Word of mouth continues to be the most efficient and effective way to promote a developer community. And, with the growth of social media, it's even more effective. However, happy developers do not automatically refer their colleagues to any community.
Based on a survey of 1,188 business professionals conducted by the Enterprise Council on Small Business, only 41% of respondents who say they have a high "likelihood to recommend" actually speak to others about their positive experience.
Those who do speak out are considered to be "active advocates," while those who do not speak out are considered to be "passive supporters."
The two groups are similar in that they both:
- Are involved in networking groups
- Enjoy sharing information
- Are optimistic
- Have an average peer network of 10 colleagues
There are tremendous benefits for developers to speak out on behalf of, and refer colleagues to, their community:
- Share your knowledge
- Establish yourself as a thought leader
- Help your colleagues
- Be a leader
Here are six things you can communicate to convince other developers to promote and participate in your developer community:
- You will feel better when you share your knowledge and expertise to help others.
- Like the open source community and the Java Users Group, you're contributing to your network when you share your knowledge and experience around coding for a particular project.
- You'll enjoy helping others write good code more quickly. (Do you think this code snippet would help some of your peers? If so, how?)
- Tell a story about how the community addressed a need or solved a problem. Don't ask for a testimonial. Share your experience and “pay it forward.”
- Engage developers to identify barriers and create solutions that help others.
- Promote a conversation or dialogue -- nothing too formal, rather helpful and informational.
What have you found that works to get your fellow developers involved in your developer community?