Clark Sell

Program Manager, Developer Advocate, and CEO

about me

Who Am I?

Hi my name is Clark, but I take it you’ve already gathered that. I’m a very passionate, entrepreneurial person whose love for developing software was born from my passion for building and customizing automobiles. This love, has lead me to a dedicated life of web and mobile software development. Just like the cars I’ve built, I love how the web and mobile applications are connecting the world together while advancing our society.

I seek a career where I can work with a team of diverse, like-minded passionate people who strive to change the world with software. I seek a culture which strives for industry relevance, personal career growth, while achieving a family balance. I want to have fun while making a profit and teaching our craft to others.

I’m currently a Program Manager and Developer Advocate for Microsoft. I live outside of Chicago and work with Microsoft's top commercial customers throughout the world. My goals are simple, help those partners build a world class product leveraging the Microsoft platform. For the past 15 years, I’ve built software for a number of fortune 100 companies. From a 5 man team to a 500 man team, I have been part of building a wide array of software solutions and applications. For the past three years I’ve dedicated my time to advancing our software community through evangelism and building open source software. I’m even the co-founder of a Not-For-Profit company who run a number of large technology based conferences, such as That Conference and HTML5.tx.

It's important to recognize ones successes while also learning from their failures. Looking back on my professional career I would like to highlight a few of the accomplishments of which I am most proud of.

  • Driving and Leading Allstate Insurance to a software development practice founded on Agile, TDD, Continue Integration and Deployment. That work would later lead to creating an internal enterprise framework for the entire company which saved well over 20m dollars bootstrapping projects.
  • The Jumpstart Kit. This was a product that Mark Nichols and I founded and created. The Jumpstart was a product that bolted onto TFS and would take the out of box product and add the necessary features to build, test and ship software the necessary server environments. It would later become a SKU’d product by Microsoft which is still maintained and sold to customers today.
  • Achieving top honors at Microsoft. Microsoft is no doubt a large company and to be chosen to receive top honors was a great recognition from both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that the work I was driving was very valued by the company at large.
  • That Conference started as an idea over lunch one day. How could we create something that rallied the larger software community in the Midwest and do so in a very big way? After two year of work our first conference kick off and was a very big success. 600 people and 250k later, we had done exactly that. We’re not done, that was just year 1.



