Why Join a Community?

Why Join a Community?

Posted on April 23, 2024 0 Comments

The Progress Community is a place to give and receive technical support, build meaningful relationships and connect with other developers.

The concept of “local communities” was born before fire, but online communities aren’t so new, either. Since the days of MySpace and Live Journal—both of which date me considerably—we’ve been connecting with others in virtual space.

With more and more people working remotely, participating in an online group for work or for pleasure has become a key part of our social wellbeing. It helps us connect with those who share our interests and keeps us from feeling alone in the world.

Take me, for example. I’m in no fewer than four Communities (about Communities), six Employee Resource Groups within Progress and—for my personal life—29 (Star Wars) Facebook groups, four Discord Servers (about writing and crying about writing), not to mention my social media networks.

In this thread on Quora, Rosemary O’Neill says that people may join communities for these reasons:

  • Ego Boost: demonstrate expertise
  • Altruism: a desire to help others
  • Get information or help: technical or psychological support

Goodness knows I need all the psychological support I can get!

Adding to that, this article from The Shift Spot mentions:

  • Meaningful relationships
  • Education
  • Inspiration
  • Opportunity
  • Influence
  • And more

In the lists above, each of the communities I’m a member of checks one or more of these boxes. The more boxes the better! And even though the topics may be the same, each community gives me access to a different group of people with different ideas, perspectives and expertise to share.

At Progress, we’re continuously working to build a space just like this, helping to check your community boxes. It’s not only a place to connect with your developer peers, but also with Progress itself. On the site, you’ll find active technical forums, groups for games, areas to share code, as well as boring business things like downloading software, reading knowledge base articles and opening support tickets. We’re a one-stop shop.

Let’s listen to what some of our members had to say when I asked them, “Why the Progress Community?”

“This is the best place to stay in touch with Progress development and product management. We can also exchange ideas with other Progress developers and support new members or seasoned developers trying new paths for the first time. As a service provider to the community ourselves, it’s also a great way to make yourself a name.” - Mike Fechner, Consultingwerk

“Over the course of several years, names have become recognizable. Some have become friends discussing similar problems and providing solutions. It’s a tribe of people, outside of your direct team, who you can come to for answers or to share your experience.

Also, the community’s gotten even broader and more active with great initiatives like the 'How to Human’ weekly streams or monthly fun corner challenges.” - Jochem Bökkers, Enso DX

“None of us needs to work in isolation. I’ve been working in the OpenEdge world for over 20 years and being part of the community of developers has always been important to me.

I’ve had extensive help from the world at large in my career, and it’s nice to also be able to give something back. The Progress Community is great because it’s not just other developers and admins that you rub noses with, but also employees of Progress Software, meaning the help and advice you get comes direct from the source. It’s also a great way to keep your ear to the ground with trends and enhancements.” - James Palmer, Vertu Motors

I love those quotes, but it wasn’t enough, so I dug deeper. My next question was, “What makes the Progress Community special?” The answers made me grin.

“Definitely the swag! I’m kidding—it’s the realization that we’re not just solving a technical issue, but that behind every post, there’s a developer who’s facing an issue. And your answer might be the one that resolves their problem. The same help you’d loved to have gotten when you suddenly hit a bug.

Maybe we’re all just superstitiously paying it forward in the hope that Murphy’s law will pass over on our project, but I’d rather believe we’re all part of the community to help each other out because we’ve been there and done that.”

- Jochem Bökkers

“Nichol and her team manage to keep this a fun place to be! Oh, and the prizes … I recently got rewarded with a Progress Community-themed drone. I now have to work on improving my skills as a pilot.”

- Mike Fechner

“It’s a great place to give and get support. It’s a great place to meet other people in the same situation as you. It’s a great place to discuss what’s new. But above all, it’s the domain of Nichol Goldstein, and without her we wouldn’t have any of the fun. It would be a very dry and arid wasteland. Fear not! For she injects good spirits into all areas of the Community and helps to keep us all sane!”

- James Palmer

👀 Well…that was surprising. Looks like it’s partly me. I’m flattered. But we should walk away with an appreciation for the value they’re getting from the Community…with the marvelous addition of prizes. (So many prizes.)

We’ve even recently launched an external moderator program which allows users to really make a name for themselves in a new way. I’m excited about the level of enthusiasm we’ve seen from people standing up and raising their hand to make the space as successful as possible. Of course, to quote Jochem again, “What’s not to love about having more power?” Not only that:

“It's a fun job! Taking care of the community is like taking care of your garden.” - Gilles Querret, Riverside Software

So come join in the Progress Community and play in our sandbox. Ask a question, answer a question—the Community starts with you.

Nichol Goldstein

Nichol manages the online Support Community for many of Progress’ products. She works closely with key areas of the business, ensuring fresh enablement content is readily available for her users as well as working with moderators to keep our forum discussions active and helpful. She is a keystone to the Community platform, also hosting additional opportunities to connect with peers such as contests and games. Be sure to check out the Progress Community here.


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