By jimgris on Nov 22, 2009
After spending Tuesday talking with hundreds of engineering students at ITHB Bandung (and after a great lunch with the university faculty), we found a very cool Bandung OpenSolaris User Group meeting at detikinet.com, which is Indonesia`s largest news portal (meeting references here and here). The gathering was held in a dimly lit driveway under a tent. For over two hours we sat on the floor on a carpet and just talked about building developer communities using OpenSolaris.
I didn`t present any slides. We just had a free-flowing conversation. It was a warm night and the rains (read: utterly massive downpours) had stopped, so everything was nice and relaxed and quiet. I tried to stress that it`s important to build community locally first (this way you can follow your own rules) but then to connect globally so you learn from others around the world. The second point I made was that there is no secret to establishing credibility in a community. It`s a simple concept, really. Contributing. That`s it. In fact, there is no other way. Your title does not matter. Nor does your age or political associations or position in any given organization. And you geography should`t matter, either. What matters most is your ability to get involved, to organize and engage new people, to build basic infrastructure and tools to facilitate participation, and then to contribute directly yourself. That`s how you build community -- and the building concept pervades all levels of a community. Everyone builds. And everyone builds from within the community, not from the outside. I also told a bunch of stories about the engineers, managers, and community developers I have met along the way, the ones I respect most and from who I still learn every day. Excellent night. Then the next morning some of guys took me to a nearby volcano.