I've spent the last week trying to define our community marketing requirements for the next version of visual studio.  Thinking with my customer hat; what would I want to see in the product?  What community features really work?  I thought about Web Matrix and www.asp.net and how they integrate community and product, but I don't think that is enough.  The control gallery concept in web matrix is wonderful and should definitely grow and expand, but what else is important for building community? Developers write code, share code, and need code.  We all want to make our lives easier and leverage as much productivity as possible.  I feel that PHP is wildly successful because of the community and codebase that has grown up around it.  How can we replicate and improve upon it?  Is the key here integrating community into the cockpit?  The place where we spend every breathing moment writing code?  Or is it through external means; websites, users groups, etc.?  Right now I think the answer is both -- there needs to be a way to leverage the communities fruits within the IDE itself while still keeping it open to others to innovate on.

 

I'd be curious to hear all your thoughts.  My developer hat is only so big -- so preach on, how do you use the community?  What would make you more productive and more successful?  I promise to take your feedback to heart.  Leave a comment, or better yet, email me.