Announcing .NET Foundation Open Membership

The .NET Foundation was founded in 2014 to foster .NET open source development and collaboration. We're thrilled to have been a part of some amazing growth and momentum since then! On the platform projects alone, 87% of the people who contribute to the .NET platform don’t work at Microsoft and have made over 61,000 code contributions. With this incredible growth, it’s time to take the .NET Foundation to the next level.

I’m incredibly excited to announce that we are making some big changes to expand the .NET Foundation. As part of our ongoing commitment to open source, we're expanding the .NET Foundation by inviting the entire open source community to take a more active role, to directly guide foundation operations and build the ecosystem.

We're expanding the board from three to seven members, with one single seat appointed by Microsoft and the remaining six elected by the community. Board elections will begin in January 2019, and any person who has contributed to a.NET Foundation open source project is eligible to run for the board and to vote. This new structure will help the .NET Foundation scale with the growing .NET open source ecosystem and allows our entire community to get a lot more involved.

We are also expanding our current technical steering group to a Corporate Sponsor program. In addition to our current sponsors – Red Hat, JetBrains, Google, Unity, Microsoft and Samsung, we are also welcoming Pivotal, Progress Telerik and Insight who are joining today. Welcome!

These changes enable the .NET Foundation to be much more involved across a variety of activities like event sponsorships and speaker grants, outreach and evangelism, providing more technical support services, and expanding project onboarding and mentoring. There is tremendous open source potential in the huge, worldwide .NET developer base and we want to empower and activate it!

Open Membership and Elections

We spent a lot of time looking at open source software foundation models, and deciding what best fit into the .NET ecosystem. We settled on a structure that’s inspired by the GNOME foundation - for more insight and background, see Miguel de Icaza's post. Here are the high level details:

  • Any individual contributor to a .NET Foundation project can apply to become a member. Contributions may include code contributions, documentation, or other significant project contribution.
  • Upon approval, members will be notified with information on completing their membership. We’re requesting $100 annual dues, with liberal waivers for students or financial hardship.
  • Each year, we’ll host an election for the board of directors. Any active member can campaign for a one year term, based on their community standing, plans to advance the .NET open source ecosystem, and past performance in case they are seeking reelection.
  • Each .NET Foundation member can vote in the election. We plan to use ranked choice voting (specifically, single transferable vote), using OpaVote.
  • We'll be running our first annual community elections starting in January 2019. Watch our blog and @dotnetfdn on Twitter for announcements on election dates.

If you've contributed to a .NET Foundation project, I invite you to apply for membership today!

Corporate Sponsorship Program

We're expanding our current Technical Steering Group to a Corporate Sponsor Program, and announcing three new sponsors at launch: Pivotal, Progress Telerik, and Insight.

Why change the TSG to a Corporate Sponsor Program? We recognize that many companies have significant business interests in the future growth and health of the .NET ecosystem, across a variety of business models - platforms, developer tools vendors, consultancies, as well as businesses in other verticals that depend on .NET to run their websites, line-of-business applications, infrastructure, etc. We've had repeated requests from businesses that don't directly fit into the TSG model to join the foundation and get involved. Creating a Corporate Sponsor Program with annual dues will allow the .NET Foundation to have much greater impact and make long-term investments in the .NET community.

Read more about why Pivotal joined the .NET Foundation as a corporate sponsor here.

I’m really happy that our launch partners represent different verticals and business models. .NET Foundation corporate sponsorship is for any company that sees business value in promoting the growth of a healthy .NET open source ecosystem! If your company would like to participate, please let us know by e-mailing contact@dotnetfoundation.org.

Announcing Microsoft’s Appointed Board Member: Beth Massi

I’m also pleased to announce that Beth Massi, Product Marketing Manager for the .NET Platform at Microsoft is being appointed to the Board of Directors. Beth was part of the original team that got the .NET Foundation started back in 2014, and has been helping out behind the scenes ever since then in countless ways: coordinating our messaging, serving as the .NET Foundation secretary, organizing events like .NET Conf, the list goes on an on. Beth has a real passion for open source .NET, as anyone who talks to her about 30 seconds will attest. She’s a team player, but not at all afraid to speak up when she disagrees. She brings so much into this role: all the context and history to understand the .NET Foundation’s mission and potential, a huge passion to push it further, and all the organizational and communication skills to make it happen.

Read Beth's great story of the history of the .NET Foundation from her perspective: Building an Open Source .NET Foundation.

Join Us!

I’m really proud of what the .NET Foundation’s been able to accomplish since it was founded in 2014, but when I think about what we’re announcing today I feel like we’re just getting started. I’m thrilled to be able to welcome you – yes, you! – to become an active member of the .NET Foundation, perhaps even run for a board seat, and help make 2019 our biggest year yet.

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