I am honored, humbled, and elated to report that for the first time in my career I’ve been recognized with a Microsoft MVP Award!

According to the email I received there are only a few thousand MVPs worldwide so it is a pretty big deal for me to be part of this group. While I haven’t been told any specifics, my understanding is that factors that qualify people for this award include activity within the technical community such as contributions to open source projects, answering questions in technology forums, technical writing/blogging, and public speaking at developer conferences are the kind of things one can do to be recognized for this award.  I’ve been an active open source developer since 2004 when I founded the mojoPortal project, and over the years I’ve answered thousands of questions in the mojoPortal forums, but that project is built on older web technology and is not as popular these days as it once was. More recently I’ve founded a new set of projects collectively branded as “cloudscribe” and built on the latest greatest ASP.NET Core stack. I’ve spent the last year immersing myself in this new technology stack while it was in preview and I’ve accumulated about 4500 reputation points on stackoverflow in the past year mostly answering questions related to ASP.NET Core. I’m really excited about ASP.NET Core because it really makes it possible and natural to use design patterns that were difficult or impossible to use in the old WebForms framework and it gives us a truly modern web framework that embraces the web.  The old WebForms framework was really trying to make web development more like desktop application development and it did so by hiding the web in such a way that one could build web applications and sites without really understanding the underlying web technology. Looking back I guess that was a good thing for the early days of the web, but after building web applications for many years you end up learning the web technology anyway and you begin to realize that the old framework was making it harder for you to work directly with the nature of the web because of all the abstractions that have been layered on top if it in the framework. By contrast the new framework embraces the nature of the web and requires you to understand it directly and work with it directly and ultimately that is a good thing.

 

One of the great things about doing open source development and sharing your work is that online communities are global and you make friends worldwide. I have been truly blessed to get to know some really nice people in far flung corners of the world that I would never have met otherwise. In fact I would like to take this moment to offer sincere thanks and gratitude to my friend Guruprasad Balaji, a long time mojoPortal community member from Chennai India who nominated me for this MVP Award. Who knows maybe someday I will get an opportunity to travel to India and other places in the world and get to meet some of my online friends in person.

One of the benefits of the MVP Award that I’m most excited about is that once a year in November, Microsoft holds an MVP Summit and MVPs from all over the world fly in to Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond Washington!  For a few days I will get to attend some insider technology sessions and meet and network with other MVPs! I will get to meet in person with some really smart people I’ve admired online for many years!

Now that I’m a part of this MVP community I intend to do my best to be included for many years to come. To earn my keep, I will of course keep doing open source development and helping people on stackoverflow, but I will also try to be more active in public speaking.  On October 25, 2016 I’m scheduled to give a presentation on ASP.NET Core MVC framework at the Enterprise Developers Guild in Charlotte, NC. I’m very excited about this presentation and I plan to use my latest open source projects to illustrate the concepts I will be presenting with real working code examples. I hope you can attend the event, but even if not, I hope you will take a look at my new open source projects related to ASP.NET Core:

  • cloudscribe Core – a multi-tenant web application foundation providing management of sites (tenants), users, roles, and role membership. Pretty much every web projects needs that kind of thing so this is a foundation to build other things on top of so you don’t have to re-implement that stuff for every new project.
  • cloudscribe Simple Content – a simple yet flexible blog and content engine that can work with or without a database (actually at the time of this writing it only works without a database using my NoDb storage project, but soon I will implement Entity Framework data storage and possibly MongoDb at some point)
  • NoDb – a “no database” file system storage because many projects don’t need an enterprise database. Think of NoDb like a file system document database that stores objects in the file system serialized as json (or in some cases xml). Great for brochure web sites, and great for prototyping new applications.
  • cloudscribe Navigation – MVC components for navigation menus and breadcrumbs, I use this in cloudscribe Core and in cloudscribe SimpleContent but  it is useful for any MVC web project
  • cloudscribe Pagination – MVC TagHelpers for rendering pagination links for multi-page content
  • cloudscribe Syndication – a re-useable RSS feed generator for ASP.NET Core, I use this for the RSS feed in cloudscribe Simple Content but it could be used in other projects easily
  • cloudscribe MetaWeblog – a re-useable implementation of the metaweblog api for ASP.NET Core, I use this in cloudscribe Simple Content to make it possible to author content using Open Live Writer
  • cloudscribe Logging - an implementation of ILogger and ILoggerProvider that logs to the database using a pluggable model supporting multiple data platforms. Also provides an MVC controller for viewing and managing the log data
  • cloudscribe SimpleAuth – simple no-database required user authentication for web applications where only a few people need to be able to login

I’m a little late in blogging about my MVP Award, I found out in early July, but I really wanted to be able to blog about it using my new Simple Content project. Previously this site was running on a really old version of mojoPortal, but I just rebuilt this site using my new Simple Content project for the blog. It took a while to get everything ready because this is the first real world project I’ve done using Simple Content. I fixed a few bugs and implemented a few little improvements as part of getting this site completed, but there is still more to work to complete all the features I’ve planned. This site is using NoDb for storage which gives me an opportunity to prove the viability of building sites without a database. I’ve never really considered myself a web designer, I am primarily a web developer, but using bootstrap makes it easy to put together a professional looking, mobile responsive site. I’m no visual artist but I’m a decent mechanic when it comes to CSS. This is kind of a quick first draft design, I may yet change the color scheme and get a little more creative with it, but I think it is a major improvement over the outdated design of my old web site.