An open technology community is only as strong as the community that contributes to it, and Node.js is no exception. While the Node.js community is strong and getting stronger, there are always opportunities to bring in more end users to the fold when it comes to feedback and contributions.
With any open tech community, however, this is often easier said than done. Developers are, by their nature, busy individuals. It’s increasingly difficult to balance between building innovative solutions with Node.js and the contributions needed to create a more user-friendly future.
For the second in our series of #NodeMinds blog posts leading up to Node Interactive (read the first post here), we asked some of our #NodeMinds experts how they would encourage more feedback from end users. Here’s what a handful of them had to say:
“First, attend Node Interactive and other Node.js events. They’re a great way to meet others in the community and understand what we’re doing and the direction we’re taking. Second, I encourage all users to participate in GitHub and share their thoughts there. End users have context in solving real world problems, and their use and experience can profoundly help inform the ways it can be used.” — Mark Hinkle, Node.js Foundation (@mrhinkle)
The community committee (CommComm) group is place to get engaged. The user survey is another great place to get engaged. Joining the Node.js Foundation as members so they have a voice in voting on the direction and representation of the community. All those are great ways to get involved. Of course, coming out and being part of the events, meetups education, training, certification. All that will lead to a higher quality output because we’ll have better qualified individuals.” — Todd Moore, IBM (@tmmoore_1)
“I would like to see an Enterprise Users group formed under the Node.js Foundation’s Community Committee (“CommComm”). The CommComm is a relatively new charter for us. We need organizers and active contributors to help surface the most pressing needs, so we can prioritize them. Also, if enterprise end users happen to work at a company that is not a member of the Node.js Foundation, they should direct their leader to come have “THE TALK.” We need partners and contributors in this journey. You all can help.” — Dan Shaw (@dshaw)
“I think the community should continue to ensure that there is user feedback and testing in beta programs for new Node releases so end users can do quality assurance and help with any regressions. That seems to be the best way to begin and continue active engagement with end users.” — Wade Olson, Accenture
“One way is by reaching out to NodeCore and letting us know what their priorities are. Over past couple weeks, there have been a number of individuals from companies all over the place who have reached out and let me know directly what they felt the priorities should be for Node going forward. Having that kind of reaching out directly is critical. Companies should not assume that we know what they want.” — James Snell, nearForm (@jasnell)
“I think one great way to get more enterprise end users involved would be to participate in the community committee effort to get more user feedback (See this link.). I would love to see more of the leaders in among the community help move this forward. In particular, the steps outlined in this link are a good place to start, either based on your past experience doing something like this or just sharing good ideas.” — Michael Dawson, IBM (@mhdawson1)
“Node.js leaders would do well to embrace corporate initiatives that are coming from it. Having support from the corporate side and having large-scale projects and applications being built with Node is a huge plus for Node itself. It’s a win-win for Node to be more widely used and recognized, and having corporate users contributing to the community. I would encourage Node leadership to continue to be loud in its support of those corporate initiatives and tie that back to encouraging more contributions.” — Tom Jacobs, Accenture
“Contributing into the core of the projects is a tough ask, but bugs and features don’t write themselves. Only a small fraction of the community will be able to engage at the core code level, but contributions on docs or help fleshing out bug reports or feature requests all help.” — Alex Pollitt, Tigera (@lxpollitt)
To sum up: User feedback is critical to the success of Node.js. Any one of the people quoted in this post would be happy to help you get involved in becoming an active Node.js contributor. As the node community grows, the technology can only improve.
What are your suggestions for encouraging greater end user feedback? Let us know here or tweet your ideas with the hashtag #NodeMinds.