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Session 9C - How to grow a developer community

9c How to grow a developer community

Largely tech group … most involved in their respective communities: Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle, Meteor, Audodesk, Mango, Mozilla, Intrahealth

sandstorm.io … crowdfunder project yesterday

Scott, 11 years at Adobe, running CQ community, mainly developer participants, worldwide participation … with Carey working on how to expand and support developer community.

Drano: asking how to motivate developers when they won’t have personal use for the tool (healthcare management tool) … majority in developing world so some value to them for experience and opportunity for recognition. Could reputation mechanics help? Carey has simple points system leading to badges.

Jade: Meteor positioning

@BethMassi, MS: make that funnel as wide as possible but hardest is gathering broad community - MS are getting people to write docs, eg Azure … but then you get too much content so curation and presentation challenge. Recognition as base, then community contributor, on to moderator and eventually MVP status (only 2000 worldwide - often consultants who use that as honorific).

Roland Smart @rsmartly Oracle: max community size is probably fixed so growth ceiling. Motivating people to participate is needed - can’t just rely on gravity if asking people for valuable time. Pipeline of future leaders will cycle from contributor to moderator.

For startup community especially but even at scale you need value proposition to draw people to your funnel.

Value of engaging external devs with company engineers … reward super-users like access to calls, ticket to summit. Gamification works!

Beth: need a profile tool so you can engage.

Scott: monthly “ask the community” webinar with content related to current questions and maybe partners … learning and socialization opportunity.

Need honey on the rim of that funnel!

Tori suggests getting select group and show them love, show progress.

Scott will engage personally with participants.

For startup:
How do I find out about your product? Why do I go there? What do I need to get started?
Gotta build trust and have something sufficiently engaging for at least a small number of developers and then amplify that.

Scott: surprising level of group activity on LinkedIn, Facebook

Meteor doesn’t do drip marketing or gamification in community.

Oracle uses straightforward gamification strategy for forums today … next iteration will add more complexity. ACE (like MVP) needs peer review and developer peer review with clear documentation of path to ACE. Will allow nurturing and even for non-ACE participants, their profile, experience, specialty will be clear.

Key is motivation … doesn’t have to be gamification, but need incentive to participate. Helps with onboarding by establishing engagement pattern. Community must offer some product-related benefit: knowledge, downloads, problem solving.

ACE/MVP status is very valuable to those individuals … brings them work through the community. So directory offers value in new project initiation. T-shirts! Even internal participants appreciate the love.

Startup platform : launchpad and google group is enough. Technology not as important as goals … what are my goals and what behaviors do I want to encourage in order to achieve those?
Does not have to be super-sophisticated.

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