A year of gaming on drupal.stackexchange.com

More than a fun passtime?

by petrakis.design

About this presentation

It's short, subjective and presents no great truths about the world

  • I am going to tell you why I like drupal.stackexchange
  • I am going to tell you why drupal.stackexchange is good for me
  • I am going to tell you why drupal.stackexchange habits are good when working on drupal.org issue queues
  • Finally, I am going to suggest that what is good for me, may be good for other people too
  • And you can take that thought home and let it sink in some
  • And then, you can go on drupal.stackexchange and try things out


Drupal Answers is a quite popular destination for Drupal travellers built upon the stackexchange network of platforms and has been around and thriving for a long while.

This talk will reflect upon a year of using the platform, presenting important points of consideration for a Drupal developer, for a Drupal enthusiast and for the Drupal community at large.

To top it off there will be some musing on the probable conflict of interests with drupal.org as well as the case for synergism between the two.

What is drupal.stackexchange?

It's a Q & A platform, community-driven and community-moderated

It builts on classical online-forum ideas and adds lots of gamification elements

Gamification is a wonderful way to "exploit" hobbyists and enthusiasts, to get them to work hard for you

There is no way to reward them in a material and direct way; you use the frame of an online game platform to motivate them instead

But, if that you is a we the following numbers should give you some joy and pride

Get more reports on: https://data.stackexchange.com/drupal/

How is stackexchange rewarding?

It offers a recognizable status

It uses a positive reinforcement concept to constantly give feedback and reward your engagement

You can collect and/or award points as a member of the community

Gives you power (and responsibilities): You can upvote/downvote/ask/answer/award/edit/flag

It gives a sense of continuity and progress as it traces your activity





And more reviews

How is this fun to start with?

I grant you that; the notion of fun is purely subjective

It can be fun though to learn, educate, collaborate or even compete towards a common goal

The goal? Problem solving

So, I return the question: Can problem-solving be fun?

I personally like it!

How is this a game again?

It comes with rules and a sense of competition

You get even more competition through bounties

Plus, you need knowledge and skills and you need to hone them

And finally, time is ticking:

  • this question you are looking at has been online for 3 minutes now.
  • Ohh... Somebody edited it already
  • Double-ohh... Somebody posted a comment
  • Let's go!

Why should I care as a Drupal developer?

  • It keeps you fit-for-drupal, silly
  • It offers healthy competition
  • It's social, like, for nerds
  • It offers reputable reputation (looking for a job perhaps)
  • Learning using a quizzes approach
  • My favorite: A great opportunity for fine-tuning your local dev build+deploy toolset

Why should I care as a Drupal enthusiast?

Because this is the place where you can post questions, and people will respond. And quite fast!

These people will help you formulate your question in the best possible way

The best answers will float atop, for your convenience

You get a reward too, for a good question that is

And how about you partaking in the miracle of collaborative knowledge base building? Wow!

Bonus points: Very extensive support material for site-builders

Why should I care as a Drupal community member?

It can measure - to a certain extent - whether and in which ways Drupal is popular among CMS developers and users

It does allow you to monitor trends inside the community

E.g. how many questions for "twig+D8 in Q4 of 2016"" or "D9 in Q1 of 2017"?

But, most importantly. That beast is fed by the community itself, that is you.

So, you can take some pride in that.

Usage graphs

What's wrong with (using) drupal.org?

Everything. Especially the redesign, it seriously hurts my eyes.




Okay, not the best joke really. :-)

drupal.org is great. But...

drupal.org does not offer - yet - a Knowledge Base

drupal.stackexchange is one though; a very finely groomed, trimmed, loved, community-powered Knowledge Base

It offers a very simple and effective Q & A structure for its documents.

Each document is actively and passionately curated as far as its metadata and conformance to the suggested structure and writing style goes.

This on its own is nothing you will find on drupal.org.

And its suuuuper useful on the long run; think quality

What happens when frequenting both the d.o. issue queues and drupal.stackexchange?

drupal.stackexchange made me more conscious about the actual content quality, e.g. an issue's description.

And got me vaccinated with some good habits:

  • avoiding extensive comments
  • avoiding asking duplicate questions
  • tagging/categorizing

Tip of the day: The d.o. issue queues is also a Knowledge Base, a bit more rough on the edges

Having trained users and editors working with it can improve the quality of that resource

A healthy drupal diet consists of...

Reading your watchdog/weeklyDrop/random-drupal-blogs regularly

Sprinting whenever possible, if you are the sprinter type

Participating in the issue queues on drupal.org

Asking/answering 4-5 questions a week on drupal.stackexchange

More than a fun passtime? For sure

  • I grew as a Drupal developer
  • I grew as a Drupal site-builder
  • I grew as a problem solver
  • My perception grew as to what the Drupal user-base worries about, knows of and is interested in
  • I got to know a few more people from this weird bunch

Thank you!

A präsentation by https://petrakis.design

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