Guest: Beth Massi
- Beth Massi has software development experience, but is now the product marketing manager for .NET. Traditional marketing does not work with developers: you need to build credibility and relationships. She is exploring more user story writing and working with bigger customers. The Microsoft engineers are becoming more community-oriented (i.e., spending time in the GitHub repositories).
- It’s very easy to get North American-centric.
- Yes, Microsoft is a northwest US company, but it has a worldwide prescence.
- Much of the internal marketing (e.g., field, subsidiary) gets more international.
- How does Channel 9 fit into the marketing plan?
- There’s a huge .NET base that’s engaged in Channel 9.
- There are lots of other spaces to branch out — YouTube, Google Hangouts.
- Microsoft wants to meet developers where they are.
- Channel 9 is still a premier place to find Connect(); Conference videos, on-demand sessions, and live streams.
- Product development is like landing a plane on a runway: Land smooth, and make sure none of the passengers die. In marketing, as long as the plane ends up on the runway, it’s a success. And big bangs are more exciting! Marketing makes people notice; it creates moments in time.
- Marketing has a close relationship with the product teams; it’s building thought leadership and making sure that people see what’s happening.
- What about Microsoft’s online conference?
- dotnetConf happens yearly (early spring), and is solely online (filmed in Redmond Studio).
- Some people don’t want to travel.
- What to expect… live streams and on-demand, lower cost because of avoiding venue costs and catering, a beginner track, and a deep-dive track.
- It can be less intimidating for beginners to attend an online conference because people don’t see you physically attending beginner courses.
- How is Microsoft accommodating beginners in .NET?
- Microsoft has people coming into the .NET team from many places (e.g., college grads). Having fresh blood keeps the renaissance going with .NET.
- Kendra Havens shows how to get started from .NET Core using Visual Studio Code on a Mac.
- Microsoft has to marry the two communities — 15-year veterans and those either just getting started, or those coming from different platforms.
- Microsoft is also working with code schools to sell the value of teaching .NET Core.
- Isn’t your marketing about exposing new things, like evangelism? Does .NET need to be marketed?
- Marketing is focused on driving awareness with the press and those in the field, arming them with the right training content.
- You don’t need to market .NET directly, but you do need people to be aware of what’s going on.
- Many people may not even know .NET works on Linux.
- What are some of the messages about .NET Core that you’re trying to get out?
- People should understand that .NET Core is both open-source and open-engineering. The team lives in the GitHub repos, talks to customers, and puts design proposals out.
- Microsoft has the most contributions on GitHub (November 2016).
- Microsoft is taking contributions from community. For example in the Kestrel web server, 40% of the performance increase was because of contributions from developers outside of Microsoft.
- You’re not taking contributions from just anybody, right?
- There are people maintaining the roadmap — they design and get feedback from the community.
- Microsoft, like any open-source project maintainer, is acting as a benevolent dictator. The company still needs to consider the other companies already using the product.
- Are you still hearing from disenfranchised WebForms developers that want drag-and-drop to come back?
- Microsoft is still innovating on .NET Framework — core libraries, compilers, languages, and runtime services.
- The goal is to move toward .NET Standard — a standard set of APIs across the .NET Framework, .NET Core, and Xamarin.
- The vision is that .NET Standard will help the ecosystem explode with library support.
- .NET Core is getting into smaller devices.
- At Connect(); // 2016, Microsoft announced Visual Studio for the Mac.
- .NET is the most productive environment. It just happened to start on Windows. Other developers/companies chose something else because they didn’t want Windows. The goal is to “.NET all the things” — any application, any developer, any platform. This is especially true for mobile and cloud, which is not all about Windows.
- Docker Tools for Visual Studio are now in preview; you can debug Docker containers from Windows. The whole point of the container is isolation; you’re sure to get exactly what you need only in the container that runs the service/app. There are Windows containers to isolate older ASP.NET apps.
Better Know a Framework
From show #1217 (.NET Foundation with Martin Woodward and Beth Massi); Microsoft XNA should be in the .NET Foundation. Microsoft announced that there is no XNA v5 coming, as MonoGame has picked this up. Beth mentioned that open-sourcing software later down the road is difficult (e.g., resource investment). Because Microsoft isn’t investing in XNA, they won’t spend resources open-sourcing it.
Technology Giveaway Ideas
- Taking a vacation
- Stillen supercharger for Infinity