We recently announced some big changes to the .NET Foundation, and one of the biggest is that we’re moving to a community elected Board of Directors. 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. This structure will help the .NET Foundation scale and better serve the .NET ecosystem.

If you’re passionate about open source .NET, we’d like you to think about running in the elections! This post will explain the details, and hopefully get you to consider it, or maybe encourage someone else to.

This post is the third in a series:

What’s Changed?

Since the .NET Foundation was created, we’ve had three board members, all appointed by Microsoft. We’re changing that to seven board members, only one appointed by Microsoft. The remaining six are voted in by the community in yearly elections.

What does the .NET Foundation Board Do?

The board completely runs the .NET Foundation. They decide how the money is spent, what projects join the foundation, what the Executive Director (that’s me) does, what programs the foundation will run or be involved with, what events we’ll sponsor. The board runs the foundation.

Who Can Run for a Board Seat?

Any voting member can run for a board seat. That’s anyone who’s contributed to a .NET Foundation project and applied for membership.

Who Should Run for The Board?

Well, we need seven people to run the show. We’d love to see seven people with different viewpoints and experiences. We’d love to see a lot of diversity! We’d love to see people who represent different development backgrounds and concerns – not just .NET open source veterans, but people who speak for students, startups, new developers, corporate developers. We’d love to see folks who speak for different platforms, operating systems, web, desktop, games, IoT. We’d love to see people we haven’t thought to ask. The board is seven people instead of one because we need more viewpoints.

If you’ve had long conversations on Twitter, at conferences, or with developer friends about the way .NET open source ought to be, you’ve got an important viewpoint, and this is where you can make that change.

What’s Expected of Board Members?

The board actively manages the foundation and gets involved in new initiatives. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Monthly meetings with the board and executive director to keep up with what’s going on and set plans
  • Review and approve requests for new projects to join

Form committees and get stuff done! Committees are an area where you can really have a personal impact on things you really care about. This will include some general committees for businessy things (like membership and elections), as well as some special purpose committees that are up to you (maybe student outreach, Meetups, game development on .NET, diversity, conferences, etc.). We have a budget and a community that wants to get involved, so it’s not about you signing up for a lot of work here, it’s mostly about vision, planning and organizing.

I’m Interested in Running, But I’m Not Sure I Can Do It…

If in doubt, go for it!

If you’re feeling unqualified, remember that we’re looking for a board that represents a lot of backgrounds, and that includes experience levels. The important thing is that you’ve got a passion for .NET open source and are willing to show up to make it a better place.

If you’re worried about the time commitment – well, it’s true, we need you to be available and to put in the time. I’m not expecting a major time commitment – probably 4-6 hours a month, and most of it can be over e-mail and on your own schedule.

If there’s something preventing you from joining the .NET Foundation as a voting member to be eligible to run in the election, talk to us! Our previous post on joining as a voting member hopefully explains why contributions or dues shouldn’t get in your way.

How Do Campaigns and Elections Work?

We’ll be announcing more details in the next post, and kicking off the one-month campaign and election period on January 28. But here’s the high level:

  • We’ll be running a simple campaign mini-site using GitHub pages and pull requests. Candidates will submit a campaign statement as a markdown file pull request and can link off to other information if they want (e.g. video, podcast interviews, projects, etc.).
  • We’d love to see community discussion wherever it happens – Twitter, forums, etc. – following the standard code of conduct.
  • In the last week of the election cycle, voting members will cast their votes. We’re using the Single Transferable Vote methodology on the OpaVote system.
  • The board serves for one year, after which you can choose to run for reelection.

Interested? Watch for our next post with specifics on the elections process, and feel free to ping us at contact@dotnetfoundation.org with questions.

We recently announced some big changes to the .NET Foundation: Open Membership and a new Corporate Sponsor program. We’ve talked a bit about the Open Membership changes, but haven’t said a whole lot about the Corporate Sponsor program other than welcoming Pivotal, Progress Telerik and Insight as launch partners. Let’s dig into some specifics: what’s changing, why, and why your company should consider getting involved.

