How to build Developer Communities

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How to build Developer Communities

  1. 1. How to build Developer Communities “working on stuff that matters” > hope that’s what you’re planning! Last ten years about emergence of open source Next ten years about emergence of open data Crowded and more competitive landscape Need to work harder to create communities that can reach their full potential.
  2. 2. Awesome community When I think of the best communities, I think of these guys Fantastic range of qualities Effective (individually and collectively), like to challenge each other About the ride as much as about the destination If you want your community to be this good, you’ve got to attract the right people.
  3. 3. How? Understand their motives. I’m going to talk about what it is that motivates developers, why they would bother, we can then align our product or service to meet their interest
  4. 4. Learn and study new skills Learning Motive: Learning In a recent survey, open source developers were asked to explain their motives for joining. Top answer: 79% said “to learn and study new skills” Next highest answer: “to share my knowledge and skills”: help others learn. Establishing credibility in their peer group.
  5. 5. Create a better alternative Motive: Create a better alternative. But don’t second guess what this might be! Firefox - Building a better browser? Or supporting open video formats? Wikipedia - general collaboration? Or specifically building an encyclopaedia? Wordpress - Building a blogging tool? Or simply a lightweight CMS?
  6. 6. Build something cool! Motive: Build something cool. Be creative. People get pleasure from sharing cool stuff. Just look at Boing Boing!
  7. 7. Help other people Motive: Altruism. Examples: School of Everything, theyworkforyou.com, rewiredstate. I’m working with developers to open up NHS data and there’s a lot of interest in this.
  8. 8. [Pants] How will YOU support this? Response: How should this manifest itself? How does your project structure support this? How does your product support this?
  9. 9. Help them share Response: Develop a space for sharing and improving Help developers find each other (and each other’s work), then get the hell out of the way BBC Backstage does this really well. Carrot analogy doesn’t hold...
  10. 10. Help them be creative Response: Offer something multi-sided, open, creative.... Something cool, fun, useful - inspire the same creative urges that people get playing with meccano or lego
  11. 11. Help them evaluate the product Response: Whatever they want to do, they need to be able to see whether they can do it quickly. Fire Eagle, Twitter good examples.
  12. 12. Consider your behaviour Response: Adopt appropriate behaviour Words of alpha geek Paul Downey...stay cool, don’t dictate By inviting them in, you’ve given them a controlling stake
  13. 13. Change your company Response: Develop evolved, enlightened marketing process Challenge internal preconceptions - use the right language managing / exploiting / owning = bad support / influence / help = good None of those motives mentioned money!
  14. 14. Prepare for change Response: Prepare for response. Create feedback loops. Be transparent. Explain your decision making process, justify decisions.
  15. 15. Read this Read this book Eric S.Raymond - stories from the inside, understand how to scale
  16. 16. @plasticbagUK @kathysierra @webmink @jobsworth @cathyma @psd @timbray @cubicgarden @rainycat Follow on Twitter Follow these people on Twitter
  17. 17. Creative Commons •“Hackers” by adactio •“Beichtstuhl - confession booth” by Ela2007 •“Why Bother” by Kables •“Hooray” by Zach_ManchesterUK (heh, Iain Farrell’s idea) •“Help” by LiminalMike •“Sharing” by ryancr •“Victorinox "Swiss Army Knife" Climber” by capcase •“Standeace” by psd •“Evolution - The Ride” by kevindooley •“My Listening Ears” by niclindh •“Happy Hippy. Blue Meanie.” by World of Oddy
  18. 18. @Casablanca philwhitehouse.blogspot.com Thanks!

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