Excerpts from Devrel Handbook - Starting a new community
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Avinash Harsh
Developer Relations  |  March 17, 2021
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Communities are created by groups of people who want to solve a common problem. If you are forming a new community, focus on value and engagement. Don't forget to look at existing communities that serve a similar purpose. Analyze the dynamics of these communities and identify how you can augment their efforts.

Our respondents advice devrels who are building communities to:

  • Look for the places that people ask for help and where they talk about the technology.
  • Use these findings to define a mission and purpose for the community.
  • Focus on constant and meaningful engagement
  • Ensure that the community feels comfortable in asking questions

Here are some other great insights from our respondents

Daniel Matisto Phiri (@malgamves) Developer Advocate at Strapi,“ I don't think people start communities per se. Communities are formed around a common struggle and then nurtured.”

Leandro Margulis (@leanmarg), VP Developer Relations at UnifyID, “I would look for where my target audience already congregates and work on building a presence there that adds value and builds trust and credibility. ”

Leon Stigter (@retgits), Sr Product Manager at Lightbend, discusses the importance of inclusive communities. “Creating a genuinely safe and inclusive space is both hard and mandatory. New people want to join a group where they feel safe enough to ask questions and participate.”

On the topic of what to share among communities, everyone echoes a similar sentiment

  • Focus on content that creates value
  • Avoid sales pitches and marketing messages

Discord was a favorite among the choice of platforms for community building. Easy engagement and positive use of tools are the key reasons why developers choose Discord. Stackoverflow and Slack are close favorites as well.

If you want to build a great community, focus on three things, a defined purpose, valuable content, and a great platform. If you are interested in sharing your experiences for our derel handbook, drop us a note!

Author: Avinash Harsh is the co-founder of Weavr AI, a passionate community building and a wannabe cartoonist. Previously co-founder & CEO of Halosys, A MobileFirst API Platform (acquired).

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