[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]
[5/7/09 Small update to add a requested link]
My family subscribes to Time Magazine ©. This past week we received their annual 100 “The World’s Top Influential People” issue. One of the things I like is that there are always people in these lists that you never heard of. Some are kind of lame in my opinions and then there are those exceptions who you look at the article and say “cool!” The on thing I noticed was there weren’t any developers on the list…
I have been thinking about who I would throw in a list of DotNet influentials. Now the catch is that I’m avoiding any of the very visible MS employees. So in other words no Phill Haack (he’d be on my big list though), no ScottGu, no Scott Hanselman, no Nikhil Kothari (although that one hurts), and no Brad Abrams… I’m also not putting folks like Jesse Liberty or Tim Heuer (again very painful… I met Jesse and he would definitely be in my top tier list..) Ok, so you get the picture.. .NET Influentials that aren’t known for the their MS contributions..
Here’s my 5 (I’m trying to pick less common guys for my list)
1) Miguel de Icaza
If you know who ScottGu is and you don’t know Miguel then shame on you! Seriously! Miguel is the guy who heads the mono project at Novell (that would be .NET on Linux, Mac, Sun Solaris, etc…) He’s more than important and wicked smart. I sat next to him at Mix and I swear my IQ jumps 5 points just from being near him (and keeping my mouth shut).. <grin /> Again, seriously very smart guy who does stuff that validates your choices as a VB/C# developers. (I suspect that Miguel might have been a bit obvious, but I can’t not mention him.. too important.. if you see him at a conference you should know who he is on sight… and I know that is not something that is not always true)
2) Bill Reiss, Chris Bennage, and Rob Eisenberg
If you want Silverlight to succeed as a platform then IMO the next installation point is games.. I installed WIndows XP on my son’s (crappy) PC because he wanted to play games and SL doesn’t run on Windows 98 (his old OS).. People install runtimes to play games.. Bill, Chris, and Rob set up a web site for Silverlight Games (silverlightarcade.com).. Bill is also the lead developer behind SilverSprite an XNA to Silverlight compatibility library for 2d XNA games.. (Rob and Chris are members of the team).
4) Rob Conery – the SubSonic guy
Ok, I know Rob is a bit of a cheat, but I’m not really interested in his ASP.NET MVC Contributions. I’ve recently reconnected with the SubSonic3 project. And let me tell you, it’s going to be huge. I think it’s better than both Entity Framework and Linq To SQL.. RIGHT NOW. All those years at CodeBetter.com I heard the ALT.NET guys talking about using the Repository pattern and I thought dang another layer… what’s wrong with these guys.. they overcomplicate everything (being transparent here…) So SubSonic has that pattern basically built in, and IT ROCKS! I love it.. I get it.. SubSonic was the project that converted me to ORM (I am a classic Stored Proc lover), and now to the repository pattern. Those wanted to improve the general quality of software should look at Rob’s example.. he’s projects make it easy to do.. AND then there’s his ASP/NET MVC contributions (did you hear Hanselman in his Nerd Dinner takl at MIX09 refer to the repository as a “Rob Conery Repository.” Rob’s the guy who built the html helper (whether you like or hate them).
5) Daniel Cazzulino – Moq and T4 Editor
Ok, I’m not entirely sure of Daniel’s involvement on the last one. I know he is huge in the Moq space. I know that Moq is my mocking library of choice (although I have that license of TypeMock I need to play with some more… and, yes, I do test and I do mock/double/isolate/etc.) Daniel always seems to have his head around something new (several years ago I saw him demo a project that he wrote while XML was alive that did XML Schema Validation… he’s definitely a mover and a shaker)..
I had trouble picking that last one.. Here’s the list of others that I thought about for that last spot.. Rory Becker (DxCore Community Plugins project.. I use CodeRush, so his work greatly affects me), Chad Myers (mainly for his work in the ALT.NET space and his ability to hold back his own zeal and be a really reasonable/truly evangelistic voice… he’s also involved with the BUFU MVC project), Billy Hollis (‘cause we like Billy around here at the runtime… ), Dave Hayden (of CodeBetter and numerous other fames), and Sean Chambers (whose blog and projects really do a good job of helping the recreational agilist).
The obvious ones not mentioned
There are a couple obvious names that didn’t get mentioned mainly because I don’t use their projects or just because the individual aren’t any less known than the MS guys I mentioned at the top of the article. Names like Ayende, Roy Osherove, Karl Franklin, Richard Campbell, Dino Esposito, Juval Loewy, and Rocky Lhotka just to name a few..
Did I miss anyone?
This was my list. you got your own you want to contribute.. Fire up your blog software and create a reply to this post on your blog.. we’ll compile a big list later on.. make sure there is a link back… if we get enough responses I’ll create a new post with links back to everyone’s blog (if someone with more readers than me posts then we’ll post the follow up on their blog)
So who do you think are the top 5 .NET Influencers for you, personally..