Sohan's Blog

Things I'm Learning

NuGet - Why Should You Care?

Traditionally the .NET community, or more appropriately the users of .NET framework relied on products from Microsoft - so, in a product stack you are likely to see almost everything coming from Microsoft. However, some community contribution made its way into the main stream - for example, NUnit or Log4Net. But you can literally count the number of such main stream non-Microsoft products in your development stacks with your fingers (sparing a few)!
NuGet makes it easy to share your reusable library/utility code to the community. So, if you’ve done something cool that you wanna share, you should utilize the platform.
One important difference between your and Microsoft’s contribution is, whatever you are contributing is likely to be a piece of software extracted from one of your real world projects. On the other hand, Microsoft attempts to produce something based on public interest and their imagination - often missing the real pain that you or I have. So, this mismatch between the designer and the actual consumer of the product often leaves a lot of opportunity for you. If you did something to solve your own pain on a project, its likely you’re not alone. So, share it with us.
NuGet official feed and website is a great place to get feedback.
Did something cool? Well, you should feel good as people will use and appreciate your work. More importantly, they will provide you with interesting ideas and reviews that you haven’t thought about. Does this sound useful to you? People will go even further - they will directly contribute to the project with code!
NuGet will challenge you with competition from other contributors.
A healthy competition is a great way of learning from others too. You’ll see other contributors attacking the same pain you are solving in a different approach, often directly challenging you! You love challenge, don’t you?
If you need hard numbers to get motivated, here’s some data from my MvcMailer project:
  • Downloaded 600+ times in less than 2 months.
  • Received 60+ emails from people using MvcMailer, mostly encouraging feedback.
  • 300%+ increase in my blog traffic.

Bottom line is, you should publish your NuGet package if there’s any cool project you have done. Or, look out for what others are doing and possibly contribute with your code/suggestions. If you need an idea, look for StackOverflow questions, you’ll see there are solvable problems that people are fighting against time and again.