.NET Foundation Campaign: Mitchel Sellers

My Interview

Why I'm Running

As the technology group leader of the largest .NET CMS (DNN), which is also a member of the .NET Foundation, I have real experience operating a large project that is a member of the .NET Foundation. However great it is to be part of the .NET Foundation, I still believe that there is much work to be done to continue and push the .NET Foundation to provide consistent benefits to ALL of its members, new and old. It is this belief that is my primary motivation in running for the .NET Foundation board. I want to see all projects benefit from the .NET Foundation as we have and hopefully do so in a process that requires less effort from the project and in a manner that can quickly respond to project needs.

As part of leading the DNN Platform project, I have been caught in the middle of some areas needing improvement in communication/support between the projects & .NET Foundation. Efficient communication and knowledge of what/how the .NET Foundation can support a project is one of the key areas that I still believe needs a lot of assistance. A few examples of this surround access to tools and asset control elements, such as domain registrations & hosting. The current processes are unclear at best and result in long timelines, which often will push a project to "do something on their own," this mixes the ownership of elements and can create more problems down the road. By improving the resources, communication, and documentation of what the .NET Foundation can do for an organization, we place not only the .NET Foundation in a better place to support the projects but also the projects will benefit from more clear benefits, processes, and procedures. Thus, achieving the common goal of having great projects and providing them the needed support for longevity.

In addition to the project-specific initiatives as an avid public speaker on all things .NET, I believe that my experience can improve the .NET Foundations support of teaching, events, etc.

My .NET Contributions

Over the past almost 15 years, I've been contributing to .NET in several different ways. I've contributed as the creator of numerous .NET & .NET Core projects, including my most recent .NET Core Utilities, that help make .NET Core development easier for specific repeated business cases.

I've contributed open source solutions to help developers create robust CI/CD pipelines with Azure Pipelines by providing additional tasks to support DNN, .NET Core and C# development patterns that are not yet supported, including the only known Azure DevOps extension with a built-in fix for the well known EF Core Idempotent Script bug. Information on these tasks

In addition to the open-source contributions through my projects, I'm also currently the technology leader of the DNN Platform open-source project working to coordinate the community effort to manage, test, release, and support this large .NET based platform. (With a known installation base of around 500-700k websites) As part of my responsibility with DNN I'm also in charge of our Security response for any reported security incidents and coordinate all public disclosure of security fixes.

Lastly, I enjoy sharing my experiences with the rest of the development community and often speak about my history at various tech events and conferences. (With the current COVID situation I'm looking to transition much of this to an online avenues for the remainder of 2020) I am also a 12 time Microsoft MVP & ASP Insider.

Board Experience

I have worked on several different Boards of Directors, and I feel that my technical experience and board experience make me a unique candidate that can hit the ground running with the .NET Foundation and where I can become productive in a short amount of time. With most of my experience being in Volunteer or not-for-profit boards, I believe it is especially beneficial as the dynamics of interaction with non-compensated boards are often far different from those in which board members are compensated for their time/commitment.

Thus far, I have the following experience serving on organization boards.

  • DMACC Alumni Association - Served on the board from 2011-2018, president from 2015-2018
  • DNN Association a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that hosts the annual DNN Summit Conference - Currently Treasurer, and responsible for speaker selection, joined on 2018
  • Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (COPA) a 501(c)7 not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety of flight/operation of Cirrus Aircraft - Currently Director of IT, responsible for IT Strategy, added to the board in 2018, volunteering since 2016

Working on these boards, I have interacted with many different groups of people helped to reach strategic goals both technically and otherwise. The experiences within each of these organizations have provided me unique experiences that have allowed me to develop effective communication skills working within these diverse organizations.

Of the most recent experiences from these boards, I lead the successful migration of the existing COPA IT Infrastructure, including more than 1.6 million forum posts from one .NET based platform to an entirely new platform with minimal downtime and under-budget. This was a very large project with many tangible improvements for the organization, including an annual fixed operating cost reduction of 85%.

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