Blockchain and crypto projects rely heavily on the expertise and innovation of developers. These professionals are responsible for creating the software systems that power cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology.
In order for these projects to thrive, it is crucial to foster a strong and engaged developer community. A thriving developer community can lead to increased adoption, more robust ecosystems, and a pipeline of fresh ideas.
Building a successful developer community requires a deep understanding of the unique needs and motivations of developers. Developers are a highly skilled and in-demand group, and they need to feel valued and supported in order to contribute to a project’s success.
In this article, we will explore 8 tips for building a thriving developer community, as shared by Nader Dabit an influential participant in the blockchain community, who is the director of developer relations at Aave, Lens Protocol, and the founder of DeveloperDAO.
From providing resources and encouraging collaboration, to creating a sense of belonging and recognizing contributions, these tips can help blockchain and crypto projects create a strong, engaged developer community that drives innovation and success.
1.) Build Something People Want
Building something people want is the first step in creating a thriving developer community for a blockchain or crypto project. Thorough market research and engaging with potential users are essential in understanding the needs and pain points of the target audience.
Building an MVP helps test the product in the market and gather feedback while involving developers in the development process can help identify potential issues and ensure scalability.
By building a product that meets the target audience’s needs, developers will be motivated to contribute, leading to a more engaged and successful community.
2.) Create Good Documentation
Great documentation is essential for attracting and retaining top developer talent in blockchain and crypto projects.
Clear and concise documentation that explains the project’s architecture, APIs, and SDKs, as well as detailed instructions for setting up a development environment, can make a project more accessible and productive for developers.
Organizing the documentation in a logical and intuitive way with clear examples and explanations can help developers of all skill levels understand the project. Creating amazing documentation supports developer engagement and drives innovation.
3.) Provide a Place for Conversations to Happen
Developers often rely on communication platforms like Telegram, Discord, and WhatsApp to collaborate and share ideas. Providing a space for these conversations to happen is essential for building a thriving developer community.
These platforms allow developers to ask questions, share insights, and collaborate on projects, which helps to build a sense of community and foster engagement. By creating a space for communication, blockchain and crypto projects can create a community-driven culture that supports innovation and growth.
4.) Optimize for Many-to-Many Relationships
For a strong community, you want to ensure that everyone is participating, and not one person or moderator is driving all the conversations or activities.
There is a lot to do including creating and providing high quality documentation, creating tutorials and videos, collaborating with creators and builders in the ecosystem, speaking and teaching at conferences and events.
To optimize for many-to-many relationships between developers in a community, you need to create an environment that fosters collaboration and communication. This can be achieved by creating a central hub for interaction, encouraging participation, promoting diversity, and fostering a culture of collaboration. By doing so, blockchain and crypto projects can create a thriving developer community that supports innovation and growth.
5.) Identify and Incentivize Your Superstars
One way to optimize for many-to-many relationships is by identifying and incentivizing superstars. This could be OSS (open source software) developers, blog authors, YouTubers, speakers, teachers, successful teams building software with your product, or trusted developers with their own large networks.
One tip for achieving this that has become popular is through the use of ambassador programs, providing builders with exclusive privileges, special Discord roles, swag, and VIP access to private events.
You can also do things like have profile people within your team share their work and wins publicly, create private one-on-one communication channels with engineering or leadership support, or just straight up pay or hire them on a contract basis.
Here is a breakdown of tips you need to incentivize the stand-outs in the community:
- Ambassador programs
- Private Telegram Groups
- Event Invites and sponsorships
- Hire them
- Have high profile people share their wins in public
- Send them Swag and other rewards
6.) Prioritize Diversity
Prioritizing diversity in the blockchain and crypto industry is crucial for building a thriving developer community.
This requires intentional efforts to create an inclusive environment, actively seeking out diverse candidates, promoting diversity and inclusion in company culture and policies, and addressing issues of bias and discrimination.
It is important not to include diverse people just for the sake of it but to make sure that all kinds of people are benefiting from the community.
7.) Being Transparent
A large part of creating thriving communities really is building trust, but being transparent stands out.
Building trust begins with transparency. Blockchain and crypto projects need to be transparent about their goals, strategies, and decision-making processes. This includes sharing information about their team, their roadmap, and their progress.
You should also be transparent about the negatives of your product as you are the positives.
8.) Hiring Developer Relations Personnel
Finally, hiring a developer relations (DevRel) team is essential for building and maintaining a thriving developer community in the blockchain and crypto space.
DevRel teams are responsible for creating and fostering relationships with developers, advocating for their needs and interests, and providing support and resources to help them succeed.
DevRel teams should also have a mix of technical and non-technical expertise, as they will be responsible for advocating for developers both within the company and in the broader blockchain and crypto community.
This means hiring individuals with experience in software development, as well as those with expertise in community management, marketing, and public relations.
Prioritizing developers’ needs, fostering relationships, and providing support and resources are key to building a thriving developer community in the blockchain and crypto space.
By implementing the seven tips outlined in this article, projects can create an engaged and committed community that leads to more innovative solutions and more successful projects.