P@ Log

Patrick Chanezon about Platforms and Software Development


Goodbye VMware

May 10th, 2013 · 2 Comments

My last day at VMware was april 6th 2013: I loved every bit of these 18 months building a worldwide and world class developer relations team of 21 star developer advocates, program managers and community site builders for Spring and Cloud Foundry. We had fun, accomplished and learned a lot.

I strongly believed in the “go big or go home” strategy led by Paul Maritz and Tod Nielsen, going up stack from VMware’s stronghold in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Platform as a Service (Cloud Foundry), developer tools (Wavemaker) and frameworks (Spring), and Software as a Service (Horizon, Socialcast, Sliderocket, Zimbra).

I am proud of the work we did in VMware developer relations, engaging with developers around the world to help them become more agile, drive business value, and change the world with software, by leveraging cloud platforms and modern development frameworks.

Portrait of the developer as The Artist – SpringOne India 2012 from Patrick Chanezon

We helped the Spring community grow, brought SpringOne to China and India, and helped create a strong developer and partner community around Cloud Foundry, with 13 Cloud Foundry Open Tour events around the world, and technical presentations at 130 developer conferences in 2012. One aspect that I am particularly proud of, as a manager, is the culture of innovation and getting things done we built in that team in 18 short months.

VMware Developer Relations Team Culture from Patrick Chanezon

In December 2012, VMware and EMC announced to Pivotal Initiative, a bold initiative to spin off VMware and EMC’s Cloud and Big Data product portfolios into a new company called Pivotal.

As many of you know, it is an understatement to say that I am an avid reader. In 2012, 3 business books particularly inspired me: “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, “The Start-up of You”, by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Clayton “Innovator’s Dilemma” Christensen “How Will You Measure Your Life?”. What these 3 books have in common is advocating for an active management of your career based on your own priorities, goals and values, embracing change instead of fighting it, and being open to emergent opportunities.

Pivotal represented a big change, for my team and myself. When planning the organization for Pivotal developer relations, I got pinged by a friend with a super exciting opportunity outside of VMware and decided to do a pivot of my own. I built a plan for Pivotal developer relations, covering Cloud and Big Data, transitioned the team to Adam Fitzgerald, left VMware and, being French, took a month of vacations:-)

Adam is a fantastic developer relations director, and his team is one of the best in the world: the splendid execution of the Pivotal launch last month is a strong testament to their capabilities.

It is always bittersweet to leave a team you love working with, but my new gig is too exciting to look back. Thank you VMware for these excellent 18 months, and good luck with your new adventure Pivotal team! I want to specially thank Charles Fitzgerald, who was my manager, but whom I consider more like a mentor and a friend, for teaching me developer platform strategy and evangelism, Tod Nielsen and Mark Brewer for hiring me at VMware and giving my team the means to tell developers the VMware platform story, Mark Lucovsky, Derek Collison, Vadim Spivak, Ramnivas Laddad and their teams for building Cloud Foundry and Bosh, the Spring team for enabling Java developers to be more productive, Jerry Chen, Killian Murphy and their teams in products, David McJannet, Dekel Tankel and their marketing team, James Watters for building such an impressive ecosystem of partners, and being an awesome voice on Twitter, Alan Ren for his relentless energy building the VMware engineering team in China.

But above all, I want to thank my team: Adam Fitzgerald, Josh Long, Andy Piper, Raja Rao, Chris Richardson, Frank Yu, Eric Bottard, Rajdeep Dua, Toshihiko Ikeda, Alvaro Videla, Monica Wilkinson, Peter Ledbrook, Scott Frederick, Tamao Nakahara, Danny Gamboa, Amy Welch, Christina Jones, Corrine Bai, Giorgio Besso, Dararith Ourk, Chloe Jackson, Loc Nguyen, Magizh Thirunavukkarasu,
you will always have a special place in my heart, and I wish you all success at Pivotal or elsewhere for those who have left the team.

I will post more details about my new job on Monday. In the meantime, I took advantage of this month of spring vacations to shoot some fun videos in different places I visited, as a homage to you, developers I interacted with around the world, in the past 8 years doing developer relations at Google and VMware. They are inspired by Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues video, in the movie Don’t Look Back. I call them Subterranean Developer Blues!

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matthias Buchner // May 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Congrats and good luck!

  • 2 Andy Piper // May 14, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I’ve said so elsewhere too, but it bears saying again here – thank you for your friendship, mentorship, and leadership at VMware (and for recruiting me!) – you are missed – but you will be a hero at Microsoft DPE and it will be a pleasure to cross paths with you in future!

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