.NET Fringe 2015: Closing words

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It's now almost 6 months after we held the first .NET Fringe conference in Portland. I wanted to write something about earlier, but we were too busy with post-conference stuff and also with dealing with stuff in our personal life. Turns out now is actually the perfect time for some retrospectives, as we are starting to see people and more events that are inspired by .NET Fringe.

The event

The event was a huge success. Don't ask me, ask the many people who attended. Several people also blogged about their experience.

I tried speaking with as many people as I could during the event and after to get their impressions and collect as much feedback as I could. There was a general agreement that the event had a unique atmosphere, some even called it a family reunion, and a feeling that we succeeded in creating a good vibe, one that is so required for building a healthy community.

The venue Troy picked for the venue, a Portland style theatre, was perfect and helped so much in creating the atmosphere we tried to create, so did the small perks like the awesome coffee and the food carts which parked outside to serve lunch.

30 minute talks also proved to be a great concept. It is very demanding from the speaker but requires him to focus and deliver a clear message, and at the same time increases audience engagement and reduces the risk of them getting bored.

We did plan on collecting feedback in a more structured way, but unfortunately we had to drop the ball on it since we all had a lot going on. I believe we have a good understanding of what was good and what needs improving, but will definitely be happy to hear from you if you have any feedback to share.

The people

A community is made of individuals, and awesome individuals make up a really great community. This is what I have to say about the people we've seen at Fringe - they were all highly passionate and knowledgable. I'm really happy to be in the same developer community as them.

Thank you all our speakers as well - we got over 220 talk proposals in about a month or so, this has to be a world record or something, and they were all great. We originally planned for a single-track event, but we just couldn't refuse all this great content. And as the videos can prove, the content was indeed great.

And obviously, a big shout-out to Troy and Glenn. Without them this great event would never have happened.

The panel

Right from planning we knew the panel is going to be a peak point of the event. We made sure we will have more than one voice on stage, and we ended up having a very good discussion, which was mostly constructive and mature.

Some heat was expected, and indeed happened, but again - this usually happens when you openly discuss a topic that hasn't been discussed that much before, certainly not so openly. All in all, I think the panel we held was a success as well, both in voicing concerns and discussing items for the future, and I'm very happy we picked the panelists that we did. They really represented all the different aspects of the community.

Watch the panel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K7O4A4fCk0

The videos

While we intended .NET Fringe to be a community building event, where the human interaction is the key component, we knew we are going to have great content and wanted to share it with everyone else as well. This is why it was clear to us we will be recording all sessions and workshops.

Unfortunately, due to several issues and mistakes, after the event we were left with partial video content. The videos of the main stage talks were of lower video quality, and videos for the mezzanine talks are half-edited if at all, and are stuck on a drive that we had problems mounting.

Long story short, we tried fixing it for a while, hence the delay in publishing the videos, but at the end we decided we should just release what we have and whatever we can salvage later we will publish at a later date.

You can enjoy all the videos we have to date on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwZVRWVJepJsJ79H3GfoPC7TxsvExdIB1. This is about half the talks we had at the event, and hopefully we can upload the rest in the near future.

The future

.NET Fringe 2015 in Portland was just the beginning. A beginning of a stronger open-source community around .NET, and the beginning of a series of events of this kind. We are already at work for the next event, and you will hear more about this soon.

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