This month I start a new challenge at Microsoft, as Global Partner Strategy ISV CTO for Red Hat. Translated: I am taking on technical leadership of the Microsoft/Red Hat partnership.
I had a wonderful and fruitful 4 years as a technical and team lead in the Commercial Software Engineering department, continuing my project-based work with some of Microsoft’s biggest commercial customers. I got to build interesting projects with brilliant engineers, working in close collaboration with Volkswagen, Daimler, E.ON, the United Nations, and others. I got to learn what it’s like working in an enormous company like Microsoft, and how global enterprises engage with each other.
Working with Red Hat is an exciting next step for me. Red Hat 5.2 was my first exposure to Linux back in 1998, and though I never did get it working successfully, I tried again a couple of years later and built my first homemade router and file server on 6.1. It was my go-to distro for years: when I ran a research lab in university, the systems and servers were all Red Hat 8. If someone had told me back then, that 20 years later this would be my job, I wouldn’t have believed it.
I feel like my life has completed one of those little circles, and I am over the moon about where I landed.
Microsoft and Red Hat have a lot in common: they are both enterprise focused, with strong technical fundamentals in infrastructure and cloud native in particular. Of all the hyperscalers Azure is the one that treats hybrid cloud as a first class citizen, and not just an onramp to public cloud. Red Hat is also hybrid focused, with a suite of powerful products including Openshift, Ansible, and others. Though Microsoft has made great leaps in open source, we have a lot to learn by working closely with a company for whom open source principles are truly fundamental. And enterprise-focused though RedHat is, no one meets enterprise where they live as well as Microsoft.
With all this in common, and so much to learn from each other, the partnership is already a warm and welcoming place to land. In my first weeks here it is clear that this is very fertile ground. Look for exciting things to come!
Thank you to all my colleagues from Microsoft Commercial Software Engineering. I had a lot of fun with you, and learned a lot. On to the next adventure!