Building Careers and Companies with Open Source with Miguel de Icaza

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In this episode, we talk to Miguel de Icaza, Distinguished Engineer about his career building open source software, founding companies, and building communities.

[01:10] - What Miguel does at Microsoft

[04:15] - Miguel's origins in Open Source during college

[08:00] - The Birth of GNOME

[10:30] - The Birth of Mono

[12:45] - Unity and Mono

[14:38] - Forming Xamarin

[16:51] - Key Career Inflection -  Laid off from Novell, saving the team

[18:45] - Critical lesson from his first company "it's very difficult to make money selling Open Source software"

[19:42] - Deciding when to take VC money

[23:50] - How Miguel learned to run a business

[26:09] - Key Learning: Learning creativity from "The Art of Possibility" by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander

[29:00] - On Miguel's plan to undermine Microsoft :)

[29:54] - Building a spreadsheet teaches Miguel how to take on bigger challenges

[33:00] - Miguel's coaches, partners, and mentors

[34:00] - Miguel on networking and building community and the power of IRC

[39:34] - Worst career advice

[40:00] - Productivity hacks



The Discussion

  • User profile image
    On the theme of the Xamarin team working together with the rest of the MS .Net team on common problems: any thoughts on .Net runtime or C# language changes to make easier the kinds of optimizations needed to scale .Net Core to millions of requests a second, which would also benefit mobile and realtime software developers (e.g. physics engines, game engines, etc...), particularly in the AOT scenario where more expensive whole-program optimization techniques can be used?

    For instance, using whole-program escape analysis during AOT to auto-release temp objects (or stack allocate them, if possible), without triggering a full GC, when analysis determines the object does not escape a particular scope?
  • User profile image
    Miguel de Icaza

    Some recent features in .NET lift all boats. Span is one of those examples, and the underlying infrastructure that is used for it can be used not only in mobile apps, but in games.

    Ref Returns were a feature introduced recently, a feature that I believe Unity really needed, but in the end, everyone benefits.

    We have an upcoming blog post that we need to finish editing with the optimizations that are enabled when using LLVM to compile and perform this sort of whole program optimization. Stay tuned!

  • User profile image
    Awesome! I look forward to it!
  • User profile image

    I work 85+ hours a week and 70% of the time I play Video games 80% of the time. I’m looking for a way to help y’all out and make more money. Weather it be testing, mixing, or creating.

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