Careers: Interviews
Jean-Luc David, Developer Advisor MDSN, Top International Developer Authority

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., DF/NPA, MVP, CNP has an exclusive interview with Jean-Luc David.

Jean-Luc DavidJean-Luc David is a Developer Advisor for Microsoft Canada. He has written five technical books for Wiley Publishing, including Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System and Professional Team Foundation Server. In his current role, he spends much of his time with development communities, companies and schools, connecting them to the resources they need to learn new skills and improve their careers. Prior to joining Microsoft, Jean-Luc ran a successful development and consulting firm specializing in areas such as Web Development and providing early guidance on Team System. You can reach Jean-Luc at:

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:34: Jean-Luc David you are a Developer Advisor for Microsoft Canada. What does this mean?
"....My goal is to support developers' careers and technical skills, to be an advocate for developers within Microsoft, and to help build healthy connections within the community from students right up to CIOs...."

:02:25: You have written five technical books for Wiley Publishing. How does one go about becoming an author and what motivates you to do this?
"....For anyone interested in technical writing my advice would be to start with shorter articles....Writing a book can be very demanding, resource and time-wise, so don't undertake a project like that lightly...."

:04:33: At the Academic IT Deans Summit, you indicated that you work closely with schools. Can you describe this work and why it is important? What is your call to action to the audience?
"....Many schools are using applied learning techniques with games to teach core computer science skills in first year computer science programs. For example we've built a program called GameCamp which allows students to learn and share experiences writing games for the Xbox 360... (see's another Canadian program called DreamSpark...the program allows students to download and use many of our professional development tools at no cost (see"
(To learn more about these programs contact Jean-Luc or his team at:

:07:43: Prior to joining Microsoft, you ran a successful development and consulting firm. Can you describe your work and some valuable lessons you want to share?
"....Get yourself a good accountant or lawyer....Learn to work in a team....Manage scale creep (sliding scale of expectations or changing requirements) and client expectation.....Connect to your peers....Learn how to handle failure...."

:11:42: What is the current state of SOA?
"....Canadians are just starting to realize the importance of service oriented architecture especially as it relates to geographically distributed data and also in the environment. So from a Microsoft perspective we believe the right approach is through software plus services...."

:12:56: What are the major interoperability challenges and their solutions?
"....How do we share data across disparate systems?...."

:14:48: What are the most important current roadmap-level tips involving software development?
"....Leveraging services when you can....Think about a software plus services approach....Test driven development....Understand the foundational technology....Specialize and understand how IT applies to different domains...."

:18:10: Jean-Luc takes his tips involving software development (from the previous question) and applies it to the next 3 to 5 years.

:20:07: What are the most important broader IT and business challenges and solutions in 2008 or 2009?
"....Simplifying complex information and data .... Participatory technology is picking up .... Distributed technologies .... Personalization .... Eco-computing or Green IT...."

:22:02: The industry is changing. What advice would you give to IT professionals and developers to stay on top of what is happening in the industry?
"....Three key areas to focus on...Online, Offline, and Community....You have to find your own trusted resources within these three areas...."

:25:17: In your current role, what are the biggest challenges, and their solutions in terms of what you do across the country and how does this relate to business?
"....Scale and geography of Canada....Decline in ICT interest....The pace of change...."

:30:08: Jean-Luc shares some interesting stories from his work.
"....Interview with Microsoft....First Game Camp....Imagine Cup - CPR...."

:37:39: Provide your predictions of future IT/Business trends and their implications/opportunities?
"....Parallel Computing....New Input Devices....Mesh Computing ....Virtualization....Green IT...."

:41:40: Jean-Luc shares his top resources.

:42:27: Jean-Luc, you also have a background as an MVP and User Group leader. What lessons can you share from these experiences?
"....Involvement with your community and volunteering your time has huge benefits from a career perspective....If you are not sure where to volunteer....there is a website, which will pair you up with a charity or a non-profit organization...."


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