Great Article on Community

I just read a great article on DevProConnections by Michael K. Campbell,

The SQL Server Community: A Welcoming Place for Newbies

It reminded me of when I started developing on the Microsoft platform back in the early 90s and how welcoming I found developers to be on the forums (CompuServ & Usenet back then). Looking back, the “no question is a stupid question” culture was probably the #1 reason why I stuck with Microsoft for so many years. Of course having great products is also key, but if you can’t quickly learn how to use them then there’s not much point to sticking with it.

I think because I grew up professionally in this community culture is why I have a strong passion and loyalty for the Microsoft tools I use today. That’s not to say I don’t criticize our own tools or use other platforms or tools, but I think people always have a favorite based on their past experiences with the people that repeatedly helped them the most.

That’s why I want to reiterate what I said yesterday to our MVPs as well as all the folks in the Microsoft developer community that selflessly help others and aren’t arrogant but instead are welcoming to newbies. It’s leaders like you that shape the culture and behaviors of the community and make it a fantastic place to be. And here is a plea to all the forum moderators, community leaders and participants alike, “Please be excellent to each other”. Don’t make newbies feel like idiots. If we do, we won’t have a fostering community left for our future developers.

And speaking of a fostering community of developers (on all platforms not just .NET) head to the Silicon Valley Code Camp this weekend to see over 1600 of us geeking out and learning a ton. I can’t wait!

Enjoy, and have fun learning!