Community Series 101 – What Is a Developer Community?

A developer community generally defined is a group of developers gathered in a place to achieve a common goal.

A developer community generally defined is a group of developers gathered in a place to achieve a common goal.

OK, you want to know what that looks like. I can understand that. The purpose of a developer community and the pieces that build the community puzzle are complex and different for each unique case. Developer communities usually stem from a general problem of information silos, senior developers spending their days answering questions rather than coding, or product teams creating things that their communities and customers don’t actually need or want.

What is a community?

Communities are all centered around contributing and interacting with the express purpose of establishing a foundation of organic knowledge sharing, ultimately becoming an on-demand knowledge base for faster workflows and decreased support costs. The best developer communities encourage the creation and curation of on-demand knowledge bases through gamification including badges, profile status achievements, and leaderboards. Games are a great way to increase engagement of the community and developers aren’t unique in the way they want to show off their hard-earned knowledge. A great developer community will also decrease support costs by moving your support system from a one-to-many or one-to-one to a many-to-many system. This transitions your organization from having a support team answering technical questions or having a senior developer answering questions to a self-sufficient community that answers each other’s questions.

One Man ArmySpeaking with a prospect the other day, their main problem revolved around the fact that their most senior developer is spending all day answering emails and messages for a team of 45 developers. They’re experiencing serious growing pains and needed a way to get him back to coding and building the product. His value is being wasted as a support member rather than what he’s an expert at. AnswerHub provides advanced search functions, easy tagging solutions, and expert identification in the area of Q&A which will potentially help this prospect create a support system of engaged developers rather than a “one-man army.”

As we go more in-depth over the next few weeks of this series, we’ll cover how Q&A works in a developer community, what topic focused articles can add, and how ideation can give your product team a roadmap, giving them a better finger on the pulse of your customers (both internal and external).

Read Community Series 102 – What if Q&A Was More Than Just Q&A? 

Read Community Series 103 – Ideation and Growing Organically