Microsoft loses pair of engineers

The software company bids adieu to Pat Helland, headed for Amazon, and Mark Lucovsky, now at Google.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
Paul Festa
2 min read
Microsoft this week lost a key software engineer to Amazon.com, following another recent departure to Google.

Pat Helland, a longtime Microsoft software developer, announced last week through his blog on Microsoft's MSDN developer network site that he left the software giant on March 4 and planned to start at Amazon on March 7.

"On Jan. 24, Amazon approached me to work helping their systems and applications become more scalable and fault-tolerant," Helland wrote on his blog. "Amazon has embraced the need to migrate to service-oriented architecture and wants me to help in that effort...Amazon has one of the world's largest and most challenging applications. The difficulties involved in keeping the application available are both technical and social."

Helland, who was an architect in the architecture strategy team of Microsoft's developer platform and evangelism group, specialized in enterprise applications platforms. He said in his farewell blog posting that he had "never worked on an actual application."

Microsoft's loss of Helland followed news of another departure. Marc Lucovsky, Microsoft's "distinguished engineer" who headed up a group working on the company's .Net technologies, now works for Google, the search company confirmed.

Microsoft confirmed Lucovsky's departure and acknowledged Helland's blog posting but declined to comment further.

Lucovsky made some waves on his way out, posting a lacerating critique of Microsoft's method of distributing software tied to the .Net system.

"Microsoft is supposed to be the one that 'knows how to ship software,' but you are the one doing all the heavy lifting," Lucovsky wrote in a blog posting last month. "You are the one that has to ship their software the last mile, install it on end-user machines, ensure their machines still work after you perform this platform-level surgery."