This post is the second in a series:

What is the .NET Foundation?

Let’s start with the basics since they help explain why we see broad corporate sponsorship as an important part of evolving the foundation: The .NET Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization, created in 2014 to foster open development and collaboration around the growing collection of open source technologies for .NET. It serves as a forum for commercial and community developers alike to strengthen the future of the .NET ecosystem by promoting openness, community participation, and rapid innovation.

What we announced

The .NET Foundation is changing to an open membership model. This includes the following:

  1. Any contributor to .NET is eligible to become a member.
  2. All members can participate in annual board member elections. Members can both run for election for the Board of Directors and vote in the annual elections.
  3. We're expanding our current Technical Steering Group to a Corporate Sponsor Program.

We’re inviting the .NET community to take an active role in guiding and supporting the .NET Foundation, and that includes both individual open source developers and businesses that depend on .NET open source. We think it’s really important to involve corporate sponsors as a key part of this change for three reasons.

First, for the .NET Foundation to really be independent and community run, it needs to be independently funded. In the past, we’ve depended on (greatly appreciated!) donations from Microsoft. Going forward, we’ll be funded by Corporate Sponsorships and Member Dues. Microsoft’s donation as a Corporate Sponsor will now be a relatively small percentage of our funding.

Secondly, Corporate Sponsorship really expands what the .NET Foundation can do – not just by having a bigger budget, but by being able to make long term plans based on annual dues payments.

Third, Corporate Sponsorship will directly involve the .NET corporate world in the .NET open source ecosystem, which is important! We’ll have input from companies that depend on .NET open source, we’ll be able to tackle some hard problems like how companies can be involved in sustainable community run open source projects.

Why should you join as a Corporate Sponsor?

So far we’ve talked about why we want companies to join. Now let’s explore why a company would want to join: what’s in it for you?

  1. First and foremost, because open source .NET is important to your business; a healthy open source .NET community helps you. Sponsoring the .NET Foundation is your best opportunity to ensure that the worldwide .NET open source developer base grows to their full potential.
  2. Corporate sponsors get a seat on the Advisory Council. We understand that a healthy .NET open source ecosystem includes input from everyone, and that definitely includes businesses who depend on .NET.
  3. Annual invitation-only summit for corporate sponsors.
  4. Co-marketing: e.g. we'll show your logo in our keynotes, you can use our logo on your public material.
  5. Direct contact with the .NET team.

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.[JG1]

How will sponsor contributions be spent?

Historically, we have spent money on things like:

  • Technical support services for member projects (e.g. code signing certificates, build servers, cloud hosting, etc.)
  • Event sponsorship (.NET Conf and .NET Conf Local events, third party conference sponsorship, open source project hackathons)
  • Meetup (user group) sponsorship (we sponsor 250 Meetups in 50 countries around the world)

Going forward, the Board of Directors will decide how best to spend contributions. Our current Board of Directors and Advisory Council are really excited about the potential to expand what we've been doing, as well as to launch some new activities to serve as a catalyst for the .NET open source community, such as:

  • Speaker grants: Now that we've built out a global network of local Meetups, we can help them get great speakers. Meetups provide new developers with an easy way to learn, make contacts in their local community, and develop into leaders and speakers if they so choose. Speaker grants help both provide great content and support the Meetup speakers by providing them more opportunities to speak.
  • Event sponsorship: We've helped sponsor the annual .NET Conf virtual conference and contributed to some small local events, but corporate sponsorship could allow us to put on in-person events, event tours to Meetups, larger hackathon events, and more.
  • Outreach: With a shared goal of growing the .NET developer base, we have many options to pursue - education, non-traditional venues (e.g. Twitch and online streaming), global and diverse markets we've missed historically, etc.
  • Open Source Evangelism to the Corporate Developer: .NET has a huge developer base, but too few are actively engaged in contributing to .NET and the .NET open source libraries they rely on. We'd love to see a dedicated speaker tour focused on educating and connecting enterprise developers with open source. We could bring some top .NET open source project leaders to local and corporate Meetups and show them how to get involved, as well as how contributing to .NET open source benefits them and their companies.

