In a chat a few months ago, Shaun Walker -the original DotNetNuke creator and maintainer and current DotNetNuke Corp. President and Chief Architect- mentioned a few strategic goals the project had on its path. These days, the word "project" seems oddly used, when you think about the sheer amount of DotNetNuke content that can be found.
While I am always surprised by the fresh and innovating looks of sites that pop up everyday, this is not the topic of this blog entry. Instead I want to point out that if you have not been using the web application platform for very long, the wealth of resources available may not be so apparent to you and it is slated to grow notoriously.
Typically, as an open source application, DotNetNuke enjoys an army of followers that willingly spread the word. However, atipically enough, this application is not just one more out there, it is number one open source web application framework for .Net and it deserves more than a few articles in the web.
Formal class training now should share a place in your budget with books available from at least five publishers. The ocassional-posting blogs as well as professional frequently-updated ones now include all sorts of content, from simple tips and tricks, to screenshot filled tutorials that you ought to record in your explorer bookmarks. And do not forget the showcase galleries, blog and link aggregation sites, and DNN dedicated podcasts that people are making available.
Then there's OpenForce. These events are in a class of itself. Notoriously separating DotNetNuke from the rest of the .Net apps, as Core Team members and several Team Leads gather in the US and Europe to not only present sessions, but to mingle, network and meet with the same people that are silently reading this blog or participating in the forums. It seems only yesterday the excitement caused by the introduction of the skinning engine was evidently provoking the first ripples in the .Net web world. Compare that to the billboard-sharing co-located sessions that will take place in Las Vegas along the DevConnections conference.
Every year I am increasingly saddened by the fact I cannot attend any of those events. My location in the world makes it difficult, to say it lightly, to assist. I can't help but notice I am missing so much information and training possibilities along networking opportunities. Luckily, I am quickly comforted by the burst in posts, pictures, tutorials and activity that inevitably result from the event interactions.
I read about DotNetNuke everyday and in the past 5 years I have experienced an incredible amount of joy by simply learning from my peers. I am always grateful I met so many people through DotNetNuke and one of my current objectives is to make as much an impact in the community as it has made in my professional life. By impact, of course I mean contributing back. You see, and this tidbit maybe too much sharing but I'll do it anyway, I never pictured myself having a career in IT. And since it was not on my plans, I am continously amazed as how good I am at it. Asides from the obvious lack of modesty of such affirmation, it is worth noting that this is simply the result of loving what I do. All that being said, I don't even code that much to call myself a developer. Some times, while chatting with other Leads I am somewhat envious of their jobs. I am 60% to 75% of the time doing IT consulting work that revolves around Microsoft products (you know, the kind that includes Exchange, Windows, ISA, etc). The rest of the time I code for fun, I code my own apps for my consulting business and I code for others who need DotNetNuke custom work.
Then it must come as no surprise that I have been working on an effort that will lay down the foundations of a comprehensive documentation repository. While I am not ready (or fully authorized) to share details of this project, I can assure you that something solid will be built. The reality is that almost every developer, freelancer, consultant that is using DotNetNuke is also creating content that mentions DotNetNuke and now that content will be in great company.
To be fair, it is not an innovation but a necessity. DotNetNuke is not anymore a novelty, it has become THE professional product to use and it will have world-class documentation to complement. How so? With your participation of course. I can only encourage you to stay tuned and share the excitement I have by bringing an equilibrium to my IT/developer hours. A few important steps took place in OpenForce Europe and more will be evident in the weeks after OpenForce US. Those with limited time who have wondered how to contribute will have a chance very soon. Those who are prolific writers and want to be read by thousands will have a place. Sharpen those pencils, create a list of neglected topics, begin taking screenshots. I tell you my friends, you will have the opportunity to call yourself an author with DotNetNuke.
Thanks for reading and Happy coding!!!