Since I joined Cube in October 2020, we have seen massive growth in our community. I remember celebrating 2,000 members on our Slack shortly after I joined, and today the number is well above 7,000! Beyond the growth in numbers, it’s been great to see more interactions among community members. As someone who worked in several open source communities, it's especially gratifying to see community members helping each other as this is the way communities scale.

In order to further improve community engagement and facilitate the growth of our community, we wanted to make some changes in the next few weeks.

First, some of you may remember that we started a Discourse forum in 1H’2021. We recently decided to end-of-life Discourse as the usage has been very low. Also, one of the reasons we wanted to use a forum was so that we could preserve some of the conversations from Slack (as our Slack messages disappear after 90 days). We did export some of the Slack discussions on recipes/tips to Discourse, but we decided that a better practice would be to add these discussions to our documentation (e.g., under the examples & tutorials section). Our Discourse forum is currently in “read-only” mode, and we will officially shut it down in a few months.

Next, on our Slack, some of you may have already noticed some minor changes that we made over the past few weeks. First, we renamed some channels so that they’re more descriptive, such as #cube-store-and-caching, #jobs-and-careers, #contributing-to-cube, etc. Next, we added new channels that can be dedicated to some of the popular topics in our community, such as #data-modeling and #hosting-and-deploy.

In addition, to encourage conversations to take place in appropriate channels (vs. all happening in #general), we’ll be using a Slack application called the Reacji channeler to copy threads from #general to other channels. For example, if we see a post on #general that is related to pre-aggregations, we’ll add a 💨 emoji to copy the conversation to the #cube-store-and-caching channel and continue the conversation in . For the next few months, we’ll be adding reminders that the conversation has been moved to a different channel as we get used to this. Other emoji’s that we’ll use with Reacji channeler are 📦 (for #hosting-and-deploy), 💹 (for #dataviz), and 📐 (for #data-modeling). By doing this, we hope this will prevent everyone from being overwhelmed with messages in #general.

Speaking of our #general channel, we plan on making changes here as well. First, we’ll be creating a new channel called #advice-and-questions for people to post questions when it doesn’t fit in with other channel topics or if they’re not sure where to post. The #general channel will be renamed to #announcements-and-news where only Slack admins will be able to post. In the past, we found that people were posting solicitation-type posts on our #announcements channel, so we want to prevent this in the future.

Over the past few months, I hope you saw our announcement posts like the one below where we recognized community members who were helpful or provided interesting insights on Slack. This has been a lot of fun for us as it’s amazing to see more questions being answered by real Cube users, and it’s always nice to recognize people. We hope this recognition of Slack contributions becomes a long-running tradition in our community.

Speaking of recognitions, I’m also excited to announce the latest addition to our Cube Heroes rank. Ryan Woodring has been very active in helping other community members on Slack, and we’re excited that he agreed to be our new Cube hero. You can find Ryan’s bio on our community page, and you'll probably get a chance to see him in future community calls.