I'm a .NET guy and I'm excited and interested in cutting edge technologies. I've found the lack of a .NET community (particularly in Scotland) and not seeing enough developers who primarily using Microsoft technologies getting involved with tech communities really frustrating .
My feeling is that there aren't a lot of regular .NET events or general tech meetups involving .NET. This is for a number of reasons; bad feeling towards Microsoft, difficult access to Microsoft technologies due to cost and Microsoft's undoubted focus on enterprise to name but a few. With the exception of Aberdeen techmeetup (due to all the Oil companies up there) the majority of developers at techmeetup events don't seem to be using Microsoft technologies. That doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't the developers - my feeling is that they just don't go to those sorts of things. Techmeetup Edinburgh, Refresh Edinburgh and Techmeetup Glasgow is full of non-MS guys.
The only .NET events and communities, accessible to me, that I know about are:
- Aberdeen .NET User Group, Scot ALT.NET (seems pretty inactive)
- Developer Developer Developer Scotland (held once a year - I'm going to it)
- A book club (just heard about this today)
Most of this can be found via the Scottish Developers site. If I'm honest I'm not all that bothered that there are .NET focused groups, it's more that the .NET devs don't seem to get involved in the existing communities.
Are tech communities driven by the startup up scene and this is why we don't see developers who use .NET at these events? I bet 95% of all startups do not use Microsoft technologies. Why? Money Dashboard, an Edinburgh (or close-by), startup built things on the Microsoft technology stack. Are there any others?
Another annoyance I have is that a lot Microsoft devs don't seem to want to try out new technologies. Is this because they work at financial services companies who are still using .NET 2.0, have some legacy VBScript systems to maintain and are still targeting IE6? Another way of looking at this is that Ruby, PHP and Python developers are commonly found at tech events, are always trying out new technologies and aren't afraid to upgrade to get new features following a new release of something.
Am I wrong?
If I'm not wrong why is this the case and what are Microsoft doing about it? What are we doing about it?