Goodbye Microsoft, Hello Telerik!

I have gotten to do a ton of really great things at Microsoft:

  • I got to write a column on WPF and turn that column into not one, but two books.
  • I got the excitement for every blog post in the first two years wondering if this was the one that was going to get me fired. (It was close a few times.)
  • I got to throw several Developer Conferences (DevCons).
  • I got to spin up a completely new community from scratch (“Oslo”).
  • I got to stay up all night erasing the word “WinFS” from all of
  • I got to be part of a Microsoft product team from incubation through startup to product and then to kaput.
  • I got to get ordained as a minister so that I could marry a PM from the WPF team to a PM on the WCF team as part of the talk I gave with Doug Purdy at the 2008 PDC.
  • I got to prepare for that talk with Doug until 4am, then walk back to the hotel, causing people to cross the street to stay away from us. And then I got to give that talk with Doug the next morning right after restoring my copy of Windows that had crashed 30 minutes before.
  • I got to drag Lars Wilhelmsen up on stage to read Norwegian from the Oslo Tour Guide book, only to find I was pointing him at German.
  • I got to throw an SDR.
  • I got to play poker with Microsoft power brokers far above my level (and take their money : ).
  • I got to sleep at Don Box’s house and become an adjunct part of his family.
  • I got to have two design reviews with Bill Gates (as hard as I tried, I could never see him actually enter the room).
  • I got to turn developer feedback into hundreds of bugs across dozens of products.
  • I got code into Vista (and I assume into Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well).
  • I got to work on the team that built the most ambitious set of templates ever shipped with Visual Studio.
  • I got a very quick, very deep education on JavaScript and CSS.
  • I got to help drive the developer story for an entirely new platform: WinRT, WinJS and Win8.
  • I got to lead two product teams through two PDCs (OK, one PDC and one //build/).
  • I got to give the //build/ keynote launching the Visual Studio 11 tools for Windows 8 with Kieran Mockford, who will forever be my //build/ buddy.
  • I got to see how the sausage is made for SQL Server, WCF, WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Windows 8 and a host of others. I am forever changed.

Those and dozens more have all been extraordinary experiences that have made my time at Microsoft extremely valuable. But, like all good things, that time has come to an end.

telerikLogo-web-450x180pxAnd now I’m very much looking forward to my new job at Telerik!

Telerik is an award-winning developer tools, UI controls and content management tools company. They’re well-known in the community not only for their top-notch tools and controls, but also for their sponsorship of community events and their free and open source projects. Telerik is a company that cares about making developer’s lives better and I’m honored that they chose me as part of their management overhead. : )

My division will be responsible for a number of UI control sets – including WinForms, WPF, Silverlight and ASP.NET – as well as a number of tools – including the Just line, OpenAccess ORM and Telerik Reporting. I’m already familiar with Telerik’s famous controls and am now ramping up on the tools (I have been coding with JustCode recently and I like it). My team is responsible for making sure that developers can make the most of existing platforms, knowing that when you’re ready for the next platform, we’ll be there ready for you.

These controls are already great (as is the customer support – holy cow!), so it’ll be my job to help figure out how we should think about new platforms (like Windows 8) and about new directions.

And if you’ve read this far, I’m going to ask for your help.

I’m going to be speaking at user groups and conferences and blogging and in general interacting with the community at lot more than I’ve gotten to do over the last 12 months. As I do that, please let me know what you like about Telerik’s products and what you don’t like, what we should do more of and what new things we should be doing. Telerik already has forums, online customer support, blog posts and voting – you should keep using those. In addition:

Feel free to reach out to me directly about Telerik products.

Of course, I can’t guarantee that I’ll take every idea, but I can guarantee that I’ll consider every one of them that I think will improve the developer experience. I got some really good advice when I first arrived at Microsoft: “Make sure that you have an agenda.” The idea is that it’s very easy to get sucked into Microsoft and forget why you’re there or what you care about. My agenda then and now is the same:

Make developers’ lives better.

That’s what I tried to do at Intel, DevelopMentor and Microsoft and that’s what I’m going to try to do at Telerik. Thanks, Telerik for giving me a new home; I can’t wait to be there.

