The Improved Microsoft Developer Network

Brian Harry

Today we launched the new Microsoft Developer Network site.  As I’ve mentioned before, my team is responsible for much of the infrastructure and experience for MSDN.  I’m very proud of what we have and at the same time see opportunities for improvement.

There are two primary use modes for the MSDN web site.  The biggest one is search.  You want to know what the CommentRegex class is and its properties?  Just Bing “CommentRegex” and your top results will be the MSDN pages for the class reference.  Lots and lots of people experience MSDN this way.

However, there’s another way.  You might, for instance, be new to developing for Microsoft platforms or you might just want to catch up on the latest happenings in the community, announcements, etc.  That’s always been the domain of the MSDN home page.  However, over the past few years, it has atrophied and become mostly a routing layer for the variety of platform dev centers around the company.  It hasn’t really provided a comprehensive picture of the Microsoft developer platform.  We decided we could do better than that.

Working with the Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism team and others we’ve worked to create an improved experience we’re calling the Microsoft Developer Network.  It is a major update to the MSDN home page and gives you a more modern place to go as a central landing page to find out everything you want to know about developing for Microsoft platforms.

There were a few things we targeted in the Microsoft Developer Network:

  • Simple:   We designed the site to help developers get started with Microsoft more easily, and get them to the information that they need.  We heard from the community that finding the right information, often spread between different locations, could be challenging.  The Microsoft Developer Network addresses that feedback by providing a single point of entry for all developers.
  • Relevant: We want to meet developers where they are and talk with them on their terms.  With the Microsoft Developer Network, an iOS developer, for example, can quickly understand the opportunity available from our platform and then easily navigate to the educational or technical content he needs to get started.
  • Community Driven: Microsoft has an incredible developer ecosystem, and we wanted to provide even more opportunity for the community to engage with us and with each other.  We designed the Microsoft Developer Network with that in mind creating a “Perspectives” section with community blogs, an integrated social feed, and a “Connect” area that allows developers to tell their stories, get advice and connect with us directly.

One thing you’ll also see across the Microsoft Developer Network is a way to get directly to our Visual Studio tools and your MSDN subscription, from anywhere in the network.

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The site launch happening today is for English-based geographies, but this is just the beginning of a phased worldwide launch.   Expect to see the global launch roll out over the next few months!

Check it out and let us know what you think.



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