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The Growing .Net Community – Who You Should Add To Your RSS Reader

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-02-2008

I love seeing people I know step up and get involved with the community.  Especially those that I’ve tried to push over the edge of getting more involved (speaking, blogging, lunch-in-learns or whatever).  Community can be a lot of things to a lot of people but since this is a blog I wanted to highlight some folks that I think you should keep your eye on and add to your RSS readers.  Of course if you haven’t added this site to your RSS Reader you’ve missed out on some gems so get it added (end of self promotion).  Anyway, I’ve got enough people to now warrant mentioning them publicly.  These are people that have just joined the community, or stepped up their game, or someone that is finally finding their voice.  I think they are doing a great job and effort alone folks is +20 geek points.  I expect great things from them so this is an official “turning up of the pressure.”   Here we go in no particular order (really this is no order of personal preference so being first could be last).

Brian Sullivan

Brian and I go way back.  Actually farther back than I care to mention but I will anyway because it is a funny story.  About oh, 10 years ago and some change I was a Band Director at Cope Middle School in Bossier City, LA.  Yes for those that don’t know I have a Music degree.  That should fill in the gaps for those of you that know how hooked on Rock Band and Guitar Hero I am.  Anyway, Brian was a trumpet player in my top band at Cope Middle School.  Brian was one of those kids that always did the right thing, never cut up, paid attention, worked hard and one that you knew would make it in life because he came from a good family.  I left as Band Director at Cope in June of 1997 and moved to Michigan to pursue my career in IT. 

Fast forward 10 years and I was in Memphis, TN speaking at the Memphis Day of .Net last November where I was speaking on guidance around how to organize Visual Studio solutions.  My laptop totally bombed on me and it was to date the worst presentation I’ve given.  That’s beside the point.  A guy walked up afterwards and asked me a question which I promptly answered.  While he was speaking something was strange.  After I answered his question I said, “Don’t I know you, there is something familiar about you?”. He then said, “Do you have a brother that is a Band Director?”.  I said no but I was a Band Director.  He said “In Louisiana?”.  I replied, “Yep, Cope Middle School”.  Bam, it was Brian. Of course you saw that coming but wow, I didn’t ever think I’d run into a student from Cope in Memphis, TN. 

At any rate after the code camp Brian started a blog and he’s been keeping up with it.  He’s in a unique situation where they are migrating systems to .Net so he is running into some interesting problems.  Although Brian is starting out his blogging career help him out and add him to your RSS feed, he could use the encouragement and I know he’d appreciate it.  Brian, it was great to reconnect after all these years, keep it up!  Oh, and for the record I didn’t add you on here just because I’m on your blog roll but I do feel honored to be listed along side those names.


Blog For Brian:  http://www.sullivansoftdev.com/blog/ 

John Chapman

I can’t remember when I first heard about John.  I think it was from a co-worker.  John has joined in a lot of conversations and posts on this blog always adding top notch feedback.  I had the pleasure of finally meeting John at Codemash in January and we even formed a band with Jeff Blankenburg to take second place in the Rock Band give-a-way.  For those that are in the know, John is carrying card member of the Alt.Net crowd.  Recently he has embarked on a rather intriguing and very much needed series whereby he is building a Sudoku game from scratching using Behavior Driven Design and his favorite tools from the Alt.Net space like Castle. 

This is a very needed series to help document the thought process of how one embraces BDD and the alternative tools to .Net.  The reason this is needed is because in order for developers to really get it, they need an example, and not a coding example or an API but a sit down session with someone who is trying to mentor them and that is the approach John is taking.  As an educator at heart, I really like his approach.  This is important.  Currently John is up to the 5th, I mean 4th installment (he started at 0).  I don’t know how many he has in store for us but if he builds everything out from start to finish it will be a staple example for the community to follow for a long time.

Blog for John:  http://jaychapman.blogspot.com/ 

Dave Newman

Dave is an ex team member that was apart of our team at Quicken Loans.  Dave moved to New York to join his future fiance.  Love will make you do strange things, even leave the second best place to work for in America.  Dave is a wealth of Biztalk knowledge and just an all around solid engineer.  We had him dig deep into LINQ right before he left and he made LINQ do some really crazy mad cool stuff.  At any rate he’s labeled his blog fittingly enough ‘.Net Nomad’ since he has moved around a lot in the past few years. 

You never know what Dave will post about but he’s starting to find his voice on his blog and put out some good information.  Currently he’s infatuated with network packet sniffing and has been trying to build a managed packet sniffer application of sorts.  Hopefully Dave is getting involved with the community in the New York area.  Dave is also a good speaker and just needs to be pushed over the edge a bit more to get out there and speak at a few local events.  If you are in the NY area, make Dave come out and speak on something.  Sorry Dave, I had to do it.  Oh, I wouldn’t do my team mates justice if I didn’t mention Dave’s infatuation with his cat.  Don’t ask.

Blog for Dave:  http://geekswithblogs.net/dotnetnomad/Default.aspx

Michael Letterle

Speaking of Alt.Net earlier, Michael is another card carrying member of said group.  I met Michael last year at Codemash 2007 where I think he took at least 1,000 pictures.  Since then I’ve been watching Michael weave his way through the Internet and even followed along as he got a new job this past year.  If you want to know what Michael is doing just add him to your Twitter account where you will not miss a beat (literally we know what the boy has for breakfast and lunch, he’s a Twitter machine). 

As of recent Michael took on a mission to tackle IronRuby which is the implementation of Ruby in .Net.  Similar to John’s take on things Michael is walking his readers through his trial and tribulations from the start and is keeping up on what is happening in the IronRuby space.  It is good to see him sink his teeth into something and put his vast amount of tinkering and knowledge to good use.  Ok Michael, the pressure is on, turn it up!

Blog for Michael:  http://michaeldotnet.blogspot.com/ 

Who’s Next?

There are some of you that didn’t make the list I am sad to say because well, some of you don’t have a blog yet.  Namely:




It is time to take the plunge.  If you are out there and standing on the edge and haven’t taken the plunge to get involved with the community do it.  Don’t run but walk to the nearest free blog web site or better yet buy a domain and then host it for as little as $4.95 a month so you have complete control over your site. 

Also remember that blogging is only one thing you can do.  Find the nearest .Net User Group and start to get involved by first and foremost showing up to meetings and then finding local conferences and events to attend.  The more you do the more you get back.  It is just a fact of life.

Comments (3)

Patience young grasshopper… patience.

Wow, thanks for the link, Keith! If that won’t keep somebody accountable to keep up with their postings (and ensure the quality of content), I don’t know what will!

Man, what’s with all the peer pressure lately? I’m working on it!

Actually, I’ll probably have my first post up tonight. The blog is already setup, it’s just extremely blank.

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