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Gracie Gregory (she/her) for The DEV Team

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DevDiscuss S2E3: The History of IRC and the Evolution of Community Tools

Hey everyone! I am sharing this week's episode of the DevDiscuss podcast in place of Jess who is taking some well-deserved time off. She'll be back soon to share these weekly podcast posts. In the meantime, happy listening! - Gracie

We're midway through the week and that means... a new episode of DevDiscuss! In this week's installment, @ben and @jess talk about Instant Relay Chat (IRC) and other community-building tools. Kind of the perfect topic for the DEV Community, no?

play pause DevDiscuss

DevDiscuss had two special guests this week.

Sara Chipps, Co-Founder of Jewelbots, which provides STEM-based toys and kits for kids. She is also the Director of Public Q&A at StackOverflow.

Jason C. McDonald is the CEO and Lead Developer at MousePaw Media, which provides cutting-edge educational software for classrooms, homeschooling, alternative learning programs, ESL programs, and more.

In short, this week's guests know a LOT about communicating with budding technologists and developing community resources in a way that's scalable, engaging, and meets everyone where they're at.

In this episode, Jess, Ben, Sara, and Jason discuss

  • How IRC fits into their respective developer journeys
  • The evolution of hacker communication tools and communities
  • Various aspects of IRC's culture, good and bad.

... and much more! Listen to S2E3 of DevDiscuss today!

I'd also like to share some exciting news...

We've expanded our sticker giveaway to all podcast platforms! Now, if you review one of DEV's podcasts for the first time on any channel, we'll send you a pack of free laptop stickers.

All you have to do is listen, rate+review, and fill out this form 🎉

Quick Listening Links

Huge thanks to @levisharpe for producing & mixing the show, and @peter and @saronyitbarek for their editorial oversight.

_Thank you to our Season 2 sponsors who help make this show possible. If you're in the market for any of their services, please check out

Top comments (3)

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

At around 27:30 you talk about how it can be overwhelming dealing with so many variations of notifications and communications channels.
That's exactly what I used to use IRC for, via BitlBee. I could see IRC channels, Twitter, Mail, Facebook, etc., all in one interface and even more importantly, it was in chronological order. None of this problem where you look at a tweet and don't know whether you're supposed to scroll up or down to find the replies.
I don't really use it much any more because all the big players in social media do their best to not allow interoperability with other platforms and it becomes an arms race trying to stay connected. But it was a great example of how things could be.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Sounds interesting. I remember writing the world's worst IRC client back in the day!

mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins

If had an IRC server I would be so there!