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TL;DL – .NET Rocks! 1377 (The Marketing of .NET with Beth Massi)

Show link.NET Rocks! 1377 (The Marketing of .NET with Beth Massi)

Guest: Beth Massi

Show Notes

  • 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.
    • .NET Core was built with two focuses: be able to (1) write extremely small, modular microservices (containerization), (2) run on small devices (not just mobile phones).
    • Tizen is an operating system that runs on Samsung devices, which supports .NET Standard.
  • 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

Visual Studio has a Directed Graph Markup Language (DGML) designer (since Visual Studio 2010). You can create directed graphs that are represented behind the scenes as XML.

Listener E-mail

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

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