Welcome Letter from the VSX Team
Welcome to a new category of .NET developer community growth around Visual Studio. The VSX team is incredibly enthused about this new effort and in particular, this special VSX edition of CoDe Focus magazine. We want to extend a big thanks to our friends at EPS Software and all the contributors to this edition of CoDe Focus. Now, let’s jump right into this new community around VSX.
VSX, in a Nutshell
VSX, a shortcut name for Visual Studio Extensibility, represents the VSX community which is a virtual and growing ecosystem that includes the Visual Studio SDK (VS SDK), all aspects of extending Visual Studio (packages, add-ins, macros, visualizers), .NET developers who extend Visual Studio, Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) companies, and the VS SDK team (also known as the VS Tools Ecosystem team). VSX is not a product or project name or project system.
Visual Studio Ecosystem
Visual Studio is the world’s leading development environment, and our large partner ecosystem helped us attain that position. Hundreds of companies extend Visual Studio with features such as new development languages, application lifecycle tools, IDE enhancements, reusable components, and much more. These partner offerings help to fill the gaps in the Microsoft product line and deliver tailored end-to-end solutions to customers that we wouldn’t reach otherwise.
Microsoft’s VSIP program can help you build, integrate, and sell applications, tools, components, and even entire programming languages with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Team System. The VSIP program offers unique benefits to all its members helping developers, tools ISVs, and line of business and infrastructure ISVs. You can find more information about VSIP and our Partner Catalog at http://msdn.com/vsip.
The VSX Team
The VSX Team (also known as the Visual Studio Ecosystem team) is chartered with growing and strengthening this developer tools ecosystem. We ship the Visual Studio SDK, help ISVs integrate their products with Visual Studio, and engage with the enthusiast community extending Visual Studio.
The VS SDK team uses agile project management with SCRUM methodology. We release VS SDK CTPs very frequently, practically on a monthly basis.
Who Is Ken Levy?
As the Program Manager for the VSX team’s community efforts, you can see me visible in the community, helping companies and developers as I work on activities such as:
- Establish a self-sustaining developer community
- Drive community engagement
- Work on VSX and VSIP messaging
- Maintain and expand the VSX presence in the developer community
- Speak at conference and other community events
- Establish the VSX online community infrastructure
- Work with influencers and MVPs who are experts at extending Visual Studio
Our Developer Community Philosophy
As we work on our VSX community building efforts, here are some key strategies that drive our goals:
- Product team members become community members
- Community members become extensions of product team
- Passion for the product is key driver for community growth
VSX Community Goals
Based on our VSX community philosophy, these are our high-level goals for measuring success:
- Engage developers directly who are using the VS SDK
- Increase product team member participation with community
- Increase feedback from community into VS SDK
- Increase online technical discussions of VS SDK
- Make VS SDK more easy/fun to use to build passion
Visual Studio 2008 SDK
We want transparency with the community and it’s important to us to get your feedback. As such, let me share our current thinking on the roadmap for future releases of the Visual Studio 2008 SDK.
This past summer we released the VS 2008 SDK August 2007 CTP and we plan to release the RTW (release to Web) version of the Visual Studio 2008 SDK sometime soon after the Visual Studio 2008 RTM (release to manufacturing).
The Visual Studio 2005 SDK 4.0 is the last version of the SDK for VS 2005. Upcoming versions of the VS SDK will be for Visual Studio 2008 and beyond.
By: Ken Levy
Ken Levy is the president and founder of MashupX, LLC based in Kirkland, WA, and is the co-host and producer of CodeCast, a developer podcast associated with CODE Magazine. Prior to starting MashupX, Ken worked at Microsoft as the community program manager for VSX (Visual Studio Extensibility), a product planner on Microsoft’s Windows Live Platform for developers, and as the product manager in the Visual Studio data team responsible for Visual FoxPro product management. Since 1992, Ken has been a technical contributing writer and editor to many software magazines and a frequent speaker at industry conferences worldwide. You can find Ken at http://twitter.com/KenLevy and at http://mashupx.com.
VSX Team Member
Visual Studio Ecosystem
The key ingredient for a successful community is the overall passion for a product or service. The formula for a growing community is to have the product team become members of the community while having the community members be an extension of the product team. As the VS Ecosystem community Program Manager, I welcome your direct feedback and will be working to bring the product team at Microsoft and members of VSX community closer together to build a bigger and more vibrate developer ecosystem around extending Visual Studio. You can find my blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/klevy/, and the VSX team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/vsx.