Continuing on the discussion here: scala/contributors - Gitter , I open this thread to discuss how we can improve newcomer community experience, both for learners and professionals. Here are some things I have thought about:
- Making it easier to find the right forum for questions
- Consolidate forums (perhaps we don’t need all these channels (on the other hand, people go where they like, and plurality is nice…))
- Making more clear how to file bugs and the relation between the Scala 2 and Scala 3 code base and its governance, e.g. roles of Lightbend and Scala Center
- Making it clear who-is-leading-what and different community and governance roles and designated persons etc.
- For community volunteers, perhaps some kind of voluntary who-is-who page – as a newcomer you see all these recurring names but you don’t have a clue of who this person is and what role they have and what their interests in Scala are.
Some of this could perhaps be input to a revamped version of this page: Community | The Scala Programming Language
I guess you at Scala Center are probably already discussing all this, but I think it might be good to open up for ideas from the community on how the on-boardning experience can be made more smooth, hence this thread.
I’m on-boarding 200+ CSE students each year that take my beginner programming course using Scala at Lund University, and for my students these issues are also really important:
- How to make it easier to install Scala on your path in terminal on all major platforms (e.g. a runner for Scala 3 is lost since Scala 2) (Approx. distrib. of studens’ boxes when they arrive_ Windows 80%, Macos 17%. Ubuntu 3%, later they all get going on Ubuntu, either as VM or Dualboot, I suspect WSL will be more and more used.)
- How to get going with the tools (esp. vscode / vscodium) without too many clicks and too difficult to understand lingo geared towards professionals. coursier is cool but I still find it somewhat lacking in functionality (where is the runner? how to switch between Scala versions in runner? etc) and the https://get-coursier.io/ pages assumes a lot of knowledge and is geared towards professionals rather than learners.
- Install packages for all major platforms (for instance, my university sysadmins want .deb packages for Scala 3. We should not underestimate the install convenience needed for people with “managed” computers that try to convince an IT department to install stuff.)
These are just examples of stuff that could be important for on-boardning and newcomer community experience. Perhaps this thread can provide helpful input to Scala Center and Lightbend for later triage – if you all want to chip in with your thoughts!
Thanks to you all for a great community of a growing language