7 ways the Kentico Community can help you

Posted: 11/30/2019 10:36:34 AM by Chris Bass | with 0 comments
Filed under: Community, Process

It's been a long year - I've interacted a lot more this year with the Kentico community on Slack this year, I went to my second Kentico Connections, and met some great developers and members of the Kentico team.

If you'd asked me before, what the value was for having a developer in touch with the Kentico community, I'd probably have said 'Eh, you hear news about stuff going on a bit sooner, and it's good for tech support'. Both true, but not really hitting the crux of what makes community interaction important for your software team, and it's worth considering the benefits of that interaction.

1) Getting news sooner

Pretty self-explanatory on the surface, and one I could've told you even before joining the community in any significant way: If you're going to the Connections event, you'll hear about things in more detail, in advance. If you're in the community, even if you miss the initial 'announcement' website article, people will be talking about future changes and plans, and you'll hear about it before you otherwise would.

2) Tech support

Again, this is one that was pretty obvious to me, even before - the community channels let you ask questions to other developers working with Kentico, without having to work directly with Kentico Support - sometimes, all you need is a 'does this feature exist?' or a 'hey, has anyone done this thing, and how did it work out for you?'.

3) Giving your perspective to Kentico

One thing about the Kentico community in particular, is that the Kentico product team themselves are a part of it, too. If developers are talking about the ways they're working on a given problem, Kentico is noticing it - by being part of the community, you have Kentico's ear - whether that's conversations in Slack, components you've built for the Marketplace, or directly meeting and talking with developers at Connections. Ideas.kentico.com exists, but there is a lot of value in directly interacting with the Kentico team outside of that.

4) Hearing other Kentico users' concerns

In addition to the Kentico team, there's direct value in simply having the ear of other developers. Even when not working on a specific task, hearing 'oh, other developers are asking about email marketing a lot' both tells you 'other teams are making use of this feature, if we're not then we may be missing out', and helps when estimating out what actually making those changes would entail. User groups in your local community are especially valuable for this, and taking charge in creating those spaces positions you well to have an ear to what other developers are interested in.

5) Learning about better solutions

Relatedly, for the times where other teams *are* using features, if they've put out tools that you can use or purchase, it can make your website development smoother. Howeer, this only works if you've heard of them. Kentico's new Marketplace goes a long way to helping devs find the available tools, but nothing beats word of mouth, whether that be a conversation-piece while chatting with a dev who built or uses them, or a presentation given at Connections or a user group, or a direct recommendation in response to talking about what you're working on. In addition, for those teams with entrenched products, hearing about the company that's streamlined their entire process and has tons of automation, organization, and unit testing, can be the fire under the seat that encourages your own team to finally implement those process changes that you've been hoping to eventually work with.

6) Networking

There can be a lot of value in just getting your name out there. Especially for agencies or B2B sites, showing up in local user groups, development Slack channels, DevNet, or Connections, can be great for getting your name known to a large group of customers that you know are already committed to Kentico. These are some of the best places for finding that key partnership or just finding the person whose advice you need to move your product forward.

7) Team solidarity

And finally, there is value in just having a place to 'be' your team. Being able to wear a badge (either physical or on your account), saying 'we are all members of X company', and being out as heralds for your team, can be formative for your own team - being not just 'developers' or 'marketers' but 'the Wakefly team' has certainly taken me out of a perspective of 'how can I personally use this' and into 'how can I bring this product to my team to better our services', and I think that's a great benefit to being a part of a community like Kentico.

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