I am a passionate father and family member enjoying life with my lovely spouse and two kids, my daughter (born 2016) and my son (born 2014). We life in Austria, Vienna, with tendency of spending quite some time in Upper Austria, Gmunden.

As a professional, I am working at Microsoft as engineering manager who enjoys working with a talented team hands-on. We’re part of Azure Global Commercial Industries, a unit at Microsoft’s Azure Engineering organization that’s building Industry PaaS platforms.

Azure Global / Engineering

In Azure Global Commercial Industries, I am leading a team of 6 engineers in the Customer Engineering part of the org. We are working on co-engineering projects with industry-customers and, as part of that, collaborate with AGCI core engineering teams on building capabilities into our industry-PaaS (iPaaS) offerings that are needed by the largest early adopter customers. Our main technology areas are C#, Python, Azure Cosmos DB, Kubernetes (Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Data Explorer and Azure Synapse. We do work on core- and foundational DC migrations with our industry customers, as well, and built a strong muscle on Azure Resource Manager, Hybrid Networking and Azure Governance with Policy with full automation through DevOps in place.

Joining Azure Engineering originated from work with SAP in my previous role when working with SAP with on-boarding SAP Cloud Platform on Azure. Through that work, in 2017 I joined the Azure Customer Advisory Team (AzureCAT). AzureCAT was the customer-facing part of Azure Engineering. The team was focused on working with the most challenging Azure Customers world-wide with the goal of helping those customers with their journey to Azure, but especially learning from them and subsequently help core engineering teams to improve Azure itself through specific, novel and actionable feedback (which sometimes looked like detailed feature- and capability-specs. My focus in that team was primarily on Azure Core Compute (VMs, Disks), Azure Kubernetes Service, Availability Zones and High Availability / Disaster Recovery architecture and designs. The work involved architecture design reviews/sessions, troubleshooting and performance instrumentation most of the time to deeply understand challenges and their root-causes in concrete customer situations.

SAP Alliance Team @ Microsoft Global ISV

Before joining Azure Engineering through AzureCAT, in 2015 I joined the Global SAP Alliance Team becoming one of the main technical counterparts for SAP at Microsoft. I was closely collaborating with the SAP engineering team of Microsoft (which was part of AzureCAT at that time) and with SAP engineering groups across the world. During that time, I traveled way more than I wanted to. But the work was extremely interesting reaching from Windows 10 UWP app development (with .NET and C#) through Office 365 App Development (with Angular, JavaScript) to Azure. The highlight of that time for sure was working with SAP Israel to finally onboard and ship SAP Cloud Platform on Azure. The work involved getting deep into Azure Networking, Azure Compute and Azure Storage. In fact, our work with SAP lead to the initial design and implementation of Application Security Groups in Azure Networking.

The SAP Alliance team back then was part of a group called Technical Evangelism & Development (TED) which later evolved into Commercial Software Engineering (CSE) at Microsoft - an exciting new team for which TED created the foundation for. Before CSE got formed, I moved on to AzureCAT, though.

Corp. Technical Evangelism & Development

The SAP Global Alliance team was part of the same organization at Microsoft I worked for until 2015, just different teams. Technical Evangelism and Development (TED) was an engineering organization doing co-engineering with partners and customers. In fact, technically it was the first true engineering organization I joined at Microsoft (in which we got Software Engineers and Program Managers). Our teams worked on building software with and for partners and customers to help them succeed on Azure.

As part of that job, we implemented first automations based on PowerShell for setting-up SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines across multiple regions with Always-On Availability Groups. It also included building a scalable batch processing framework for ISVs before there was something like Azure Batch available (we called it GeRes which stands for Generic Resource Scheduler for Azure … it was a batch processing framework written in .NET utilizing Azure Web/Worker roles that some of our ISVs ran with ~800 active instances processing data back in 2014). We also ran the live streaming with partners across the globe for the very first world-wide streaming of Olympics through Azure Media Services. I still remember the nightshifts in Turin with great peers and colleagues helping our partners to monitor live streaming channels on Azure Media Services and jump on calls with support when needed.

