Derek Lakin

From Windows Phone to Xbox One

Skype for Windows PhoneThe last time I wrote about New Challenges I’d been at Pixel Lab for 15 months. Well, it seems that 15 months is my new standard job duration because 15 months after starting at Microsoft working on Skype for Windows Phone, I’ve moved on again.

During my time on the Skype for Windows Phone I’ve worked on the initial release for Windows Phone 8 including background chat and calling and the numerous releases since then. We switched to a much shorter release cadence and have only skipped one release since. The app has gone from strength-to-strength including the significantly improved resume performance, much more reliable push (which I spent a lot of time working on) and there is much more greatness to come. The agile nature that the team works makes it hard to put your finger on individual things in the app that you have been responsible for, but needless to say, I’ve fixed a lot of bugs and been involved at all levels on the app. My most externally obvious contribution won’t be seen for another release yet, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and hope that users like it, too.

In December I was fortunate enough to take on a Senior Development Lead role within the team and was line manager for just over half of the development team. It’s been an honour and a privilege to work with them and the wider team and I wish them all the best for the future. Although I’m not actively working on the team any more, I am still a passionate Windows Phone user and will be keeping a close eye on the progress of the Skype app and the platform.

Xbox OneYesterday was my last day on the Windows Phone team and today is my first day on the Skype for Xbox One team. I’ve actually been sat amongst the team since my return to the UK, but have had very little opportunity to participate, but now there’s no holding me back :) I’ve got a console, a controller, and a screen on my desk and the source code on my laptop. The release is fast approaching and I’m really excited to be part of the team responsible for putting Skype on the best console!

microsoft skype wpdev xbox