How do you engage with the community?
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One of the things I've noticed working with the IBM Champions is that they are always so busy supporting the community! In just an hour this afternoon, I skimmed through the #ibmchampion hashtag on Twitter and in one quick look I see:
Comfort + Inspiration
Whew! Did that make you feel tired just glancing at it? Instead of making you tired, I suggest it should make you feel both comforted and inspired. First, comforted - or perhaps just good about the world - because there are people out there, people you know learning all these things and sharing them with the world for no other reason than that they believe it will help folks. I mean, sure, they mostly make their livings with this stuff, too, but that's not what makes them put this content out into the world. That part is just because they want to contribute.
And then inspired because you can join them! My friend Gab has often reminded folks that they don't have to be capital 'E' experts to add knowledge to the world. When you've solved a problem or written a few lines of code and you struggled with it a bit, or needed to figure something out that you didn't find on a quick search --- well, that's an opportunity to add knowledge to the world. Tell others what you've figured out -- make a quick video, share a blog, add some code to GitHub, submit a session.
Engage with the tech community
I titled this blog with a bit of a pun, asking how you "engage" with users. The first level of meaning is that I wanted you to think about how you connect with other users or devs or admins in your technology community. The IBM Champions tend to do this by putting content out into the world, by answering questions, and by connecting with each other at events.
One of those events is the second level of meaning and the pun... User group events are a great way to engage -- and I recently came back from a user group event in Rotterdam called Engage. There are many
What else do we have in Common?
Yes, that's another pun. While I was in the Netherlands, many of my Champions were in San Antonio at another user group event: Common's spring conference PowerUp18. Since I wasn't there, IBM Champion Liam Allan shared a quick review of the event for us:
PowerUp18 was a social event for me. It was a time where friends from all across Europe and North America come to collaborate and talk about new ideas and the future of the platform. I make most of this time by taking the chance to talk to every person I cross and that’s the benifit for me. As well as that, the announcement of yum being GA during the conference was a highlight for myself, the industry and the operating system. The conference really did show open source is going to help push the IBM i into spaces its not been before. PowerUp18 was made up of about 500-600 attendees. Although it seemed like most of the attendees were RPG developers, there was a wider interest in open source technologies that are available on IBM i - especially from vendors. This is a good direction for the operating system and the IBM i industry too.
We started this post with great examples of the work that IBM Champions do -- well, actually, since IBM Champions are active in running, speaking at, and supporting most of the major user group events, we spent the whole post talking about it.
I have two main points, though. First, the work of these Champions builds knowledge and community around the work that they, and you, do with IBM software. And second, they're not Champions because they're special or rockstars. They're Champions because they stepped up, recognized they had learned a little something that someone else could use, and felt compelled to share it. Think about what you're learning every day, then spend a moment sharing it.
Tell us what you're working on and how you're engaging with the community around you.