Click Here to Influence How Microsoft Engages the Developer Community

Next Tuesday I'm “brownbag” (Presentation) with Brad Abrams for teams in the Developer Division about engaging the community.  A lot of it is about passing on best practice advice.  Sure, I have my own content, but I figured I'd ask you guys (and gals) for your advice.  I don't have fancy prizes, but I'll post the slides with the best quotes I use after the event for you to see. 🙂

If you could tell this large group of PMs, Developers, and Testers one thing about participating in the community... what would it be?

What do you like about our current engagement?

What would you change about how we participate?

What, one thing, should people new to the community from Microsoft know?


Comments (5)

  1. Lynn says:

    I enjoy the large amount of information MS gives – it’s just hard to sort it all out if your not part of a larger group. There is no smooth way to connect the dots between introductory examples and enterprise practices and/or best practices. Using ADO.Net as an exaple, it would be great if one could follow a series of ideas from the basics on the DataSet to how it’s leveraged in enterprise/best practices. A lot of this involves coding techniques, techonolgy backgrounders, process patterns and development philosophy.

    Just thinking.

    : )

  2. First of all I would like to say that compared to your competitors you all "get" community and have become 100 x better at it then you were a few years ago.

    The #1 thing I disagree with is the high coverage (multiple spots, prime spots) for 4 "not" communities:, The Forums, NNTP/MVP program and financial partners, then very small mentions in worse page positions and short blurbs of non-MS sites that were actually built by community members not MS. The Microsft created and promoted entities (Forums, GotDotNet/Codewise, NNTP/MVP, Biz Partners) are not communities in the sense of arising independently and in terms of existing to truly serve the community and created / maintained by volunteers. I agree they are great things but sites like,,,,,, etc. get one sentence blurbs in bad page positions if at all while many paragraphs and great page spots are occupied and overpowering the REAL communities by MS created programs and biz partners that are not independent communities. The Biz Partners (Fawcette, Connections, Developmentor, Wintellect) get so much better coverage than true community arisen training companies (,,, on MSDN. site is more balanced than MSDN in this regard in the area of training; but gives very unbalanced coverage of non-forum non-codewise resources on the other non-training .

    INETA is the only group I would class as more independent than others (despite massive unmentioned MS subsidies) as unlike the other entities they are not solely about MS PR. INETA is truly heping local communities exist and thrive (albiet inneficiently in terms of bang for buck they spend a fortune compared to the bease of UG members they serve) so I think any coverage of them is great and do not get annoyed by their overpowering MSDN presence.

  3. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    May be not entirely related to your post but…

    My only comment would be about the way webcasts are more and more systematically used for that so-called "community engagement pledge". There is no way to dismiss the issue here, webcasts are huge time wasters, regardless their value. While I understand the trend, 1) see people’s face 2) consume video rather than text, I still believe that webcasts are overkill most of the time. Video quality is not good especially for showing software on screen : why not use camstudio or flash or an equivalent?

    Regarding time consumption : why not provide a transcript, with a summary?

    I know this translates in more money to involve in it, but I believe that’s the eventual way to go since nobody can keep up with the webcasts available out there — especially when those people happen to be employed –. For those unemployed, I am not sure it’s easy to draw the line between seeing webcasts as much as they can only because they think they are over the edge — which is a false claim IMHO — while what matters is not grand-public webcasts, but rather real use cases. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of MFC programmers out there, and there is no winforms book for MFC programmers. I also believe that among webcasts available around winforms, there is not much of those about MFC-2-winforms, less than 5 probably. When you know so many people used MFC so far, when you know the lack of meaningful content available for them, content for migrating what used to be done with MFC code and how this translates now, it makes you wonder a little bit if a bunch of that community discussion is not for either :

    – self-stimulation, you guys are willing to tell the world what you are doing

    – tease, especially targeted to non Windows developers. This of course goes hand in hand with arrogance (scoble).

  4. josh says:

    Lyne: Your feedback is justified and several teams have recently been doiung thinking about how to connect the education between the 100 level education and the advanced samples. I’m hoping this improves in the coming year.

    Charles: I’ve now got a slide promoting the Microsoft usage of "3rd Party" community sites. The only correction I would make about what you are saying is that the codewise sites are not officialy run by microsoft like the Asp.Net or GDN sites. They are independant and are more of what I would consider "2nd Party". I also talk about working with and supporting INETA more now. 🙂

    Stephane: I’ve heard this feedback about web casts before. I personally think that they are just one tool that teams could use, but should not be the only tool. I like the model of doing a web-cast that supports and existing whitepaper or published sample. I think that having the combination probably serves what you are looking for.

    I’ve also heard the feedback about the lack of coverage for "non-trendy" technologies that are still in use by a large number of customers. I don’t have as good an answer here. People agree that we probably hyped whidbey/longhorn a little hard a little early, but, from an internal perspective, it’s hard not to be excited about what you are currently working on.

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