1 2 3 Previous Next 39 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2016 11:36 PM by mrwatson-gbs Branched to a new discussion.

    What makes a strong developer community?

    mark_baum

      Dear FileMaker community,

       

      I'm excited to be attending Pause on Error this month (March 13 to 15 in Cleveland)! There I'll be leading a group discussion on "What makes a strong developer community?" 


      I'd like to begin that conversation here, to help me prepare for the session and also because it's important to me to involve you in the conversation. On this thread, I'm interested our sharing about the developer communities we have created or been part of:

       

      • What approaches have worked well for us
      • What approaches haven't worked well
      • What we need from each other
      • What we can offer each other
      • How we can connect with each other in new ways to support our work

       

      I have two important requests:

       

      1. I'd like to keep the overall tone positive and sincerely seeking answers to the question at hand. I especially want to avoid the trap of falling into a technical critique of this official Jive-hosted FileMaker Community. Please continue to share your technical issues in the FileMaker Community Feedback area, and we'll keep working on resolving them. But of course, please do share about your experiences in this community as they provide insight into the bullet points above.

      2. I don't want to limit this discussion to the official FileMaker community, or even about FileMaker communities in general. I'd like to learn from your experiences with any developer communities that help to illuminate the question.

       

      Additionally, if you have special expertise in organizing developer communities and are interested in brainstorming with me offline, please send me a private message as well.

       

      Thank you I'm very interested to see where this goes!

       

      Mark

        • 1. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
          siplus

          what makes a strong developer community, or what makes a developer community strong ? There's a subtle difference

           

          Anyway, our clients, with all their exigences and errors, make my product better, because they offer me the opportunity to explore, think, test, learn - it makes me a better developer, all the time. A place which puts together people that had, have or will have the same problems I face is a great source of inspiration and confirmations about doing things the "right" way.

           

          The more clients, the stronger. The better the product (the one we deliver but of course the one we start with -"new database..."), the stronger the community.

          • 2. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
            mark_baum

            Thanks for being the first to jump in and get the conversation started, Siplus -- I appreciate it!

            • 3. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
              wimdecorte

              siplus wrote:

               

              what makes a strong developer community, or what makes a developer community strong ? There's a subtle difference

               

               

              Intrigued.. what's the difference?

               

              Here's my take on it:

              - a strong developer community is a must.  But it is impossible to "enforce".  It has to grow on its own because people have to willingly buy into the platform and decide to spend time on it.

              - making a developer community strong: not sure how it differs from the "strong community".  Except perhaps by enabling the people in the community to have a clear roadmap etc.  I don't think we need to take this conversation there because this conversation (Mark: correct me) is not about FMI-vs-Community/ FM-and-the-community, but more about what makes the community tick internally.  What makes the community drive itself.

              • 4. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                siplus

                Intrigued.. what's the difference?

                 

                1) you have nothing, and you want to develop a strong thing

                 

                2) you have the thing, and want to make it strong

                • 5. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                  coherentkris

                  When we collectively forget to shower for a few days?

                   

                  But seriously,...

                   

                  IMHO developer communities thrive when those with great knowledge and experience (the few) are willing to share that knowledge with those that know less (the many).

                   

                  Patience and tolerance by the few and willingness to be guided by the many makes it all work.

                  • 6. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                    siplus

                    a community is born upon a decision (like deciding to use Filemaker).

                     

                    So if we forget to shower, we're not a community; if we deliberately decide to avoid showering, THEN we are a community.

                     

                    Stinky.

                    • 7. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                      coherentkris

                      the shower comment was related to strength not community...

                      • 8. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                        BruceRobertson

                        I know that one thing which gets discussed from time to time, is the notion that there are different sub-communities. Some people think the current community suffers a bit from the percentage of new users. Certainly helping new users become proficient is good. But helping experienced users is also important. I think this is reflected in the existence of some of the available sub-forums here; though many of them do not seem to get much traffic.

                        • 9. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                          wimdecorte

                          coherentkris wrote:

                           

                          IMHO developer communities thrive when those with great knowledge and experience (the few) are willing to share that knowledge with those that know less (the many).

                           

                          Patience and tolerance by the few and willingness to be guided by the many makes it all work.

                           

                          Very well put.

                           

                          Just want to add: even the absolute novice has something to teach the "knowledgeable few".  The FM platform is both wide and deep and no-one can even pretend to know it all, and it is a constantly moving target anyway.

                           

                          And this particular community has been very welcoming for decades now.  Much more than I have seen in other communities.

                          If we can keep the welcoming warm and the threshold to contribute low then we have a place where newbies can still blow the 'gurus" out of the water.  Which is the absolute greatest thing.

                          • 10. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                            siplus

                            tbh, the posts I see can be divided in 4 categories:

                             

                            CBA

                            WTF

                            BTDT

                            IDID

                            • 11. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                              KenNewell

                              If we drop the Developer and just think of community it leads me to several thoughts about community in general.  Community is:

                              1) Depending on the "type" of community, shared experiences, or shared values.

                              2) Members of the community that give back to the community.

                              3) Identity with the community.

                              4) Advocacy for the community

                              5) Open to new members to become part of the community.

                              • 12. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                                mikebeargie

                                I've been comparing the filemaker community in recent presentations to stackoverflow.com, which I was using heavily in the development of my native app.

                                 

                                Here are some key differences I've found:

                                FIleMaker CommunityStackOverflow.com
                                Generally tolerant and helpful to new developersGruff and accusatory attitude for new developers that "did not look up something that was already answered."
                                Brainstorm and participation from developers at all levels.Most answers are coming from senior-level developers only.
                                Answers change as the products and tools change.Answers are given or pointed to, even if they are 5 years old. No helpful attempts at updating answers.
                                Developers stick up for the platform. Developers are social.Mods delete any off-topic commenting.
                                Innovation is shared.Innovation is not shared, unless it becomes the answer for something.
                                Higher recommendation towards paid products/solutions (EG plugins, or vertical solutions)Higher recommendations for open source or free solutions (in all truth, they have more free resources to offer, there are tons of free SDKs and code samples out there and StackOverflow covers a large number of platforms, even filemaker!).
                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                                  CarstenLevin

                                  Very interesting comparison:-)

                                  • 14. Re: What makes a strong developer community?
                                    fitch

                                    siplus wrote:

                                     

                                    tbh, the posts I see can be divided in 4 categories:

                                     

                                    CBA

                                    WTF

                                    BTDT

                                    IDID

                                     

                                    I had to look up 3 out of 4 of those and I'm still not sure about two of them.

                                     

                                    I'd also add:

                                    RTFM

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