Unless you live in a cave, you are probably aware of the large leaps forward Microsoft and .NET has made in the open source community.

Although I do wonder about that phrase “unless you live in a cave.” By now, don’t cave dwellers have decent internet access?

As usual, I digress.

Over at GitHub, we’re pretty excited to see Microsoft put so much of .NET on GitHub under permissive licenses. Not only have they put a large amount of code on GitHub, they work hard to manage their open source projects well.

I am excited by all this. It’s been a long time coming. It’s a good thing.

That being said, Microsoft, being the giant company it is, casts a large shadow. It’s good to praise the vigor with which Microsoft adopts open source. At the same time, it’s important not to forget all the projects that have been here all along, nor the new ones that crop up all the time. The lesser-known projects and independent open source developers are an important part of the .NET open source ecosystem.

DotNetFringe (April 12-14 in Portland, Oregon) is a new conference that will help bring all these grass root independent efforts from out of the shadow. This conference is organized by a group of independent folks (myself included) who have a deep-seated passion for .NET open source.

And we collected a great line-up of speakers. Some of the names you’ll recognize as fixtures in the .NET open source community. Many are regular speakers. We also worked hard to create an environment that welcomes fresh new voices you may not have heard before.

We know your time and money is valuable. We’ve tried to keep the price low and the content quality high. So definitely buy a ticket and come say hello to me in Portland! I’ll bring some Octocat stickers to give out!