Presenting at conferences was still a part of the job. This, again, included Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft TechDays, JAOO / GoTo and the likes. The highlight was my presentation on hybrid cloud for architects at Microsoft //build 2015.

Azure Incubation for Independent Software Vendors

Technical Evangelism and Development (short: TED) was formed out of Azure Incubation and the Global ISV team which were part of the corporate Developer Experiences (DX) organization at Microsoft. This change happened mid-2013. From 2011-2013 I was part of the Azure Incubation team. This team was a technical and business development pre-sales organization with the goal of enabling products from Independent Software Vendors onto Azure to create an ecosystem. In that team, I was a Platform Strategy Advisor which was a combo-role of a business development manager and architect. The role was a corporate role reporting into the DX HQ at Microsoft, but I was assigned to Austria and Switzerland, primarily.

My responsibilities included pre-sales-oriented tasks such as pipeline management and forecasting of Azure deals with ISVs. I worked with those ISVs on business cases in partnership with the Microsoft subsidiaries I was assigned to. Technical work mainly involved Architecture Design Sessions to help ISVs enable (or optimize) their products to run on Azure Cloud Services and Azure Database Services. Technologies such as Web/Worker Roles, Azure Storage Queues, Azure Service Bus Messaging and Azure SQL Database were the pre-dominant technologies we worked with on a daily basis.

Finally, large part of the role included technical presentations at local, regional, and international conferences. These included Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft TechDays, JAOO / GoTo, Basta, API Summit and the likes.

SOA Transition for the IAEA

From 2010-2011, I was working as a Senior Architect for Microsoft Consulting Services. My main assignment was with the International Atomic Energy Agency for an SOA Transformation project. This work was mainly focused on Business/IT-alignment and establishing SOA-architecture and design principles with the teams working at the IAEA. Since I am a hands-on person, I worked with a team on prototyping some of the approaches we designed for practical validation purposes. But my main tools in this time where Business Capability Maps, Business Dependency Maps and the likes. Practical validation involved things such as Web Services Software Factory or Composite UI Application Block to verify lose coupling of services and corresponding client development efforts.

Starting at Microsoft in 2002

October 2002 started what I consider the so far most exciting part of my professional career. I started as a passionate technician at Microsoft, a Developer Evangelist in Austria’s Developer & Platform Evangelism Group (DPE). In the years to come I’ve learned a lot through different jobs, roles and responsibilities.

Starting as a Developer Evangelist in the Austrian Developer & Platform Evangelism group, I worked in none-traditional technical pre-sales to help large customers adopting .NET and SQL Server (2000, 2005). I went through evolutions of this role incl. working with ISVs on Office Client and Office Server Integrations with .NET (VSTO, SharePoint). In 2007, I was a founding member of the Austrian Microsoft Interoperability Council working on integration of Microsoft-tech in open, local and regional standards such as egora (Austrian e-Gov Reference Architecture), WCF SOAP messaging integration for the Austrian e-card system or Identity interoperability across CA Siteminder and Active Directory Federation Services for several Austrian organizations incl. the Austrian Chamber of Economics.

A large part of the role was delivering technical presentations at local conferences. I.e. I was one of the initial founders of a road-show my manager established back then - .NET Experts on the Road. This quickly became a brand through its deep, technical presentations. Through that role, I got my first exposure as an international speaker at Microsoft TechEd in 2005/2006.

How it started

Back in 1999 after completing a Higher Technical Education for informatics and economics in Austria with the final examl focused on Oracle and Java. After that, I started working as a self-employed developer next to civil service. From there, I joined a small consulting team that was building banking software for customers in Austria incl. the Austrian Nations Bank or Compaq (later HP). Windows DNA, COM+ and COM with both, VB6, C++ and Oracle where my bread & butter.

From there, I moved on to a company that was working on SAP Integration projects. I got exposed to SAP, especially SAP’s Business Connector and iDOCs, the dominant integration platforms long before times of SAP Netweaver and SAP HANA. One of the projects got me into .NET (back in 2001) and BizTalk - a path that formed the next years to come.