We’re excited to announce the official launch of Discuss CircleCI!
Over the last few months we’ve thought a lot about how to facilitate transparent communication between our users and the CircleCI team. The solution we’ve come up with is to launch a Discourse site. We rolled this out quietly over the last few weeks and so far the response has been very positive. We chose Discourse because it is an awesome open source platform for building a community. It’s easy to install and maintain, has a vibrant developer community, and offers a perfect blend between traditional forum software and a QA board.
Over the last year we have experienced a tremendous amount of growth. We are truly honored that large companies, new startups, open source projects, and individual developers choose CircleCI for their continuous integration and continuous delivery needs.
From a support perspective this growth has made it a bit more challenging to keep up with the volume of questions that we receive on a daily basis. We’ve responded to the increased demand by adding several new people to our Support Engineering team. We’ve also brought on some Account Managers who help offer a more personalized approach and single point of contact for larger clients.
One observation that we’ve made in support over the last few months is that a lot of users ask the same exact questions and we offer the same exact answers day after day. Another observation is that we’re not the experts when it comes to a lot of language-specific issues. CircleCI supports most popular languages, frameworks, and testing suites. It’s not possible for a single person to know everything, and we’ve been lucky to grow a support organization with varied backgrounds that bring expertise from a particular domain. As a team we’re able to solve most problems that we are faced with, but the real experts in language and framework specific issues are our users that use these tools each and every day. In addition to general support questions, we also get a lot of bug reports, feature requests, and requests for example projects.
Our goals for this new community are:
1. Provide a platform for users to suggest new features and report bugs. We get a ton of feature requests in support each week and it can be challenging to gauge the actual demand for specific features and communicate their status back to the original requestors. We hope by showing feature requests to the public we can get a vibrant discussion going about certain features, measure demand from our users, and also be able to respond once specific features have been implemented.
2. Provide a platform for documenting temporary workarounds and known issues. As various libraries and frameworks receive updates, there are sometimes issues and breaking changes that are outside of our control. For example, broken versions of packages can be published to package managers, or third-party apt repositories can suffer downtime. Rather than creating and removing docs for specific issues (that will likely be resolved in a matter of weeks or months), Discourse offers us a place to publish known issues.
3. Have a place to share community projects. There are so many great projects that are using CircleCI in interesting ways. We want to have a place where users can share blog posts, example circle.yml files, and various plugins that they have developed using CircleCI.
4. Have a place to share knowledge for esoteric and language specific issues. When a problem occurs in building, testing, or deploying your code, often times someone else has already solved it. We want to make it as easy as possible for CircleCI users to share their experiences and get their questions answered.
5. Build a community around testing, CI, and CD. At CircleCI we are passionate about these topics and we want to bring together all of our amazing users to share ideas, best practices, collaborate, and learn from each other.
Ultimately, we hope that by having a place to share knowledge it will make it easier for our users to help each other and themselves. We’re super stoked to have an easy way to engage with our users in this new community. You can sign up today with either an email address or your GitHub account and share your projects, stories, issues, and ideas!