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Welcome to Software Development on Codidact!

Will you help us build our independent community of developers helping developers? We're small and trying to grow. We welcome questions about all aspects of software development, from design to code to QA and more. Got questions? Got answers? Got code you'd like someone to review? Please join us.

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Meta How can we grow this community?

After a few years of casually using stack-exchange sites and wandering around on coda-dict, I feel there are mainly three components to the quality of the content on each of these sites: the kno...

posted 11mo ago by mr Tsjolder‭

Answer
#1: Initial revision by user avatar mr Tsjolder‭ · 2023-07-27T08:17:22Z (11 months ago)
After a few years of casually using stack-exchange sites and wandering around on coda-dict, I feel there are mainly three components to the quality of the content on each of these sites:

1. the knowledge base
2. the community
3. the game

### The Knowledge Base

I think most answers to this question focus on this aspect of the site.
It is also an important aspect, especially if communities end up building (parts of) their knowledge base using sites like this (I think [Tex - LaTeX Stack Exchange](https://tex.stackexchange.com/) is a nice example of this).

On top of the other propositions that have been made here, I would like to propose to just **_ignore_ questions from "other sites" when looking for an answer**.
I believe most developers rely on a search engine and the internet to get a quick answer to their questions.
Most obvious answers should be in the official documentation and can be found there.
In this case, there would be no real need to ask a question.
Otherwise, you would probably end up on stackoverflow where your question already has an answer.
Instead of just clicking the link and reading through the available answers, I think it might not be a bad idea to ignore these links and just formulate your question on codidact.
Afterwards, you can still collect your answer from other sides and move on, but at least the knowledge base on this platform will get a chance to grow.

### The Community

This is one of the aspects that I personally have little experience with.
I am more of a casual user that has occasionally helped with cleaning up review queues (on stackecxhange).
However, this is also seems an important part for people on these sites.
If I understood things correctly, the community building has been outsourced to discord.
Discord might indeed be a better place to build a community, but it prove to be a barrier to enter the community.
I personally do not really care for this aspect, but I do feel like I might be missing parts of the experience by not joining discord.
Some sort of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), if you will.

From my perspective, there seem to be two issues with the current implementation of the discord solution:
 1. I remember reading about discord somewhere, but at this point I can't remember where I read this and how to join.
    If the idea is to organise the community via discord, it might be useful to have a more accessible/prominent link to join the community.
    Ideally, there would be some kind of discord integration on the site so that you don't have to leave the site to check what's happening on discord.
 2. I can't remember what the purpose of discord is supposed to be.
    Maybe it would be good to clearly specify what is happening on discord.
    On one side, this should reduce the FOMO if discord is just providing non-essential extras to the experience on this platform.
    On the other side, it allows users to make a more informed decision about whether it is worth setting up discord for these extras.

### The Game

One part of the stackexchange network that seems to be less present here, is the gamification of Q&A.
There is still the reputation that can be gained by asking and answering questions.
However, there are no badges or other "perks" that can be earned by contributing to codadict.
For people who do not care that much about the community aspect, like myself, this removes a lot of incentive to be really active.

By gamifying the experience on the site, the bootstrap might be a more enjoyable experience.
After all, as long as there are no questions to answer, users could "level up" by voting on existing questions, revisiting older questions, doing moderation tasks.
This might keep people active on the platform until there are more questions to answer again while keeping them active.

### Design

Apart from content, there is of course also the appearance of things.
I must admit that I personally do not like the design of the site:

 - the content is not centred horizontally (especially annoying when scrolling down this question), 
 - colours are too harsh for my liking, 
 - no dark mode, 
 - too much visual noise around questions, 
 - reading a comment thread opens a new page, 
 - questions are not visible when writing an answer, 
 - ...

Content should of course be the focus point of a Q&A site, but I am afraid that the first impression (for many) is mostly dictated by the appearance and user experience on the site.
Maybe it would be good to allocate some (more) resources into setting up a solid design.

PS: I am aware that someone put time and effort in designing the site as it is now and I appreciate the effort, but it just does not tick my boxes.