Commemorating Charlie Poole's Contributions to the NUnit Project

NUnit has been around for a while – it debuted in 2000, along with .NET itself. And while he didn’t originate the project, for over 20 years now NUnit has been steered by Charlie Poole, an incredible talent who gave an extraordinary amount of time and effort to the endeavor. NUnit has been downloaded 225+ million times and helped countless .NET developers.

This month, Charlie Poole completed his transition in stepping back from the Core team of the NUnit project. We’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to recognize and thank Charlie, who we consider to be part of the founding generation of .NET OSS, and to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.

To attempt to quantify Charlie’s contributions to NUnit is a daunting task. He was the lead of NUnit across at least 207 releases in 37 different repositories, authoring 4,898 commits across them. He participated in 2,990 issues, 1,305 PRs, and impacted 6,992,983 lines of code. And those are only the ones we can easily find; our numbers are sourced from after NUnit moved the project to GitHub in 2011, which means there are at least 9 additional years of work not quantified above.

Charlie was also naturally heavily involved with the governance for the projects, setting up an ecosystem that allowed sub-projects to flourish independently while still remaining effective as a whole. Throughout his tenure he cared deeply about these principles and enabling others, which ultimately has set up the project to succeed well into the future as he steps back.

A Place for You to Say Thanks

Has NUnit helped your project or helped you in your career? We’d love to hear some of these stories as a way of showing Charlie the impact he’s had. You can add your story to the discussion here.

Announcing Assert.Charlie() – Permanently Celebrating Charlie’s Work

Charlie’s fingerprints will remain on this project forever, but we wanted to pay a more direct tribute to him. We will be adding a method, Assert.Charlie(), which will be an alias of Assert.Pass() but will also output a message of thanks. We’re doing this to celebrate the countless tests that Charlie has helped bring into being via his enduring love for this library, and the resulting impact on the .NET Community.

Big shoes to fill – join us

With Charlie’s retirement from the project, we need additional minds now more than ever. If you’ve been looking to get into contributing to open source, or you care deeply about enabling automated testing in the .NET ecosystem, we encourage you to get involved, and we’d love to help! Reach out to any of us, join our Slack organization, or take a look at any of the repositories in the NUnit GitHub org.

Thank you, Charlie.

There’s no easy way to sum up 20+ years of commitment to an open-source project, but Charlie’s love for .NET developers and his impact will be lasting. Thank you, Charlie, for giving so much of yourself to nurture an important project that enables the entire .NET ecosystem.