New Community Director, Claire Novotny

After nearly two years of service as the Community Director of the .NET Foundation (thank you!!!), Rachel Reese has asked to step down. Claire Novotny will be replacing her in this role.

Claire has been a very active member of the .NET Foundation Advisory Council, working tirelessly behind the scenes to help projects configure build infrastructure, set up code signing, and just continually working to make the .NET open source community a better place. Support for Claire to take this role was unanimous and enthusiastic – from Rachel, the rest of the .NET Foundation board, and the rest of the Advisory Council. As Executive Director, I wholeheartedly agree – Claire helps out on a daily basis behind the scenes, both helping to keep things running and to continually improve them. As an example, he personally drove a partnership with DigiCert to get individual code signing certificates issued to projects by getting the .NET Foundation set up as a CA.

Many of those involved in the .NET community already know Claire pretty well. For this announcement post, Jon Galloway interviewed Claire and chatted about his experiences to date and what he hopes the .NET Foundation will do in the future.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background, when did you first become interested in programming?

I have always been curious to understand how and why things worked. When I was a kid, The Way Things Work, was one of my favorites. When I was young, I would take apart and reassemble the family computer to learn what the parts were. In middle school, I taught myself BASIC by reading library books containing pages of program code to type in by hand…those were the days! I have always aimed to try to help others – I was a TA for some of my early CS classes in college before switching to, and graduating with, a degree in Sociology. I love logic and problem solving, but the math and algorithms weren’t for me. When Microsoft released .NET, I fell in love with C# and have been using it ever since.

What initiatives are you working on (or passionate about) within the .NET Foundation?

One current initiative I am passionate about, and working on, is code signing. I maintain and administer the Foundation’s code signing services that we offer to member projects. The service was born, like many things, out of laziness. When I first took over as maintainer for the Reactive Extensions for .NET, our release process was far from streamlined. I had to remote desktop into a VM containing the Foundation’s code signing certificate, copy the NuGet packages over, extract and manually sign each file. As that’s far too much effort to do on a regular basis, I worked with some people to create a service that could automate this process in a secure way and that could grow to offer new capabilities.

What drives you?

I want to see others succeed. If there’s something blocking them, I want to help get them unstuck. I love the deep technology, figuring stuff out, but ultimately, it’s about solving business challenges and creating new things. I firmly believe that technology is meaningless in a vacuum; rather, it’s an enabler. I aim to enable and empower people to do great things.

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