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Community Tooling at Hasura

07 December, 2020 | 3 min read

Intro

“Community is core to the identity of Hasura. We are the kind of people for whom open-source makes sense.”

We’ve written this before. It still holds true.

One of the opportunities -- perhaps challenges -- in a fastly growing community is choosing the appropriate tools for interaction with users all over the globe. Recently, we’ve made some changes to our community tooling and want to share our thought process as well as the outcome.

Where can you find us?

tl;dr:

Discord - A real-time, synchronous relationship building chat with other Hasura users including quick discussions, watercooler, and language specific (japanese, spanish, etc) chat.
GH Discussions - Need to troubleshoot, initiate a long-form technical discussion, show off your work, or interact with our engineering team? This is where to start.
Hasura Community Newsletter - Hasura community & product highlights once monthly. It isn’t spam, or a marketing list, we promise.
Hasura Community Call - A monthly ‘what’s on the roadmap’, early feature demos, and product updates from our engineering team
Hasura Office Hours - A live, informal 30 min Zoom meeting. Bring your questions, we’ll bring answers.

And, of course, in your social platform of choice

Why GitHub Discussions?

Wasn’t Discord good enough? Why introduce another tool?

The reasons, most simply, include:

  • Searchability of the discussion topics - It is important to ensure that answers to common questions remain discoverable and that your contributions aren’t lost to chat history so that others can benefit from the questions you ask.
  • Ease of access to a platform that is open and doesn’t require joining “yet another” Discord server
  • The ability to convert a valuable/complex discussion into an open issue and work on fixing it for our users
  • The team can tend to queries and questions faster and with ease because of the UI/UX.

Decision making process

Of course, such a decision is not taken lightly. Such a change brings to mind a number of important questions. While a detailed answer to each question would be quite lengthy, the summary of response below should be sufficient to share our thought process. Of course, if you have more questions, you can always reach out to us to discuss (in public or private)

  • What other options exist?
  • What does this change mean for our community?
  • What happens to Discord after moving to Discussions for support?
  • If we can provide support on Discussions, why do we need Discord for? Do we need it anymore?

What other options did we consider?

Multiple tools exist for Q&A style interaction including Discourse (who also has an amazing team) and 3rd-party sites like Stack Overflow. While we will participate in Stack Overflow as we can based on resourcing...the primary motivation for GH is that we know that you, our user, spends a fair amount of time interacting with the tool. In addition, the ability to take an ongoing discussion and convert to an issue, maintain history, and provide tracking from question to issue to PR to merge and release was too good to ignore.

What does this change mean for our community?

The primary place to interact with a Hasura engineer on a technical question is Github Discussions. It is that simple.

What happens to Discord after moving to Discussions? What changes?

Does this change mean Discord will go away? No! We are still committed to using Discord to keep the community spirit that we have alive. However, as we add more platforms to our suite of community tools, we will be modifying channels to more accurately reflect the intent for how each tool will be used.

Discord is still the central hub for our community to hang out, learn, and collaborate. We would love for you all to start moving your technical questions about using Hasura to GitHub Discussions going forward so that others can find them easily and benefit from them as well. If we recommend a new location for a question, don’t take offense it isn’t personal. And you can help us by recommending GitHub Discussions to new users as well. :)

As part of this migration, you will probably see us begin to streamline the channel list in Discord and focus our efforts on providing a vibrant place for you to interact with the community team and other Hasura users.

Also, helping new members of the community know that Discussions are now available is super useful. Please help us in this effort.

If we can provide support on Discussions, why do we need Discord for? Do we need it anymore?

Discord will be focused around our community, collaborations and -- hopefully someday soon -- local communities where people can meet other Hasura users who live near them.

Conclusion

A community is only as strong as its members.

The tooling, while important, is simply a means to an end.

We appreciate your patience, and support, as we grow. Thank you for being a part of the community. If you have any concerns or questions we are always available to discuss them either publicly or privately.

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This post was a collaboration between

  • Vishwa Mehta
  • Tyler Hannan

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