Advantages for programmers when involving in Software Community sites and Discussion forums
What’s your opinion on encouraging programmers in a company to involve in Software Community sites and Discussion forums?
(a) Good for knowledge sharing and self improvement OR (b) Waste of time and that leads to less productivity
I believe that it will make the programmer dynamic for technical knowledge sharing and self improvement. This opinion is from a developer perspective. You can agree or not and can come up with points to agree or argue.
As you know this is an era of open source tools. Amazing thing is that many of the open-source tools are available in BSD, GPL, CC, MIT licenses. These products are developed and maintained by the “Discussion communities”. There may or may not be a sponsor, but most of them are supported by volunteers. If your company is making some penny from it, its also your food. So giving back to the community makes you closer to community and to make sure you have the food for tomorrow too.
Advantages for programmers when involving in Software Community and Discussion forums
1. Programmers are getting more exposure to different topics in real time.
He can interact with other developers helping them. They are known by others and when they are in need of help, people will also help with the same enthusiasm he has been showing while involving in discussions. Helping each other add value to us (of course it is one of our company values)
2. It will increase the logic, talents of the developer and thus increasing the productivity
3. Programmers can also learn the best practices in programming and new techniques.
4. It will improve Communication skills, Analytical and Technical skills of Programmers
5. They will learn the best practices to respond and interact to stake holders in software business
Some Popular Software Community Discussion forums and Q&A forum
1. Stack Overflow is the one of most popular programming Q & A site.
Stack Overflow is collaboratively built and maintained by your fellow programmers. If you are a developer you may know about this popular site. You are free to ask questions, free to answer questions, free to read and you will definitely get answers and solutions from Stack flow. Googling for a programming related question will mostly point you to stackoverflow. People ask and answer questions. They don’t get any money for answering a question, but you will get some reputations or points for good and valid answers. As the points increases, the system will trust you and your roles will change and add more badges. Answering a question is not as simple, as you think :-) . You really want to use your brains else you will also be getting down votes than upper votes. That’s like a game, really a game to learn things, a little fun along the way. It took time for me to learn the good things and join ( http://stackoverflow.com/users/487878/hari-k-t ).
If you are a developer you may be already logging into irc channels of your interest. For eg: I was mostly interested in channels #auraphp, #lithium , #zend , #doctrine, #symfony frameworks in irc.freenode.net . I used to hang on to these channels. You get in touch with the core developers and get help for your queries and also help newbies. This way again you will get in touch with variety of topics which you may or may not have gone through in your software development life. This always helps us when we are facing issues in programming.
3. JOINING GROUPS & MAILING LIST is good.
You always get in touch with developers, ask, answer questions. All the three ( stackoverflow, irc, mailing list or groups ) will increase the logic, talents of the developer and thus increasing the productivity than decreasing it. He can also learn the best practices and new techniques. Everyone is not perfect, but we can make anything perfect with time. So joining the communities will always give the best talents for the community and the organization.
In this context I am shooting some questions to your mind. Have you ever thought of the PR relationship in your company? How does Mozilla, Google, Yahoo etc have grown so fast than Microsoft? Are they building it by spending money on recruiting agency or advertising agency?
I really love open source software. Don’t forget to contribute back if you are really working on open-source stuffs through these communities. Every company will be using open-source tools in one way or the other. This era is for open-source, GPL, BSD and many more licenses. It really rocks than paying a recurring deposit to proprietary software’s. Now the ball is in your court. Time to think and act wisely
I will come up with more topic. Stay tuned. Have a great day ahead…