The Richmond Code Camp was great. NDecision attracted a lot of participants and enthusiasm and motivated me to keep plugging away at it. There was some excellent audience pariticipation and Twitter-reviews from which I got much encouragement. Both sessions I presented were loaded with enthusiasm that Microsoft is, from all public observation, maturing in its attitude and adoption of OSS contribution. That was uplifting, but not my favorite observation from the weekend.
My favorite observation from the weekend is that it seems like the Microsoft community is finally beginning to realize how much work Microsoft is doing for it and either appreciates, or finally admits in public that it appreciates the contributions Microsoft has been making. There were a few participants and discussions I heard in hallways that were inspiring. I heard a few discussions between OSS enthusiasts who were speaking favorably, rather than with fear and loathing, about a few different .NET projects produced both within Microsoft and independent. That's inspiring, considering that just a few years ago the public opinion of Microsoft's support of OSS a joke, and I heard more snickers and doubt than I did appreciation. That's motivation for myself, those out there who are ISV'ing themselves, and those who want to utilize open-source contributions to ease their own development pains.
What's frustrating about that is that projects like SignalR might go un-noticed by participants who lack the time or knowledge to maintain a very active level of involvement. Yes, SignalR is new and I'm probably being impatient in wanting the community to get on it yesterday, as is a lot of other technologies within and outside of the .NET stack that need discovering. I fear that, after years of bickering about how Microsoft fails to support the open-source community, that once Microsoft does openly begin supporting the open-source community and the open-source community begins to admit to itself that Microsoft really is supporting it (that was the hard part IMO), that Microsoft misses a few golden opportunities because it fails to market its own efforts effectively. I think we need to do our best to keep researching these young micro-frameworks and pushing the envelope of what's possible in our development framework. That shared contribution thing... it really works!
I didn't get to spend a lot of time with my out-of-state colleagues this weekend, but it was nice to see everyone for the brief conversations and dinner last night. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the next event!