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Microsoft Sunsets Visual Studio App Center

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Posted: March 20, 2024 | | Categories: Cloud Development

Back in 2017, I had an opportunity to work on the Visual Studio documentation as a contractor. I was trying to find full time work, but jumped at the opportunity to write some docs for Visual Studio. I wrote/updated most of the docs for Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova (TACO) and since I had multiple books under my belt about Apache Cordova, I was a perfect fit.

It was supposed to be a contract to hire opportunity, but that didn't work out so I went and did something else for a while. A few months later, I found an opportunity on the Visual Studio App Center ( team. App Center was Mobile DevOps in the cloud and it was an amazing product. You can read about the launch here.

One of the most important and interesting (for me anyway) parts of App Center was CodePush, a platform that allowed over the air (OTA) updates to Cordova and React Native applications.

I worked on a few things on the App Center team, I was involved in researching and planning for the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) capabilities in the platform and I ended up as Program Manager for the Visual Studio App Center Push service as well as Azure Notification Hubs (both ran on the same infrastructure).

Ultimately, what happened to App Center was GitHub. The App Center team at Microsoft was part of the Azure DevOps division, and when Microsoft moved most of the Azure DevOps team to GitHub, Visual Studio App Center became an orphan. GitHub didn't know what to do with App Center, so they put it on maintenance with a very small development team and let it languish for many years.

I made a lot of great friends working on App Center, most parted ways from Microsoft (me included) long ago. Fortunately, my experience on the App Center team led to Oracle recruiting me for a Product Manager job at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), so it all worked out.

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