepping up efforts to lure developers that may have previously given it a wide berth.
That’s why Patrick Chanezon, who spent the past year and a half at VMware leading developer relations for Spring and Cloud Foundry, could be a key hire for Microsoft. He joined Microsoft last month as director of enterprise evangelism, a role that includes getting developers excited about Microsoft technologies.
Chanezon’s background includes extended stints at two hardcore Microsoft rivals. He spent six years at Google working with cloud developers, and nearly five years as a software architect at Sun Microsystems, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Given his background, Chanezon probably wouldn’t have considered working at Microsoft a few years ago. But in a Monday blog post, Chanezon said one reason he decided to join Microsoft is because he believes its culture is changing to become more outward-focused.
For example, Microsoft has long frowned on employees using competitors’ products, and it even has a policy the prohibits company funds from being used to buy Apple products. But at a developer conference last summer, Chanezon watched Scott Guthrie, a VP in Microsoft’s Developer Division, give a presentation using a Mac and Google Chrome and uploaded code to Github.
Chanezon interpreted this as “a real change of mentality from Microsoft” and a promising sign of progress. “Clearly they had listened to what developers ask from a cloud platform,” he wrote in the blog post.
Chanezon is part of Microsoft’s “deep tech” team, a group of executives tasked with bringing the company closer to where the action is happening in the developer community. The team, which was first reported on by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, will focus on things like mobility, search, location-based services and other emerging techs.
In a Sunday blog post, John Shewchuk, a 20-year Microsoft vet who’s leading the deep tech team, said Chanezon “has a ton of expertise in the open source space” and said this will help Microsoft get the word out about Linux support in its Windows Azure infrastructure-as-a-service.
Microsoft will hold its Build Developer Conference in San Francisco next month from June 26-28.