SilverStripe Developer Community: A Retrospective


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Covers the concept of Communities of Practice that underpins most open-source software communities: specifically applying this to the SilverStripe Content Management System Community.

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SilverStripe Developer Community: A Retrospective

  1. 1. The SilverStripe CMS Developer Community A Retrospective
  2. 2. Why a “Retrospective”?
  3. 3. Part OneWhat’s going on behind open source communities?
  4. 4. Communities of Practice (CoP)“…groups of people who share a passion for something they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better” .
  5. 5. Communities of Practice (CoP)• Form (or nurtured) organically around things people are passionate about.• Informal and voluntary (compared to businesses) while remaining organised.• Humanities first knowledge-based social structures – ancient craftspeople, stone masons, medieval guilds, apprentices.• The modern day “water-cooler” – exist in business both online/offline even if they do not realise it.• Social containers for maintaining and growing complex knowledge-bases; rely on tacit knowledge.
  6. 6. Elements of successful Communities of Practice
  7. 7. Levels of Participation in CoPs • Core Group is small (10%) and very active. Discussion/debate, help define Peripheral domain/practices. • Active also small (20%), attend meetups, occasional participation in forums. • Peripheral is the largest group! “lurkers”, less active participation instead they watch core & actives – learning from them passively. Active • Legitimate Peripheral Participation is key! • Boundaries between these groups are fluid and transient. Core • Creative tension at boundaries facilitates Group learning and participation.
  8. 8. Successful communities build bridges between levels of participation!
  9. 9. ValueParticipating Members Supporting Organisations• Help with challenges • Problem solving• Access to expertise • Time saving (ROI)• Meaningful work • Knowledge exchange• Professional development • Better use of resources• Reputation/social • Increases strategic capacity recognition • Innovation• Networks • Retention of talent
  10. 10. Barriers in Distributed CoPs• Distance• Time• Trust• Social Capital• Culture (both in the community and in the supporting organisations).• Structure• Misunderstanding the role of technology
  11. 11. Thank YouNow…go talk to someone you don’t know this evening… we all have a common domain and practice 
  12. 12. Part TwoCommunity Feedback
  13. 13. SilverStripeUKMeetup April 2012, 20 SilverStripe CMS Developers Contributed• Actively promoting SilverStripe CMS at other • SilverStripe Ltd are still working out how the meetups. company works with the community.• Developing the SilverStripe CMS meetups. Suggested that they could take a more• Community case studies, marketing material nurturing/supportive over controlled and resources around SilverStripe approach. CMS, focus on the developers, they will sell • SilverStripe Ltd could focus on introduction it to their clients. to new developers – ensure that they’re• Developer-friendly documentation and helping people at the start then let the resources, should be open-source editable community help them participate further. by the community. • Business models attached? Paid Modules?• Questions are being left unanswered in the The incentive of revenue would also mean forums. that the modules cost – barrier to entry for new developers.• Encourage the SilverStripe CMS developer community to release modules. • Developers can get a lot of credit for contributing, how can we grow social• Clear ways to find and implement recognition? modules, let the community edit this. • What you put in is what you get out of the community.
  14. 14. Let’s brainstorm• In your tables (or break out into small groups).• Grab some paper and pens.• Will collect up after 10-15 mins.• Look to collate into shared Google Doc and publish through SilverStripe CMS community blog.
  15. 15. FOCUS: How can “bridges” be built between the levels of participation in the SilverStripe CMS Developer Community of Practice? PERIPHERAL ACTIVE CORE