dev guy becomes a compiler padawan

More than 5 years ago I joined what became the Entity Framework team and started an awesome adventure which taught me a lot and has given me many memories which I will treasure: Everything from a room of MVPs yelling at me (so much that one of them later apologized on his blog) and a certain well-publicized “vote” … to the v2^2 t-shirts and talk about magic unicorns, and that’s just the public stuff.  I won’t mention the crazy antics that went on behind closed doors just like pretty much any other hard-driving software team, or the experience of being part of a high-profile, at times controversial project in the world’s largest software company.  It wasn’t all fun and games, but it has been great, and I’ve had the honor of working with an outstanding group of people both inside and outside Microsoft.

One of the best parts about working at Microsoft is the opportunity it gives you to explore a variety of things and work on multiple different projects without the impact on the rest of your life associated with changing companies.  So I’ve decided the time has come for me to take advantage of this unique employment situation and explore some new challenges elsewhere in the company.  Thankfully, I know that I’m leaving the EF in very good hands and that it has a wonderfully bright future ahead of it.

In case you are wondering where I’m going, I’m joining an incubation team which is in charge of, among other things, the phoenix project.  Specifically I’ll be working on ahead-of-time compilation for c# in order to solve some really challenging problems in system programming.  One of the things that has come out of the last several years for me is a real love of programming in c#, and this project has the potential to help extend the use of c# into domains where it can’t be used today.  The team I’m joining faces some challenges which will benefit from my past experience, and at the same time there is a vast new domain to learn about where I have no experience (compilers).

So today I lay down my claim to the title “ dev guy”, and take up the mantle of “compiler padawan.”  (My wife asks if I’m going to grow a small padawan braid at the back of my head, but I really don’t think anyone wants to see that, so I suppose I’ll pass.)

- Danny

Comments (16)

  1. Fujiy says:

    Good luck at your new journey!

    And….you have any news about EF CTP5? At PDC they say that will be released at Nov 2010.

  2. simmdan says:

    Thanks.  No final date yet, but it's coming "real soon now."  🙂

  3. Gareth says:

    Oh wow! If 'ahead-of-time compilation' means what I think it does, I'm extremely interested! Are you able to share any more regarding this? Goals?

  4. Craig Stuntz says:

    Sounds like fun! Enjoy it!

  5. Roger Jennings says:


    I'm glad you survived your encounter with the "Nhibernate Mafia." EF v4 is a great product.

    Best of luck with "ahead-of-time compilation."


  6. simmdan says:


    Yes, I suspect ahead-of-time compilation means what you think it does.  It's complicated by a number of things like garbage collection but the spirit of it is to compile c# down to native dlls and exes.  I will try to share what I can here on the blog as I proceed on this adventure, but it's important to keep in mind that this is an incubation project not a shipping product.  It's way to early to tell if, how or when any of this might be available outside the company.

    – Danny

  7. Matthieu MEZIL says:

    Very sad to read your post Danny.

    However, I wish you a great continuation in this project which looks very cool too.

    Hope to see you anyway in next MVP summit


  8. simmdan says:


    Definitely drop me an email when you are in town.  I'd love to get together and chat.

    – Danny

  9. Mike McIntyre MVP says:

    Enjoy Padawan!

  10. KristoferA says:

    Good luck at your new team!

    Although I suspect that you won't leave EF behind completely, since you just launched …? 🙂

  11. Gareth says:

    That's exactly what I was hoping. It'd be great to compile down to standalone dll's and exe's with zero extra dependencies. I think the Mono project has similar goals with their 'bundles'/MonoMac/MonoTouch. Good luck – you're now firmly established on my radar 😉

  12. Guest says:

    'ahead-of-time compilation' ……'system programming' …… 'domains where it can’t be used today' ……

    Bartok ?  I sense its a managed operating system here …. it must be Midori !

  13. John Papa says:

    Good luck Danny!

  14. Chad Slater says:

    Good luck Danny! I'm sure you'll do great things.

  15. Unai says:


    Good Luck , we'll miss you!



  16. Cesar de la Torre says:

    Sure!, good luck in this new challenge and thanks for all your help! 🙂


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