Connect2015 – Creating Projects in the Open

In the afternoon of Connect2015 day one, a choice was given between IT Pro and Developer track – I went with the latter to learn about ‘creating products in the open', with Jay Schmelzer, Erich Gamma, Amanda Silver and Patrick Chanezon.

#Connect2015One of the first questions was about how RedHat and Microsoft are going to cooperate on giving support for CoreCLR for Linux, e.g. whom to call if the server is on fire. I think best is to be summarized as the quote ‘Open source does not decrease the level of support and / or change the release process'. Next question was on ‘How to respond to a new fancy JavaScript framework coming every month', and the answer was really to focus on developer enablement – if approached with the relevant tools (e.g. nuget/npm/bower/cordova plugin and extension support in the IDE, quick uptake of the new libraries by the people creating the packages, etc), the actual framework picked becomes a less relevant question. It was interesting to learn the scale of open source dependency – in the (now opensourced) VSCode 130 different open source components were used as a dependency. With switching to opensource – as we learned – insight was given into where a project is going, and enabled other teams and projects to build on the capabilities earlier. What is a nice side effect: the definition of ‘Done' had to become from crisp, under the set of watching eyes. Socializing side was also strong – you are socializing in a virtual open space across the continents, something hard to achieve otherwise; and also – opensource projects and being opensource became a recruiting tool both for Microsoft and both for companies using Microsoft tech. Also – it does not have to be big bang! Do something meaningful but small first, and do see how the community reacts, and also: Releasing imperfect code does result in engagement – and engagement is actually a good thing. We were reminded on two blogposts from Scott Hanselman between the lines: Open Source is a thankless job. We do it anyway. and Bring Kindness back to Open Source – being in opensource development do require social skills.

To underpin all the good things Microsoft sees, they now have a healthy pipeline of projects to be opensourced, but no details were shared.

In a (looks like sticky) one liner summary: It's a different Microsoft now! 

Next on the Developer track was ‘the future of software development' – in the next post.

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