Really, this is just a start - there is tremendous explosive potential in the huge, worldwide .NET developer base that sadly underutilized. We'd love to engage that, and we'd love for our corporate sponsors to both lead the charge and get the credit for it.

Sponsor levels and dues

After reviewing the various software foundation levels, we've decided to ask for pretty inexpensive dues:

  • Large Company (> $10M revenue per year): $50,000 annually
  • Medium company ($3M - $10M revenue per year): $25,000 annually
  • Small company (< $3M annually): $10,000 annually

Most important, you should see .NET Foundation sponsorship as something that benefits you in three clear ways: you help build the .NET open source ecosystem, you can have a direct impact on the future of .NET, and you can market your products and services to the .NET community.

If you’re interested in learning more about the sponsorship program Got questions? Get in touch: contact@dotnetfoundation.org

At the Connect event in December, we announced .NET Foundation Open Membership and a new Corporate Sponsor program. We're planning to kick off our first community board member election later this month, so now is a great time to join! Beth Massi and I were guests on the .NET Rocks podcast earlier this month to review our announcements and talk you into joining, and I'm starting a series of posts to explain things in more detail, as well as to answer some common questions.

Here's the planned series, let me know if you've got specific questions on any of these or would like to see more topics covered:

  • Why You Should Join: Part 1 - Voting Member
  • Why You Should Join: Part 2 - Corporate Sponsor
  • Why You Should Join: Part 3 - Board Member

What did we announce?

We made two big announcements at Microsoft Connect(); 2018: Open Membership and a new Corporate Sponsor program.

First, Open Membership: 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. The .Net Foundation Board election campaigns will start on January 28, 2019; 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.

Secondly, 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. We're working with some other companies who are interested in joining, and I'll be going into more detail on the Corporate Sponsor program in the next post.

Wait, I thought open source projects join the .NET Foundation… Is it for projects, people, or companies?

Yes, all of them! In the past, we've really talked about open source projects joining the .NET Foundation. That's been great but limited. A lot of things wait on one person (the executive director) to get things done, and there hasn't been a good way to let you get involved. For instance, we've got a backlog of projects that want to join and a great community that would like to help, but no good way to empower them to get involved.

So we're keeping open source .NET project support as a key focus of the .NET Foundation, and using open membership as a way to scale that up, leverage ideas from the community, etc.

So now people, project, and companies can all join the .NET Foundation:

  • Projects can join the .NET Foundation for a ton of reasons including IP and legal support, technical and back end support services (certs, hosting, CLA's, etc.)
  • Companies can join the .NET Foundation as corporate sponsors, to collaboratively support the .NET open source ecosystem (more in the next post)
  • People - individual community members - can join as voting members of the .NET Foundation

Why should I join?

Most importantly, you should join because you care about .NET. Maybe you're an open source project leader or contributor and want to make sure the .NET Foundation is solving the problems you care about. Maybe you've gotten involved in a few Twitter threads or conference discussions about how things ought to be but didn't have a way to turn those ideas into reality. This is that way.

Or maybe you're a .NET developer who doesn't do much open source, but cares about .NET because it's important to you professionally. You're happy that Microsoft is working away on the runtime and tools, but you want to make sure that your favorite open source projects are supported. You want to make sure things like Meetups and student programs will be there to help new programmers get started with .NET. You should join the .NET Foundation because .NET is important to you.

Joining as a voting member gives you the right to run for a board seat, and to vote in the yearly elections. This is your opportunity to decide what the .NET Foundation will do for the next year.