Comment Feed 40 comments on this post

Bill Sempf:

Congratulations on the move, Chris. It's going to be great to work with you in yet another capacity! I am sure you will impact the community as positively at Telerik as you have everywhere else you have been.


Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 9:18 PM

Jon Galloway:

It's been a privilege to work with you a few times over the past few years. Congrats on a great career at Microsoft, and best wishes on the next big thing at Telerik!

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 9:25 PM

Adam Caudill:

Congrats & good luck with the new job!

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 9:33 PM


And you found many new friends who look forward to watching your future success unfold.

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 10:21 PM

Brian Johnson:

Congrats Chris. Really miss being around you Duncan, Kent, Shawn and the rest of the guys. That was probably my best time at MSFT so far.

(Also gotta say, I fully credit Chris for helping me get a job at Microsoft 12 years ago. I was a student of his Microsoft interview questions and they even asked me a couple!)

You're going to be missed. Best of luck!


Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 10:34 PM

Brad Abrams:

That is great Chris -- Congratulations on the new gig!

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 11:15 PM


Hey Chris .... congratulations on the new move ... i am pretty sure you will have an awesome time with Telerik folks ... Good Luck


Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 11:33 PM


Good luck on your new adventure! :)

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 11:38 PM


As long as you asked what we don't like about telerik, I can tell from my point of view: ASP.NET MVC Grid has not enough extension points. For example, disabled checkbox'es look bad on several browsers (hard to tell if they are checked or not), how do I say to grid, that use images alternative in my all grids?

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 4:54 AM

Kerry Jenkins:

Hey Chris! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to "make developers' lives better". I have missed your blogging over the past few years. I look forward to your involvement in Telerik to make a great company even better!

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 6:29 AM

Dean Weber:

Congrats and best of luck on the move. I certainly hope to still cross paths with you in the developer community. I'm sure you will continue to be a positive force in the dev community as well as a great new addition to the Telerik Team.


Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 7:46 AM

Szymon Kobalczyk:

Congratulations Chris, I'm sure you will do many great things at Telerik!

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 8:17 AM

Chris Sells:

Thanks everyone here, on Facebook and on Twitter for your support. It's like one big happy family. : )

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 9:20 AM

David Nelson:

"I got to help drive the developer story for an entirely new platform: WinRT, WinJS and Win8."

So YOU are the one we have to blame for that fiasco :)

Congratulations on everything you have accomplished, and good luck at your new endeavors.

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 10:34 AM

Rick Saling:

Good luck Chris! That Oslo DSL DevCon you helped put on was one of the most interesting events I've attended!

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 10:36 AM

John Papa:

Congratulations Chris! You did great things at DM and Microsoft ... and I expect you'll have a similarly great impact at Telerik. Who knew that our "dinner" at Build would see so many of us move on.

Looking forward to seeing you down the road.

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 11:44 AM

Peter Stern:

awesome. sounds like a cool gig. let me know when i can get me hands on a metro controls library.

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 4:39 PM

Chris Sells:

What would you want to see in a metro controls library, Mr. Stern?

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 5:26 PM


Please could you make Telerik controls more designer friendly. Love the controls, *hate* reskinning them

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 5:28 PM


R# Likes: one keyboard shortcut for 99% of fixes/refactoring, XML-doc intellisense + locate in sln explorer

R# Dislike: massive slowdowns on 60+ project slns in vs2010

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 5:30 PM



When I clicked on "my new job at Telerik", I expected to see some kind of job description. Not Telerik's home page. You should have hyperlinked 'Telerik' only. I was on an iPad so I can't see the url.

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 8:34 PM

Glenn Block:

Take care Chris, wish you the best!

Friday, Dec 16, 2011, 5:44 PM

Chris Sells:

OK, making it onto Yahoo! Finance news is pretty cool:

Sunday, Dec 18, 2011, 1:21 PM

Pete O'Hanlon:

All the best Chris. Looking forward to seeing the cool stuff you'll be throwing over the wall;)

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 4:22 AM

Rene Pilon:

All the best Chris!

Telerik has phenomenal products.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 4:50 AM


Congrats on the new gig! For the telerik controls, better integration into the Entity framework would be great, it is currently a huge headache for us.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 6:04 AM

Chris Sells:

Thanks for the feedback on EF integration and designer support and the rest. I'm keeping track!

