re: Why Dev.to is winning over Hashnode? VIEW POST

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re: This is a really thoughtful post Sarthak! I want to add more thoughts later once I get back to my desktop machine. 😄
 

I know, what I mentioned is not even 10% of the efforts you guys are putting in the community. Would love to hear your thoughts eagerly 😊

 

Okay, here goes brain-dump time. If I tried to offer a cohesive response I'd be here all day trying to get it right. But thanks a lot for the platform to wax philosophical a bit about what's working and what's not.

  • We are truly built to solve problems for members and make people better developers. Community is a means to an ends for us in a lot of ways. Inclusion is a critical core focus, but mostly because we want people included in something that matters. We reject gatekeeping in our space but gatekeeping wouldn't matter if there was nothing worthwhile behind the gate.
  • With this utilitarianism at the core of our offering, we really feel like we're trying to offer better solutions to the stuff developers have consistently needed to do since the beginning of time: Publish their work, send signals out about what's going on, and collectively help each other get stuff done. In our craft, community is a tool.
  • We've always piggy-backed off of existing platforms and concepts. When I was starting this place, I noticed the concept of posting to Medium and then sharing on Twitter as a thing that was gaining popularity. But Medium and Twitter, while huge and important due to their scale, are simply lacking in some of the ideals of software communities. These types of platforms serve a purpose, but are not going to improve at directly serving the software community as quickly as we will. I don't see Hashnode as necessarily building on top of these concepts. If anything, they are now, but I don't think they were founded on these principles the way we were.
  • Ironically, we pair the utilitarianism of publishing information on software that people need to do their jobs, with the randomness of unicorn buttons which don't really serve a real purpose. I think that's an idiosyncrasy that speaks to my own personality. I don't really like things that are purely useful, or purely useless. I think the nuance here is where the beauty lies.
  • Our whole team, now six people, tend to worry about different sorts of things. I didn't find a bunch of people that see the world just like me. There's just enough alignment for us to get along. Many important elements of running this operation are things I'm personally terrible at dealing with or completely ill-equipped. @jess, @peter and the team are great about fussing over completely different types of things so we end up coming up with decent stuff in the end.
  • I think we do a decent job at balancing what's good enough now and what could be awesome in the long run. We sometimes launch good enough features and let them sit around half-built for a year before getting around to it. We wouldn't do this if we had all the resources in the world, but in practical terms, I think we've done a pretty good job of this so far. It doesn't always result in the perfect experience or unified design, but it helps us keep plugging away and solving problems. If we were too perfectionist about what we put out there, we wouldn't be doing a lot of shipping. We have a fairly hardcore continuous-deployment approach and I hope we only get faster with this stuff.
  • We have a product that is getting better and better, but we definitely got here primarily through "marketing", though I don't think we strictly differentiate our divisions or anything like that. We put our personalities, intentions, and goals out there and try to make it all work cohesively.
  • For quite a while this was a one-person personal project which gave me a lot of time to think about what this could be and not rush things early on. I think we established a pretty great foundation before trying to make this thing too big.
  • Online communities have been an important thing for me my whole life, so I feel like I have a lot of reference points for what has worked in the past and had been forgotten by social media. But these new platforms also have delivered a lot of interesting ideas. Product-wise, we're mostly a mishmash of interesting ideas.
  • We have a really nice growth mechanism due to the usefulness of what people put out there on DEV. Other places likely do to, but this is really core to what we do.
  • We really strive to be patient and accept that it's hard to convince people to do anything. They sort of have to figure it out on their own. So we do much more nudging than demanding or selling.

Anyway, that's a bunch of random thoughts. Not sure it's the important stuff, but it's stuff. We're still a pretty small operation, but we are growing and it's great that what we're doing is becoming so important for folks' lives/careers/interests.

Happy coding ❤️

we definitely got here primarily through "marketing"

I'll admit I first followed dev on twitter to get the free stickers and over time I starting being drawn into the community.

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