Note: This applies to employees of any company, including Microsoft. If you're a .NET developer, you should consider becoming a .NET Foundation member. There is a limitation of two board members from any company, but every member gets a vote in the elections.

What do I get for joining?

The most important part is what we just talked about. We're thinking of some other things, like exclusive swag and events (online to start, maybe in person at some point), etc. We're interested in your ideas.

We've had some people suggest that members should get goodies from Microsoft, like discounted conference tickets. It's important to remember that the .NET Foundation is separate from - it's not owned or controlled by Microsoft, as the board expansion should make clear. So Microsoft, or other corporate sponsors, may decide to offer something to members, but that's up to them and outside of the .NET Foundation's control.

How do I join?

  1. Fill out a short form (https://dotnetfoundation.org/become-a-member) with your contact info and references to your contributions to the .NET open source community
  2. We'll review applications and get back to you - we plan to accept every reasonable application, and provide feedback in the rare cases your contributions weren't clear
  3. We'll notify you with a link to accept your membership and pay the annual dues

Dues? What's the deal with the $100 dues?

We're asking voting members for $100 annual dues, but please don't let dues keep you from joining! If $100 dues are a problem for you, you can set a lower dues amount, down to $0. That applies to students, people in parts of the world where $100 is expensive, etc. You know your circumstances, and we trust you. Again, please don't let dues keep you from joining. Contact us (contact@dotnetfoundation.org) if you have any question about this.

So why are we asking for dues at all? For a few reasons:

  • We want you to value your membership. Personally, when I contribute $20 to a Kickstarter, I feel like I'm part of it. I check back on it and want it to be successful. This is a little like that - we don't want this to just be some random form you fill out on the internet because you're bored We want you to participate.
  • The .NET Foundation is an independent organization, and independent funding is an important part of that. We've been running on donations from Microsoft for the past few years, which is both really cool and something people don't give Microsoft credit for. We hope they keep coming! But, for the .NET Foundation to really be sustainable, independent, impactful, and real, it needs independent support. We'll have corporate sponsorship, but voting member dues could be a significant part of that support as our member base grows.
  • We want to use your money to support the things you care about - sustainable open source, your favorite open source .NET projects, your open source .NET community.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who has contributed to any .NET Foundation project. Usually that will be with code, but can include documentation, or filing significant issues. It might be something we haven’t thought of yet - if in doubt, ask!

How can I get started contributing to a .NET Foundation project?

We've had some questions from people who tried to dive right into some of the more complex ones - CoreCLR, CoreFX, ASP.NET Core. We'd recommend starting with some small contributions, and look at Docs and some other .NET Foundation projects. If you're having trouble finding one, ping me at contact@dotnetfoundation.org and I'll help.

As with dues, we don't want to exclude anyone that really wants to be involved. We'll be flexible, and do what we can to get the boxes checked to get you in. If in doubt, ask!

Sign up today!

If you've already contributed to any .NET Foundation project, apply for membership today: https://dotnetfoundation.org/become-a-member

If you haven't contributed yet and need some help getting started, e-mail us (contact@dotnetfoundation.org) and we'll help.

The .NET Foundation is changing! Carl and Richard talk to Jon Galloway and Beth Massi about the changes in the .NET Foundation and what it means to the average .NET developer. The first announcement is that the .NET Foundation is moving to an open membership model - if you have made a contribution to .NET in any way, be it code, documentation or other, you can apply for membership and expect to be accepted. Next up, the expansion of the .NET Foundation board to seven directors and open elections for those board seats - any .NET Foundation member can be a director! Nominations are happening in January 2019, so get on board today!

Give it a listen!

Here's the November edition of the .NET Foundation newsletter. Every month, we'll give you a quick overview of the .NET Open Source landscape, including top project news, events, community links and more.

