.NET Foundation Campaign: Gary Ewan Park
Why I’m Running
As you will hopefully see from the Contributions section below, I am deeply invested in the .NET eco-system. I started my career in the Oil and Gas Industry here in the North East of Scotland, programming in VB6 in 2004. Since then, I have used various programming languages/frameworks, etc. including Visual Basic, Silverlight, SharePoint, C#, and ASP.NET, and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed working with it.
When I created my GitHub account in 2011, I also got to enjoy, and participate in the Open Source side of things. I can genuinely say that overall this has been an overwhelmingly positive experience, and I have become a better developer as a result, and I am also made some very good friends. I have also been pleased to see Microsoft embracing the world of Open Source, and more and more of its products/services being developed in the open.
So, with all of this being said, why am I running…
Although my time in .NET and Open Source has been an overall positive experience, let’s not sugar coat it, there are things that are fundamentally broken in both of them.
.NET has a stigma of being only about Microsoft and only for Corporations, and it crushing the “little guy”. Microsoft seems to have struggled to get out from under the ways that things “used” to be done, which leaves some people skeptical of what they are doing.
Open Source in general suffers from various problems including, lack of funding (resulting in maintainer burn out and project abandonment), lack of diversity, and perhaps most importantly a sense of entitlement from consumers of Open Source (where they expect bugs, and features, to be fixed/created without ever having to pay for anything). I have been involved in a few conversations around this last part (some of which have descended into out and out arguments online with people that I have never met). There is what I refer to as a “dark side” to open source. It is real, and it is out there, and something that causes very real problems.
The creation of the .NET Foundation is something which I believe that can help with these problems, but it is also something that has its own problems. I have spoken to a lot of people about the .NET Foundation, and typically the first question that they ask is… “what’s that?”. They haven’t heard of the Foundation, and they have no idea what it is trying to achieve. Even as a member of a .NET Foundation Project it can be hard for me to explain what it is, and what it is trying to achieve. However, I do think that this can get better, and this is why I am running for a position on the board.
What will I be able to achieve as a member of the .NET Foundation Board?
Genuinely, I have no idea. The .NET Foundation is still young, and the definition of the roles and responsibilities of the Board Members is still something that is being defined. I would love to be able to say that this is going to happen, or that this is going to be achieved if I am appointed as a Board Member, but I can’t.
What I will say is, if appointed to the Board, I will be working very hard to be open and honest about everything that is going on with the .NET Foundation, by improving the on-going communication between the people who have opted to join the Foundation, and also the wider .NET and Open Source eco-system. I believe that this is core to the success of the .NET Foundation, and something which has to be addressed before tackling some of the larger issues that I believe it can help with. We need to get to a point that enough people at least know what the .NET Foundation is, who/what it represents, and what it is trying to achieve.
My .NET Contributions
I am a Microsoft MVP in Developer Technologies, and my belief is that I have been awarded this mainly due to my contributions to the various Open Source projects that I work on. These include:
- I have been a long time contributor to the Chocolatey project, and since the start of 2018, I have been working full time for Chocolatey.
- I have worked on the Cake project for a few years now
- I continue to be a maintainer of the GitReleaseManager tool, which is part of the GitTools GitHub Organisation
- I am the founding member of the Aberdeen Developers .NET User Group
- I have spoken at a number of .NET User Groups and Conferences, on topics including:
- I started, and continue to maintain, the Cake Contrib GitHub Organisation as documented in this blog post, to try to ensure the longevity of addins that are created as part of the overall Cake Project.
- Recently I have been helping to maintain this Awesome GitHub Actions Repository to help showcase what people are building with GitHub Actions
- I have recently started streaming coding sessions on my Twitch Channel covering topics including Chocolatey, Cake, general Windows Automation, PowerShell, and VSCode extensions. I was recently invited to become a Twitch Affiliate through the work that I have been doing there.
- Recent projects I have started include:
- My blog
- Chocolatey where I am a project maintainer
- Cake where I am a project maintainer
- Aberdeen Developers .Net User Group
- Stack Overflow Profile