July '10 - Current That Conference, NFP Spring Grove, IL
July '10 - current Founder and CEO
I'm the cofounder and CEO of That Conference NFP. That Conference is a not for profit company born out of the desire to further build a stronger development community here in the Midwest. That Conference is a volunteer organization of software developers across the Midwest who have been working together to partner with major industry leaders, speakers, and companies to create a three day experience where everyone can reinvest in themselves while creating a network of which they can leverage outside of the main conference. But it doesn't stop there. We feel that teaching our craft to the younger generation is essential, especially at a young age. To that end, we focus on both the professional and the family. You can see more at That Conference.
July '05 - Current Microsoft Redmond, WA
July '13 - current Senior Program Manager
Developer Platform and Evangelism's TED (Corp) – As a Program Manager in TED, my main responsibilities are two fold. First and foremost, partner with Microsoft's top commercial ISVs to aid in shipping their top mission critical products on top of Microsoft's cloud and mobile platform. The other half of the job is spent working with the larger team in creating solutions and frameworks to fill potential product gaps or things that will aid in the adoption of our product. Notable activities included:
  • Partner with an ISV to define architecture, roadmap and strategy.
  • Identify and manage the overall product gaps for commercial customers in the mobile space.
  • Product and Design Reviews.
  • Partner with other members of TED to build out solutions and frameworks.
Nov '09 - July '13 Senior Technical Web Evangelist
Developer Platform and Evangelism (Field) – As a technical evangelist I was charged with supporting Microsoft’s web strategy specifically around HTML5. This includes supporting ASP.NET, WebMatrix and the new Windows 8 for our community, customer and garage developers. Notable activities included:
  • Well over 150 speaking engagements and keynotes across the central region of the United States.
  • Shipped a number of open source libraries to help support different aspect of our products.
  • Work in some capacity with That Conference, Chicago Code Camp, Midwest Give Camp, HTML5.tx and a variety of user groups.
  • Daily Operations around event planning, coordination and marketing.
  • 7 articles published in MSDN Magazine.
  • 31 Days of Windows 8 - a blog series writing 31 articles surrounding development for Windows 8.
  • 10 city Web Camp tour reaching over 1k developers.
July '05 - Nov '09 Consulting Services, Senior Consultant II
Microsoft TFS Jumpstart Kit – Founder, Solutions Architect, and Developer. Designed and built to aid the adoption of TFS by closing the current product gaps by extending features for application build and deployment. Major features included but are not limited to:
  • Application Versioning.
  • Building .NET 1.0 projects in .NET 2.0 on the fly.
  • Automatic sandcastle ( CHM ) document generation.
  • Automatic WIX package generation.
  • Is now an official offering.
Baxter's Andromeda – Solutions Architect and Development Lead charged to lead, design and build a ground up next generation prescription delivery and treatment recovery product for peritoneal dialysis machines. Major activities included the following but are not limited to:
  • Presales activities included, Proposal, Estimate, and SOW.
  • Architected and Designed the WPF Smart Client and supporting backend services.
  • Designed and built the build process.
  • Designed and built the installation package.
  • Project and iteration planning.
  • TFS customization.
  • Automated testing.
Zurich’s VSTS – TFS Architect \ Solutions Architect charged to design, implement and lead a team of individuals to implement TFS and VSTS for the enterprise using a mission critical product as their showcase. Major activities included:
  • Project Planning.
  • Enterprise TFS Planning, Setup and Installation.
  • VSS Source Migration to TFS.
  • Implemented Branching and Merging strategy.
  • .NET 1.1 to 2.0 Upgrade.
  • Created Enterprise Build \ Deployment Solution.
National City’s "ECM" – Build \ Deployment Solutions Architect charged to implement TFS for their Enterprise Content Management product. Designed and installed their TFS environment. Designed the automated testing framework, build and deployment frameworks, branching structure and source control policies.
July '98 - July '05 Allstate Insurance Company Northbrook, IL
Senior Application Architect and Web Developer
Common Business Services – Lead Architect and Program Manager charged to create a Service Oriented Architecture comprised of a suite of common and authoritative services as well as SOA guidelines for Allstate.
  • Staffed and Trained Northbrook and Northern Ireland development teams.
  • Implemented Agile Development processes.
  • Implemented Cruise Control and NAnt supporting the suite of services in the SOA.
  • Lead and delivered first defect free new development, high impact project into production.
  • Founder and monthly speaker at Allstate Financial and Allstate Enterprise Developer Forums supporting a 100 developer volunteer community.
  • Leading Allstate Visual Studio Team System Technology Adopter Program effort.
  • Migrated original backlog into Visual Studio Team System and use for all feature, task and bug management.
  • Created Versioning standard for Web Services.
  • Created physical and logical data model for services such as Policy Number Authority and Security.
  • Provide consulting services to Allstate Enterprise for .NET, Test Driven Development, and Continuous Integration.
  • Leading Allstate Indigo Ascend program.
Enterprise .NET Framework – Lead Architect and Program Manager building the first funded Enterprise Framework for all .NET applications. Known as the AllCorp Framework, it was the first high impact mainstream development project where Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration and Agile Development Methodologies were introduced to the entire Allstate Enterprise. Working in two week iterations with 25 different customers, an entire framework was built nearly defect free and meeting all customer expectations.
  • Implemented packaging standards for distribution to developers and applications.
  • Created, implemented and communicated versioning standards for .NET assemblies.
  • Facilitated all communications to business clients and Allstate Officers in terms of framework features, architecture and release schedules.
  • Implemented Test Driven Development and Continuous Integration.
  • Created Test Driven Development standards for application development communities.
  • Created, packaged and communicated a distribution for NAnt, NUnit and Cruise Control which included the products as well as best practices.
Allstate.com, AccessAllstate.com Integration – Lead Architect and Program Manager creating the first cross company web service providing a single-sign-on (SSO) for the Allstate customer.
  • First introduction of an Agile Development process on a mainstream development project.
  • First introduction of Test Driven Development on mainstream development project.
  • Designed and created a WS-Security framework sitting on top of WSE for web services.
  • First deployment of WSE in Allstate.
  • Created logical and physical data model for SSO and exception handling.
AccessAllstate.com – Lead Application Architect for Allstate Financial Technology, AccessAllstate.com. First Allstate .NET project released into production shortly after .NET released to public. Access Allstate was an N-Tier project utilizing .NET, SQL Server, Biz Talk, Java and a various number of the 14 administration systems at Allstate Financial. AccessAllstate.com provided a unified book of business to the agency providing the ability to view and transact on a financial policy.
  • Designed and Created Visual Studio solution structure used by entire development staff.
  • Designed and created web application security framework. Responsibilities included validating and creating a security data model and core security activities such as login, logout, password change, password history, and impersonation.
  • Conducted design and code reviews.
  • Mentored and provided direction to development staff of 40 developers.
  • Responsible for communication to management and architectural communities.
  • Provided consulting services to Allstate Enterprise in areas of, .NET, Security, Remoting, Application Architecture and Web Architecture.
  • Design and implemented Allstate Financial Jumpstart kit. The Jumpstart kit contained a suite of architectural services and application architecture providing the ability for an application to unpack the Jumpstart kit into source control and have an N-Tier web application architecture ready to begin coding application functionality. Architectural services included the following: Data Access, Remoting, Security, Codes and Caching. The jumpstart kit was implemented by at least 30 applications and some reported savings of 50% decrease in development time and cost.
Multi Access Integration – Starting as an Application Developer exiting as an Application Architect, Multi Access Integration (MAI) was Allstate’s first external web development project. MAI provided the customer with the ability to quote and buy homeowners and property insurance without agent interaction. Later releases would start to provide the first external web service for insurance aggregators to use for quotes.





A free weekly email round up of anything and everything related to Microsoft’s Metro. This means Windows Phone, Windows 8, Xbox, WinRT, design and whatever else we dig up.

