Building Communities @ nodeconf 2015

A lot of the talks were not just about code or “hardcore” technical stuff, but also about social things like: building community, writing documentation, creating a safe environment. Which in the software meetups and talks scene has been growing as a topic. To dismay of some, and celebration of others.

This session started out as a discussion about the node project, “the Fork”: io.js and what it says about the community and the culture of node. This meant 3 core contributors telling about where they see the project failed, and what it did right, but also how to progress in the future.

First of all the io.js/node.js community would like to do better. They would like to be the role model for other projects. Adding stuff like a Code of Conduct instead of just code to a project. Some projects are still outshining in core values like: diversity, inclusivity and lowering the barrier to entry. And some projects are just outright mean. As an example the Johnny-Five (robotics) project was mentioned as a community which is really thriving and is able to maintain those key values, as
opposed to “that other robotics”-project in node.

A reason for this was giving by one of their maintainers: “Focus on the right stuff early on”. And to be frank that is true of any kind of standard you want to have in a project. Do you want a clean code base? Focus on that early on? Do you want a lot of test coverage? Don’t add it as an afterthought. Do you want anyone from any color, creed and orientation to feel welcome? Don’t “add” that when your code is ready to ship.

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