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JetBrains Newest Technical Evangelist

logo.gifTo say that I’m a big fan of JetBrains is a bit of an understatement. I’m always talking about ReSharper, dotTrace, dotCover, dotPeek, TeamCity, and many other JetBrains products in person, on Twitter, on my blog, in talks, … Many years ago I released a (now-defunct) ReSharper test runner plug-in. (Defunct because the functionality is now included in ReSharper itself.) I’m one of a team of people running http://teamcity.codebetter.com, which is a widely-used OSS build server run by CodeBetter.com and Devlicious.com in collaboration with JetBrains. I’m on the board of the JetBrains Development Academy. I was JetBrains booth babe/demo monkey at PDC a few years back. I authored the ReSharper course for Pluralsight. (N.B. Through a cross-promotion deal, JetBrains includes one-month access to my Pluralsight ReSharper course for new and existing ReSharper users.) I’m sure there are things that I’m forgetting.

Recently JetBrains approached me about joining their team as a technical evangelist. I was flattered and honoured at being considered for such a position. Then came the hard questions…

Me: I don’t want to be pushing products for the sake of products.

JB: We don’t want you to. We want you to evangelize software best practices and talk about where JetBrains products make developers’ lives easier.

Me: My interests extend beyond .NET. I’ve also done a lot of JavaScript and web work. Plus I’ve been getting into Ruby and Ruby on Rails a lot recently. And I’d like to do some iOS development.

JB: That sounds great! As you know we’ve got products in all those areas and can use someone with that kind of breadth.

Me: I don’t want to put Hadi out of a job.

JB: No worries. You’ll be Hadi’s counterpart in North America. We’ve got enough to keep both of you busy for a long time.

So Hadi and I will be working closely with the rest of the JetBrains team to bring you more awesomeness from JetBrains. More awesome blog posts. More awesome screencasts. More awesome presentations. And of course more awesome information about JetBrains products. (Let’s be realistic. We’ve all got mortgages/expenses to pay.) If you have questions, comments, or quibbles about JetBrains products – especially how we can make them better – Hadi and I are the people you want to talk to. And we want to talk to you, our community.

Canadian Maple LeafTo answer a few burning questions that I’m sure people have… I’ll still be based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’ll still be speaking at various conferences and user groups – and not just about JetBrains products. (It will be the usual mix of software practices, development techniques, and technologies. So expect to see me at conferences and events both as a speaker and representing JetBrains.) I’ll still be producing Pluralsight videos. (NHibernate Fundamentals will be available soon and I’m already work on Git Fundamentals. JetBrains and Pluralsight will continue to partner on various initiatives.) I’ll still be involved in open-source software. And I’ll still be causing the usual amount of trouble on Twitter and elsewhere. Happy coding!

About James Kovacs

James Kovacs is a Technical Evangelist for JetBrains. He is passionate in sharing his knowledge about OO, SOLID, TDD/BDD, testing, object-relational mapping, dependency injection, refactoring, continuous integration, and related techniques. He blogs on CodeBetter.com as well as his own blog, is a technical contributor for Pluralsight, writes articles for MSDN Magazine and CoDe Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and user groups. He is the creator of psake, a PowerShell-based build automation tool, intended to save developers from XML Hell. James is the Ruby Track Chair for DevTeach, one of Canada’s largest independent developer conferences. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto and his Masters degree from Harvard University.
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  • Stephen Hammond

    The guys at Xamarin are charting where  Mono is going so I think you’re right it’s be stupid to do this for two products. They do a difficult dance alone keeping up with Microsoft. But there’s a lot of job requests from Xamarin for MonoDevelop because they’re facing the lack of cross platform IDE themselves (and therefore lack of C# development across platforms). But what about IntelliJ? How much effort would have to be put into creating some open API’s for the C# OSS community  to program Mono support for IntelliJ? It’s an alternative for Java developers to sample if they need it. Heck, I could even see Xamarin wanting to contribute because their platforms like MonoTouch, MoonLight, etc. seem more important to them than MonoDevelop.

  • Anonymous

    As a Mac user, I can tell you that I am neither a Visual Studio user, nor (by extension) a ReSharper user.  I use MonoDevelop out of necessity.  Having come from IntelliJ IDEA for Flex development, I can say that a native JetBrains Mono IDE (or a plugin for MonoDevelop) would have great success on Mac, especially since products like Unity (which got its start on Mac) make heavy use of Mono.  I know it’s easy to think of C# as “Microsoft space”, but since they’re ignoring the Mac users, maybe JetBrains should fill in the gap!

  • Jimit Ndiaye

    How about contributing to MonoDevelop or at the very least having a version of Resharper for that IDE?

  • http://jameskovacs.com James Kovacs

    @jonathan_oliver:disqus A JetBrains IDE for .NET/Mono/C# would be pure awesome. Unfortunately it’s a difficult problem. #1) Developers who would buy it are probably already ReSharper customers. So we’d be eating into our own sales. #2) Who would build the new C# IDE? The same folks already building ReSharper. So we’d be stealing resources from ReSharper. #3) From a sales perspective, we’d be building something that wasn’t compatible with any 3rd-party VS designer. Trying to sell something that bundles into Visual Studio is hard enough. Selling something that essentially replaces Visual Studio, but doesn’t compare favourably in those annoying feature checklists is financial suicide in the Microsoft space. #4) It’s hard enough playing feature catch-up every time Microsoft releases a new version of C#/VB/XAML/etc. Now we’d be doing it twice – once for ReSharper and once for the new IDE. #5) Any project template, VS add-in, or other 3rd-party tooling (e.g. NuGet) would have to include support for another IDE. Either that or we’d have to try and shim the VS extensibility points so that they work. (If you’ve seen the VS extensibility points, you realize what a monumental task this would be.) I’m sure there are other issues that I haven’t thought of.

    Believe me, before I joined JetBrains, I thought about this exact problem and came to the conclusion that building an IDE in the Microsoft space is very difficult, if not impossible, given the behemoth that is Visual Studio. Just look at MonoDevelop. Great IDE, little adoption by .NET developers.

    BTW – These are my own opinions and not those of JetBrains. I’m not apologizing for us not building a .NET IDE. I’m trying to provide some reasoning why, in my own opinion, it is not feasible for any company to build a competitor to Visual Studio.

  • Matt Hinze

    Congrats Mr Kovacs!

  • Magellings2


  • http://blogs.msdn.com/gblock Glenn Block

    Congratulations James! That is great for you, for Jetbrains and the community. Good luck in the new role.

  • Anonymous

    Cool! Congratulations! – oh yeah – and second what Jonathan Oliver said.

  • http://jonathanoliver.com Jonathan Oliver

    Assignment #1: A JetBrains IDE for .NET/Mono without Visual Studio.  I know this has been kicked around quite a bit and in the end rejected by the JetBrains guys, I think it’s time for another serious look.  I’d pay good money for an IDE that’s lightweight and responsive and compatible with Mono.  I love C# as a language and think it’s got a lot going for it compared to Java, but VS makes my hex core with 16 GB of RAM + SSD slow to a crawl. Besides, at the current growth rate of C#, it won’t be too long before it overtakes Java: