Learning from communities

Edinburgh has a raft of user groups — technology-related and otherwise. I usually attend the monthly PHP group, have dipped into EdinburghJS several times and this coming Thursday I’ll be going along to the Docker meetup.

The PHP talk this evening concerned the PHP FIG which I’d kind of put out of my mind after the meltdown back in May. It seems rumours of their demise had been greatly exaggerated.

Back at the Scotland PHP Conference, Jessica Rose presented on the topic of tech communities. One pearl was the Ruby community mantra:

“Matz is nice so we are nice”

From what I’ve seen of the latest raft of popular languages, Rust and Elixir have great supportive communities. There is no combativeness but frequent support, encouragement, understanding and learning. When challenged, their response is one of explanation. For example, “Here are the reasons behind this design decision, please tell us what we could do better.” and, if that fails to resolve any conflict, “If this isn’t clear then we have a problem with our documentation”.

PHP is often the target of derision — at times with good reason — but to see this kind of maturity among developers is very refreshing.

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