This month's newsletter includes:

  • A recap of our announcements at the Microsoft Connect event: Open Membership and Corporate Sponsorship
  • News from .NET Foundation member projects
  • .NET Meetup news

As always, these are available both on our blog and via e-mail: Sign up to get the .NET Foundation Update via e-mail


.NET Foundation Announcements at Microsoft Connect(); 2018

.NET Foundation Open Membership

At the Microsoft Connect event earlier this month, we made two pretty big announcements. The first is open membership: 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. If you've contributed to a .NET Foundation open source project, you can apply to become a voting member today!

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're going to be posting more information about membership and board elections in early January - watch our blog and @dotnetfdn Twitter account for updates.

.NET Foundation Corporate Sponsor Program

We also announced that we're expanding our 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 PivotalProgress Telerik, and Insight. Our corporate sponsors will be contributing annual dues, which will both increase the funds available and diversify our funding (rather than relying solely on donations from Microsoft).

Combined, the Open Membership and Corporate Sponsor Program set us up for a really exciting 2019!


.NET Announcements from Microsoft Connect(); 

At the Microsoft Connect (along with the .NET Foundation announcements we called out above) there were some other big .NET product announcements. Here's some links to the highlights, or if you have some time you can watch the keynote videos here.

.NET Core 2.2 Released

.NET Core 2.2 was released, including diagnostic improvements to the runtime, support for ARM32 for Windows and Azure Active Directory for SQL Client. The biggest improvements in this release are in ASP.NET Core.

.NET Core 3 Preview 1

.NET Core Preview 1 was announced. .NET Core 3 is a major update which adds support for building Windows desktop applications using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and Entity Framework 6 (EF6). ASP.NET Core 3 enables client-side development with Razor Components. EF Core 3 will have support for Azure Cosmos DB. It will also include support for C# 8 and .NET Standard 2.1 and much more!

WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI Open Sourced

Whoa! Along with .NET Core 3.0 Preview 1's support for WPF and Windows Forms, Microsoft announced that WPF, Windows Forms, and Windows UI XAML Library (WinUI) are now open source!


.NET Foundation Project News

Cake Version 0.31.0 Release

Cake version 0.31.0 has been released with new features including improved file globbing, Mono fall back for .NET executables on .NET Core, NuGet improvements and much more.

Orleans 2.2.0 release

Orleans 2.2.0 is primarily about bringing support for ACID cross-grain transactions to production-ready quality. This enables scalable distributed transactions, even across disparate non-transactional data stores.

This release also includes a number of other improvements and fixes, but no breaking changes. It is backward compatible with 2.0.* releases, which allows for in-place upgrade of a running cluster.

NUnit Test Adapter 3.12 Release

Version 3.12 of the NUnit Test adapter has been released. This release adds the ability to generate results in the NUnit3 XML format and includes a newer version of the NUnit engine.

Thanks to Ori Ashual for contributions to the docs and Matti Petrelius, Alex (ahoisl), Phillip Carter, Tom PoLáKoSzm, and Oleksandr Liakhevych as well as our maintainers for improvements to the framework and tooling, and especially Mikkel Nylander Bundgaard and Ace Olszowka for their work on the NUnit Analyzers project!


Meetups

Our .NET Foundation sponsored .NET Meetup Pro groups continue to grow: we just passed 150K members!Here are some quick stats:

  • 243 Groups
  • 51 Countries
  • 150.5K Members

We've also started sending newsletters to Meetup organizers, including some links for some free swag for their groups. If your meetup hasn't joined yet, you can right here.


Connect with the .NET Foundation online

The .NET Foundation is on Facebook now. Please like our page! We’ll post regular updates and interesting things happening with .NET to share.

The .NET Foundation is also on YouTube. Watch community standups and design reviews as well as code-focused shows and interviews across our multiple playlists.


Remember to Subscribe!

Please sign up to get the .NET Foundation Update via e-mail. Don’t worry, we want to keep these short, interesting, and low-noise, so we won’t overload your e-mail.