.NET Tools

Meet the .NET Developer Advocates

If you’ve been reading this blog, chances are you have seen various names of our .NET Developer Advocates before. It occurred to us that we’ve never made proper introductions! Let’s get that sorted!

In this post, we’ll introduce the .NET Developer Advocates, and take the opportunity to talk a bit about what we do here at JetBrains.

Meet the people

Without further ado, here are the wonderful people who bring you, among other things, the blog you are reading right now.

Rachel Appel

Rachel Appel Let’s start with Rachel. She joined JetBrains in 2018, and our team back in 2019. She’s based in Berlin, Germany.

With her 25+ years experience in building software, training, and mentoring people, she’s excellent at creating great and clear content, as seen in numerous blog posts. Rachel also keeps track of what is going on in the .NET world, and publishes the .NET Annotated Monthly – a monthly summary of interesting links and resources.

Rachel’s expertise is in web development, Azure Functions, ASP.NET, C#, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and TypeScript. She’s given many talks about these topics at Microsoft //build, NDC, and other international conferences. She recently finished her master’s thesis on software development pipelines.

Matthias Koch

Matthias Koch Next up: Matthias. He joined our team in 2018, after being a software developer on ReSharper since 2015. Matthias is based in Munich, Germany.

The interests of Matthias are in eating pizza, C#, testing, tooling, continuous integration, and plugin development – topics he wrote about extensively. He’s also the maintainer of NUKE, an open source build automation system that keeps tooling in mind. Knowing the sustainability struggle open source maintainers often experience, he recently started doing OSS Power-Ups for .NET projects.

Matthias also plays the guitar, but according to himself "it’s not festival material yet".

Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis From Birmingham, UK, we bring you Matt! Matt started at JetBrains in July 2012 and that makes him the longest tenured team member. He maintained the xunit.net testing support in ReSharper, before joining JetBrains to work on plugin related tasks.

While at JetBrains, Matt built the NuGet based Extension Manager in ReSharper 8, and started a plugin to help with Unity game development, which he still works on and which is now bundled with Rider and is a key part of our target audience! He is also our liaison with the .NET Foundation, and has given many talks at various conferences over the years. Matt’s finest hour, and still his most popular blog post, is Clippy for ReSharper, an April Fool’s Day joke that was a fully working plugin!

Khalid Abuhakmeh

Khalid Abuhakmeh Khalid joined the .NET advocacy team in March 2020 after 15 years of experience developing software. He’s based in Harrisburg, PA, USA.

Khalid is focused on ASP.NET and web development. Khalid loves playing with static site generation technologies. He also loves to blog and experiments ruthlessly with new and cool tech. Check out his GitHub page for examples. Based on his experience and experiments, he regularly publishes tutorials and other content on our blog and the .NET Guide.

Khalid is also our “resident photoshopper of all things fun” and generates memes as a hobby. Our team also looks forward to traveling again so we can go try the tasty-looking scones and other baking he’s been doing.

Maarten Balliauw

Maarten Balliauw Maarten is the .NET advocates team lead, and is based in Antwerp, Belgium. He joined JetBrains for the second time in 2016, after being a developer on the NuGet team at Microsoft. He loves building web and cloud apps, C#, Microsoft Azure and application performance, and writes about these here at JetBrains and on his own blog.

Maarten is the creator of SpeakerTravel, a brilliant idea to launch in 2020!

He formerly founded MyGet. He’s a former Microsoft MVP, and frequent speaker at various national and international events. He organizes Azure User Group events in Belgium. In his free time, he brews his own beer, and his weekends are often spent barbecuing.

What would you say… you do here?

Good question, and we’re glad you asked. The .NET advocates are here to help you with our tools, as well as all the .NET technologies: ASP.NET, WPF, Xamarin, Winforms, Unity and gaming, and .NET languages.

Tools, you say? Those are ReSharper, Rider, dotTrace, dotMemory, dotCover, dotPeek, the ReSharper Command Line Tools, and JetBrains in general.

We operate following a general philosophy:

A Developer Advocate is a developer’s best friend!

Best friend of our current and future customers, and of our development teams. We help our friends be better at what they do, sharing what we learn.

We try to capture general trends in .NET, as well as specific feedback, communicate that with our development teams, with the idea of improving our products for certain workflows. At the same time, we highlight our developers’ work, and do our best to demonstrate the thought process and vision that went into our products, helping you be better at using them.

Let’s give you some more concrete examples.


A lot of our content makes it to the .NET tools blog. It’s a place where we write about many things:

The .NET Annotated Monthly is a monthly summary of interesting links and resources in the .NET world, and is published on our blog and as a monthly newsletter you can subscribe to.

Last year, we released the .NET Tools Guide, where we bring you tips and tricks, and tutorials. It brings video tutorials about tools and frameworks, that are combined with written content that has more details. The videos are also available on the JetBrains TV YouTube channel. The .NET Guide itself is open source, and we share it with the other JetBrains advocacy teams.


On Twitter, we have product accounts like @ReSharper, @JetBrainsRider and @JetBrains. You’ll usually see us respond to your tweets from our personal accounts, though. We like to be there as people, not as a “managed Twitter account”.

As Developer Advocates, and as JetBrains, we’re part of the community around .NET. We get feedback, knowledge, insights, news, and more from that community. But it’s also important to give back. We run OSS Power-Ups for .NET projects – a thank you to open source maintainers, and a way to put their projects in the spotlight.

We run regular webinars and the JetBrains .NET Days Online, with JetBrains speakers and external speakers, covering the topics they are passionate about. Speakers often use our tools or have a link to them in their talks, which we like, but that’s not the main goal of our webinars. We bring .NET topics that are relevant to a broader audience, and we learn from each other. Here’s a handy overview of our 2020 webinars.

Subscribe to our community newsletter and we will let you know when a webinar is coming.

You’ll also find us at events and user groups around the world. Well, around the Internet, these days. We’re typically speaking at these events, or present with a booth where you can have a chat with us.


What’s in a name? In “Developer Advocate”, the word “Developer”!

Our .NET Developer Advocates also write code! Code samples, of course, but there’s more. Matthias works on NUKE, an open source build automation system.

You’ll also find our commits in:

Our developers are advocates, too!

You can find them speaking at conferences, writing blog posts, or out there on Twitter talking tech.

Maria Pashkova has been writing about how Dataflow Analysis of Integral Values works.

Andrey Akinshin has blogged a series about migrating the Rider backend process from Mono to .NET Core. He talks about Performance Testing, and wrote the book about it: Pro .NET Benchmarking.

Andrew Karpov did a great presentation at our JetBrains .NET Days Online last year: Yield Return ’cause I’m Awaiting: Deep Dive into Async Streams.

Andrey Dyatlov did a webinar on C# 8 nullable reference types: How to stop worrying and adopt nullable reference types.

And on top of those, they all build great tools that we, as developer advocates, get to take credit for when we’re out there in the community 😎

Get in touch!

Want to reach out to any of us? We’re on Twitter:

If there is any content you would like to see, or you have any feedback for us, let us know via email or using the comments below.

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