.NET Foundation Campaign: David Whitney

David is the founder of Electric Head Software, working as an independent software consultant based in London focusing on software delivery, developer mentoring and cultural change - mostly working with London-based organizations and start-ups.

David has previously served as the Chief Technical Architect for JustGiving, and helped market-leading organizations such as JUST-EAT, Trainline, Euromoney, Gfk and Vodafone improve their technical capabilities and culture across a variety of principal engineering and senior leadership roles. As a result of his community work, David is a Microsoft MVP in Developer Technologies.

David is also the best-selling author of the book "Get Coding!" - a children's programming book available worldwide, and its successor Get Coding 2! - covering videogame programming for 9-14 year olds.

There's a chance you've seen him talk at a spread of conferences, user groups and code-dojos around the UK over the last decade or indulged in bar-room programming debates after one.

Why I'm running

I want .NET to be in the room.

That sounds like a nothing statement, but it's important.

The foundation looks after one of the most strategically important programming languages in the world. A platform that has lived and thrived long enough to have been the cool new thing, to have been the old thing, and to be a cool new thing again.

I want .NET to be in the room when innovation is discussed. I want it to be in the room when people are planning bootcamps, creating content, designing new systems. I want it to be in the room, and more importantly, the minds of startups creating new technology deciding which platforms to support.

.NET is a brilliant, capable, performant and leading programming stack, and whenever people think “what are the credible choices to build our new thing in”, I want them to see .NET as a contender.

The technology landscape shifts quickly, and I want to embrace the fact that the .NET ecosystem is not an island. .NET isn’t the only option, and it’s not the only good platform – and we need to be present in the wider technology community where people learn, and build new things, and go for support to broaden the appeal and credibility of the platform outside of it’s more traditional userbase.

.NET is diverse – both in target and audience, in the kinds of software built in it, in the things that it does. The way we grow and ensure the longevity of the platform is by making it clear that .NET is for everyone. It’s for enterprise software development, it’s for games, it for IoT, it’s for mobile, it’s for learners, it’s friendly, and it’s welcoming.

I want to ensure that humans are at the centre of everything the foundation does and promotes. We should continue to fund and support our open-source authors. We should facilitate aid and mentorship for people looking to make a living from the software they build for free. We should act as a hub of support in whatever ways the community requires to make building in .NET a sustainable, appreciated, and supported endeavour.

Platforms live and die by their contributors - the humans at the centre of everything - and simply “funding open source” is just the start.

I want to run to help in this journey, to make the .NET ecosystem a welcoming, regarded, and pleasant place that people want to contribute and grow, which in turn will help curate an ecosystem that thrives as it grows and changes.

Experience with the Foundation

  • Invited to join ~2019
  • Paid up voting member
  • Currently mostly casual attendance

What are my goals for the .NET Foundation?

Clear goals and radical transparency

I would like to help the foundation clearly articulate its goals, initiatives and strategies in a way that is both visible to casual observers and welcoming towards outside contribution. These initiatives should be publicly tracked, and their results measured.

Educational outreach and community growth

I would like to help the foundation find early-stage learners wherever they usually are – via engagement with bootcamps, learning platforms and other education institutions to make sure that when technology is taught, .NET is on the menu. We should fund content and experts to support these platforms to actively grow the community.

Diversity and inclusion

I would like to fund education, support and mentoring for candidates from diverse backgrounds – to put money behind the statement that .NET is for everyone.

Open source and author support

I would like to extend the current legitimisation and curation of open source to include a mixture of funding and mentoring support, to listen to authors about what they need and spend community funds making the lives of people actively building on .NET better.

Listening, Patience, and Kindness

I believe the foundation needs to listen to both it’s members, and the community setting a tone of kindness, patience, and empathy as the default. It must be prepared to not have all the answers, and to help facilitate and support when they emerge elsewhere.

"A rising tide raises all ships" - we'll grow our community and the reputation of our platform with a mix of kindness and support with humans at the centre.

You can read a transcription of my cadidate interview here

Contact Information

You can contact me via my website or by getting in touch on twitter.