Programming Tales

About me


Hello there, my name is Ivan Naranjo. I have been a profressional developer for over 20 years now, can't believe I just wrote that. I now live in London with my wife and dog after living in America for a very long time.

Me in Disneyland Tokyo

I started working as a software developer at Microsoft in Redmond back in 1998 fresh out of college. Since then I have worked on many development environments, with various programming languages and various products to release.

In Microsoft I worked on Office, from Office 98 to Office.Net, primarily on the maintenance team, or Quick Fix Engineering (QFE), doing fixes for companies with software assurance contracts. I also worked quite heavily on the Office Update site.

I moved to Silverlight after that because I was enamored with it. I loved the idea of having a cross-platform runtime running right in your browser. I had many happy years there learning how to program in .NET and C++ as well as my first experiences with the Mac.

During the Windows 8 years there was a lot of turbulence in the company, I was one of the first developers on Project Jupiter and had a lot of fun trying to make Silverlight work on C++ only, learnt a lot about COM interop, templating and how to build a decent API on top of WinRT.

After Windows 8 shipped I moved to the applications team and worked primarily on the new and fancy Windows Calculator. We built the app from scratch whilte using the calculation engine from the classic calculator app. It was fun using the platform that I helped build and gave me a great insight on how the APIs that I helped design performed.

After that I had an itch that I couldn't scratch in Microsoft and I decided to jump ship and by no fault of my own found myself in Google, this time in fabulous Kirkland.

My starter project at Google was Grok and my manager was Steve Yegge, talk about a completely cultural immersion into Google. I came from a structured top bottom culture (almost military) to a completely grassroots culture. I learnt a lot during this period, got exposed not only to the amazing Google infrastructure but also I was free to explore technology as I saw fit. For the first time I could look at open source projects and learn any technology that I wanted. This is something that Microsoft finally learnt.

After my sting in developer tools I moved on to work for Google Cloud also for Steve but this time on mobile tools. At the time Google was doing a big push into mobile, we even had a thing called "Mobile Tuesdays" where you were supposed to use the internal sites from mobile devices to see what needed to be fixed, it didn't last long sadly.

In Cloud I worked on the iOS version of the Google Cloud app, it was my first experience working on iOS after all. It was fun to build an iOS app from scratch from within Google. I ended up learning Objective C, app development and project management.

In 2015 my wife and I made a huge life decission and decided to move to London where Google Cloud was forming a brand new team there to work on .NET tooling for cloud developers and I joined since I had plenty of .NET and C# experience from my Microsoft days. It was exciting since again we were going to build tooling from scratch, anything from a Visual Studio extension to tools and Docker images to help with .NET services in the then nascent Google App Engine Flexible Environment.

As it seems that I could never stay in one place for long, now a days I am working on the Android Google app team, learning how to do massive Android apps at scale and how to effectively integrate Web content into them.

Looking back it has been quite a ride and I am not even close to being done. I am having a blast, even if sometimes it gets stressful. I love the working environment and I love the people I am working with.

These days you can also find me hanging out in Mastodon at where I lurke and try to learn my way around. I used to be in another site (blue bird) but decided that there was too much drama and moved away.