On Time

A Windows 8 App for Speakers

On Time is a simple Windows 8 application striving to keep speakers “on time”. If you’re a speaker this is for you. Grab a Windows 8 machine, load in your presentation’s agenda and set it down in front of where you plan on speaking. On Time will display your overall time left, where you should be in your agenda and how much time is left until your next topic. Don’t worry, On Time has a few visual cues to make sure you’re paying attention along the way.

URL Shortener

WebMatrix and ASP.NET MVC Helper

The Url Shortener Helper for WebMatrix and ASP.NET Web Pages allows you to easily shorten a url from any URL Shortener Provider. Currently supports Bit.ly other providers will be comming in the future.

IE9 Helper

WebMatrix and ASP.NET MVC Helper

The IE9 Helper is an ASP.NET WebPages helper which easily adds IE9 functionality to your website.

community involvement

Community Involvment

Community involvement has always been a big part of my life. At a young age I was involved with things such as the Boy Scouts and Team Sports. But it didn’t stop there. In college I was part of a great Fraternity and today I am very involved in our software industry. From a simple blog post to co-founding a company which runs some of the biggest conference in the area. I’m a regular speaker and writer on topics surrounding HTML5.


  • That Conference That Conference
    Summer Camp For Geeks

    That Conference
    Summer Camp For Geeks

    That Conference was started by myself and my colleague Scott Seely. That Conference is not only the Midwest’s largest software developer conference but a Not-For-Profit company which helps run conference such as Chicago Code Camp, Midwest Give Camp and even HTML5.tx

    My goals with That Conference are simple, engage and celebrate our software community here in the Midwest. The Midwest has always been referred to as the flyover states. Too bad for them that they didn’t stop and look around, because we do awesome here too. All of the organizers at That Conference strive to break down unnecessary walls, bring developers together, eat, drink and have fun.

    Visit That Conference
  • HTML5.tx HTML5.tx
    Austin, TX

    Austin, TX

    HTML5.tx is a front end cross platform web conference founded by Brandon Satrom out of Austin Texas. I’ve been involved with and helped run in some capacity since day its inception. HTML5.tx is a conference in which That Conference (the company) helps to support.

    Visit HTML5.tx
  • 31 Days Of Windows 8 31 Days of Windows 8

    31 Days of Windows 8
    HTML5 blog series on Windows 8 development.

    31 Days of Windows 8 was a blog series that Jeff Blankenburg and I teamed up to do. The goal was simple. Over the course of 31 Days walk someone through from start to finish building an application in Windows 8. Jeff would write the XAML story, while I would write the HTML5. I wrote the Website as a way to catalogue everything across both stories.

    Visit 31 Days Of Windows 8
  • Developer Smackdown Developer Smackdown
    Developer Smackdown

    Developer Smackdown

    Remember that conversation you had in the bar after work with a buddies? Then you walk out with a ton of napkins with scribble all over them. Well that is how we think about Developer Smackdown. We want to record that unfiltered conversation around software development.

    Visit 31 Developer Smackdown
  • Developer Smackdown Channel 9
    Developer Smackdown

    Channel 9
    Clark on Channel 9

    Channel 9 is Microsoft’s TV for software development. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them and given them some content and good laughs along the way.

    Visit Clark on Microsoft's Channel 9
  • Developer Smackdown MSDN Magazine
    Developer Smackdown

    MSDN Magazine
    HTML5 Articles

    Like speaking, writing for me is another method which helps reinforces the educational process. What started as writing on my blog has since lead me to writing articles for magazines and maybe even on day writing a book. I have written a series of HTML5 related articles that you can read on MSDN Magazine.

    Visit 31 Developer Smackdown
  • Metro Weekly Metro Weekly
    Windows 8 Newsletter
    Metro Weekly

    Metro Weekly

    We all know the internet is a vast place of knowledge. In the software industry it can even feel like things are moving at the speed of light especially if your heads down trying to finish a project.

    Metro Weekly is was a newsletter that I started to help people stay up to date with the surrounding around Windows 8 Development. The longer term goal is to help create a community of sharing all of the great things people have either created or found.

    Past Article on Metro Weekly
  • Metro Weekly Speaking Opportunities
    Metro Weekly

    Speaking Opportunities
    I like to talk.

    Public speaking regardless of the audience size is a large part of how I learn. I love to inspire other to learn but getting to that point the act of teaching forces you to put yourself in positions where you might not normally end up in. It’s one do something and it’s another to teach it. I have always been involved with community based groups since a young age and now the software community. You can’t know it all and this is one way to not only give back but reinforce learning.

    I regularly speak at a number of user groups and community conferences including but not limited to: Chicago Code Camp, Stir Trek, CodeMash, Deeper in .NET, Fox Valley Day of .NET, That Conference and of course a variety of Microsoft hosted events and customers.


Formal Education

Western Illinois University

Macomb, IL

Bachelor of Information Technology

August '94 - August '98
Phi Kappa Theta Alumni

contact me

Get in contact

Easy Paper Free Method

phone: 951-92-Clark

email: me@csell.net

Public Mailing Address

Clark Sell

PO Box: 820
Spring Grove, IL 60081