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 6:21 AM


Congrates on the new job! I've been using Telerik for a couple of years now....

Since you are coming from Microsoft, how about making the ASP.Net and AJAX controls work properly with Internet Explorer 9.0???? :-)

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 6:35 AM

Deborah Palmer McCain:

As a new C# developer(although I truly haven't earned the title of developer, yet) my congratulations on your new endeavor.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 7:39 AM

Goodbye MS, goodbye Telerik.:

I simply don't like this technology. Even with telerik, you still write a mix of html, css, Javascript and whatever .Net code. No matter what you do, it gets messy.

Instead, code your client entirely in a Javascript framework, your server side in whatever language you like, and let them talk to each other via a set of well and strictly defined web services, ideally using JSON-RPC, instead of XML-RPC or SOAP.

This way, you get a clean separation of concerns, a clean design, and get rid of both Telerik, MS and the mess they create.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 8:13 AM

Goodbye MS, Goodby Telerik +1:

well, i have worked at microsoft too but none of those tools we have been using there made sense. all were making things messy. after leaving microsoft, i had a client they had a web application built on and at most points they were using telerik controls. when i dropped everything that's telerik or control, built things from scratch with javascript, thing got much much better and working much stable and faster..

microsoft sucks so does telerik... try to reverse telerik's binaries into code and see how poorly they are written!

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 10:19 AM


Nice move, Chris! We've been using Telerik controls and their reporting tools for several years and have been quite pleased with them, especially Telerik Reports, an outstanding alternative to Crystal.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 10:30 AM

Steven Goulet:

Congratulations on the new gig Chris! Best wishes.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 11:14 AM


You asked so I'll tell why I don't like telerik. And it's for one reason only:

It's yet another third party component that may bite someone in the ass in the future, for the following possible scenarios:

 1 - When The application becomes legacy and telerik is no more.
 2 - Because it reaches a far smaller croud than standard controls and therefore has been mass tested to much lesser extent and has less available online resources.
 3 - Moving projects from company to company might raise issues that give a lot of headache. I'm not 100% positive about this, but I doubt that telerik has licensing options that address this issue.
 4 - Yet another dependency to track and deal with.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 11:52 AM


Congratulations on the new job!

As to Telerik... Doumentation, doumentation, documentation. It's *almost* very nice, but the documentation is fragmented, often incomplete, and there is too great a reliance on (sometimes very out of date) examples spattered about throughout forum threads and issue tracking.

The client side model is especially hard to follow. And simple things like the documentation pages on the website having the item tree and the detail on the same page which result in many click-scroll repetitions could be easily improved.

There also seems to be a tendency to have coded things in a way that doesn't always follow common usage patterns for a particular kind of control. Often there are workarounds, if you can find them, but the point of using a control of course is to gain certain targeted functionality without having to write a bunch of code yourself to implement it.

That said, the support is top notch, although improvements in the documentation would make things much easier on them I'm sure. The depth of functionality seems to also be very good, and overall I'd say that the portions of the ASP.NET suite I've used are stable and tend to work well once you have any quirks figured out.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 2:39 PM


Good luck with Telerik. I am only familiar with the ASP .NET MVC controls and I think that they are big time savers. Since they are open source you are protected from any lack of support in the future. The one thing I would suggest is for telerik to either monitor and respond to posts or shut the forum down. I end up reposting most of my questions on stackoverflow because I never get a response.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 2:53 PM

Deepak Kapoor:

I wish you very best for your new role at Telerik. Also thank you for helping me with my WPF Article on MSDN back when it was called Avalon.

Monday, Dec 19, 2011, 3:08 PM

Guenter Schneider:

Thanks for the interesting and moving account - and all my best wishes for the future that just started. And you could make our lives better by offering auto UI testing support all across the board of your controls (how about starting with WPF). And by making the RadRichText control even more competitive to, well, to an editor that doesn't lend itself so much for integration.

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011, 4:47 AM


can you have the website not ask for registration 4 dev tools which r free like justdecompile?

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011, 7:46 AM


What about some reusable graphic assets, e.g. icons, like your competitors have? That would be handy as hell!

Thursday, Jan 5, 2012, 6:55 AM

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