Many Microsoft employees were at the ALT.NET conf in Seattle — including many of the ones that have been criticized publicly by the greater ALT.NET community. Not only was Microsoft there, but they were a sponsor and a few employees were even on the organizers list.
Many of them only hear our negativity (because that’s the most vocal part of our interaction), but the rest of our interaction is us using their tools productively on a daily basis. I complain about the 10-20% that I don’t like and use the 80-90% that I do like. Nonetheless, they were there (or made a serious effort — a few had travel and scheduling problems — we still appreciate it).
I’d like this to be on the public record that I appreciate the efforts of people like Phil Haack, Rob Conery, Scott Hanselman, Scott Guthrie, Glenn Block, and many, many others who are trying to do the right thing and, interestingly enough, running into the same kinds of roadblocks at the rest of us out here in the field are running into. Just so no one calls me a fanboi here, that doesn’t mean I agree with some of the decisions they’ve made or excuse them by the reasons you made them, but the perfect is the enemy of the good and sometimes we — well, at least me — forget that.
Seeking Asylum Developer Exchange Program
Chris Ortman and Steven Harman (among several others) have a good idea about a developer exchange program to increase the pollination rate of ideas. I was thinking that this would be good for the ALT.Microsoft contingent to participate in as well. I’d like to see Phil Haack and Rob Conery specifically get out of the mothership for a few days (maybe a week if family could go with — logistics pending) and learn and teach by doing and experiencing with some of us. I singled these guys out because I know Hanselman and Glen Block get around a lot already, so I don’t think it would be as useful to them (maybe? no? yes?).
Likewise, I know many of us would like the opportunity to see just what forces Phil and Rob, among others, are dealing with and what pressures drive them to make the choices they make, to participate and engage the community, etc.