.NET Foundation Campaign: Rainer Stropek
Why I'm Running
I love teaching. When I left school over 25 years ago, my passion was coding and I knew that one day I would teach people about it. I am grateful that I could reach this goal. For years, I have been spending a significant amount of my professional life as a trainer and author for topics like Azure, C#, and .NET. Besides that, I teach one day a week at a high school for computer science in Austria. My biggest side project however is the local CoderDojo, a volunteer-led programming club for kids that I co-founded. I have been working there for over five years as a mentor and act as its chairman. We run more than 40 events per year and count well over 1500 visits of kids between 7 and 17 year in our CoderDojo.
That work with kids and young coders has changed my perception of the .NET ecosystem. Professionally, I love .NET because it makes me productive and allows me to build great products for my customers. Yet, when I talk to young people, their view on .NET is mostly very different. .NET is the platform that their parents use at work, not the innovative, cool stuff that they want to explore and learn about. They see .NET as a boring, legacy enterprise technology - which it is absolutely not. We have to change that perception and show young coders that .NET is a great platform that is a lot of fun to learn. I strongly believe that to be successful on the long run, .NET needs to win the hearts of young coders who will be the professional developers and decision makers of the future.
I want to run for a seat in the next Board of Directors of the .NET Foundation to raise a voice for kids and young coders in the .NET community. My focus would be on activities like the following:
- Facilitate the creation of learning content specifically targeted at kids and young coders. Playfully exploring .NET by building simple games is an important aspect in that regards.
- Reach out to the .NET communities and decision makers within Microsoft to promote accompanying their existing activities with coding workshops for kids and young people.
- Make .NET-related tools easily accessible to all kids and young coders.
- Get in contact with organizations like the CoderDojo Foundation and support them with .NET-related content for their worldwide programming clubs.
On the professional side of coding, my focus would be on projects, tools, and learning material helping developers making the transition from traditional .NET flavors and libraries like .NET Framework, WinForms, and WCF to the new world of cross-platform, open-source .NET. We must not leave teams behind that do not want to or cannot move as fast as some fresh startup projects do. .NET has to offer an easy to follow innovation path where gradual, stepwise improvement is possible. Activities I would like to pursue in that regards would include:
- Pay special attention to backward compatibility and smooth upgrade paths for .NET libraries and platform enhancements.
- Accompany breaking changes with adequate documentation for migration processes.
- Foster not just content about hot, new things but also about gradual improvement of existing codebases.
My .NET Contributions
I have been working as a speaker, author and trainer in the .NET space for many years. Each year, I typically speak at dozens of conferences mostly in Europe. C# and .NET are always an important aspect in my sessions. Besides that, I regularly write articles for print and online. You can find a summary of my community activities on my MVP profile page.
For my community work, Microsoft has been rewarding me with the title of a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for ten consecutive years. Currently, I am MVP for Microsoft Azure, MVP for Developer Technologies, and Microsoft Regional Director.
My daily job is building cloud solutions based on Azure and .NET in my own company software architects. We also offer consulting services and trainings to customers who want to transition from traditional, on-premise software to SaaS solutions in the cloud. By doing this work, I get in contact with a lot of .NET-minded teams and get first-hand experience of their day-to-day challenges using the platform in traditional and new environments.