I’ve been giving a lot of thought to online communities as of late. I’ve been a bit discouraged at some behavior I’ve seen in the Scala ecosystem recently. Enough so that I felt the need to subtweet about it.
I’m always really disappointed when really prominent folks in the Scala community are mean to people.— Matt Farmer (@farmdawgnation) June 29, 2017
I truly believe that open source software is an essential, important piece of maintaining innovation velocity in the technology industry. I’ve advocated heavily for this idea everywhere I’ve worked, and even written about it for prior employers on occasion. I volunteer my time to help maintain open source software that I’ve benefited from in the past. And yet, as much as I love and support open source development, I have to admit that the biggest risk to the continued health of the open source ecosystem is the behavior of the people involved in open source development.
Nothing that I witnessed on these most recent occasions was particularly egregious, but after reflecting on my frustrations for a few weeks I wanted to share some thoughts for constructive community interactions within technical communities. The individuals who triggered these thoughts will probably never read them, and probably wouldn’t care if they did. But perhaps someone else will find them useful. If nothing else, writing them down should be cathartic.
Without further ado:
TL;DR: Just be nice, and encourage other participants in your community to do the same. At the end of the day you can have the most well thought out, perfect software out there. Yet it won’t matter if nobody uses it because they don’t want to deal with you.
End of song.