Microsoft Loses Top C # Developer

Eric Lippert was a key part of the Roslyn compiler-as-a-service project.

The defections of top-level people in Microsoft's developer division continued recently when a key C# manager announced his imminent departure.

At the end of November, Eric Lippert, a longtime Microsoft employee and the principal developer on the C# compiler team, announced that he was moving on from Microsoft. Lippert is joining Coverity to work on its static analysis tools.

Many developers were caught off guard by Lippert's departure. In particular, what it means for the future of C# and the compiler as a service project (codenamed Roslyn). Lippert had served as the visible lead of the Roslyn Project. The third Roslyn CTP, which can be used on Visual Studio 2012, was released in September.

The former MSDN Fabulous Adventures in Coding blogger is now blogging at He addressed some of the concerns in response to a reader comment on his new blog on Thursday:

 "I am just one of dozens of people working on Roslyn; I'm just the most visible of them. We have heavyweight architects like Neal Gafter and Matt Warren working on this thing and a whole team of smart compiler and IDE people. I am leaving it in extremely good hands and extremely good shape."

In the same response, Lippert said:

"C# will continue to be influenced by me, just less directly. I'm hoping to maintain close ties to the C# team."

Several high profile people have left the Visual Studio and .NET teams of late, including the former head of Visual Studio, Jason Zander, who moved to the Server and Tools Business (STB) at Microsoft immediately after the Visual Studio 2012 launch in September. He is now the corporate vice president of the Windows Azure development team. 

People often switch jobs but it's hard not to wonder, what these changes could mean for Visual Studio and its related frameworks. 

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 Eric Lippert

There are two small inaccuracies in this piece. First, I am not a manager. Second, I was not "the principal developer" of the C# compiler; I was "a Principal Developer". That's a job title; there were several Principal Developers working on that project and there still are. I was far from the most senior person working on it. Finally, what this means for the VS team is that they now have even stronger ties to an important partner company that strongly supports the Microsoft development ecosystem.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 Robert Germany

The best Developer runs away, because the Head Managers getting Altzheimer, they falling back to Windows 1.0

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 Jon Davis

@"MICROSOFT LOST IT", it's called The Emperor's New Clothes. And I agree.

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 Robert Phoenix Phoenix, AZ

Why complain about Windows 8. Just stick with XP, like every corporate application I see (e.g Chase Bank, Southwest Airlines, etc)

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 Ron Reno

If I wanted a UI that looks like a MAC and acts like a MAC, I would have gone to the Apple Store and bought a MAC. Office 2013 reminds me of how applications used to look on MS-DOS....good step backwards Microsoft.

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 80s Rocker

Windows 8 is not the best on a desktop withou a touchscreen, but it is not that bad. I have it on my laptop since RTM and it took me 1-2 weeks to get used to it. The only mistake I think MS made was not listening to their testers and allowing users to turn on the classic start menu in desttop mode, and also to boot directly to desktop. On a laptop with touch screen or a table though window 8 is totally awesome and blows both iOs and Android out of the water. My nephew who is an apple fan boy told me that "Win8 kicks Apples butt". So for those who say that Windows 8 sucks or compares it to Windwos Me/Bob/Vista just show how uninformed they are. Windows 8 is not perfect, but at least MS is innovatign instead of copying what everyone else is doing.

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 Eddie Boston

Next headline: Neal Gafter and Matt Warren leaving Microsoft.... ;-)

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 Shane

FRED, Don't forget Microsoft BOB! Win 8 sucks for sure! If I want to relearn everything and get off of Windows it will be to Linux, iPad, Android, etc. and not a sucky Windows attempt at it.

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 Stig

Wishing Eric well but this is not bad really I often think ppl read too much into it. People change can be very positive it exports influence and imports fresh blood and ideas. ;)

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 fred

Yea, Win8 really blows. I guess its their pattern... Win Me, Vista and now Win8 all needed to be skipped. Question is will they learn from that UI blunder and go back to the older interface for Win 9 or keep that POS they had some kindergartener design?

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 Microsoft Lost It Texas

Balmer is trashing MS. He reminds me of "The King has no clothes".

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 Jo

They're probably as disgusted with windows 8 and that horrendous interface as the rest of us out here are.

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