Summer is considered the “busy season” for real estate and, turns out this is true across virtual landscapes as well — at least for the Contentful Developer Community.
We’ve decided to pack up our keyboards, bubblewrap our precious code, throw our coffee in (reusable) to-go cups, and make the move from Slack to Discord. With our community growing well beyond its current 12,000 members, we need a bit more space — and far more features and functionality.
Now that we’ve explained what exactly is changing for our community, let’s get into the other w’s (and an h).
When will the change take place?
Today! We're making the switch on July 20, 2023. Current members of the Contentful Developer Community will receive an invitation link to join the new server via email. The same information will also be posted to Slack.
To make for a smooth transition, we’ll replicate as many of the existing Slack channels on Discord and keep the old platform up and running well into the near future.
Oh — one more update. You might notice a cute little chameleon showing up on some of our Developer content and swag. His name is Codie the Chameleon and he’s the new, official mascot of the Contentful Developer Community.
Why the switch from Slack to Discord?
If you know (and love) Slack like most of us at Contentful, this move to Discord might be surprising. If you’re already a member of our Developer Community and use Contentful professionally, it makes sense to connect with others on the software via a tool that’s marketed to professionals, like Slack. If you’re a gamer (also like most of us at Contentful), Discord is a sweet escape of cheat codes, GIFs, and livestreaming with friends.
Here's where it gets complicated. Slack has certain restrictions and lacks several features that would benefit creativity and collaboration within our community. Discord offers more freedom and functionality. Here’s a quick look at the features pulling us towards Discord.
No message limits: Unlike Slack, Discord has no messaging limits. This will ensure comments (and their context) remain and can be referred back to despite an influx in volume.
Deep customization: Discord’s expansive channel and group options, which include categories, threads, and embedded forums, will keep our community and discussions more organized. Detailed notifications at the per-channel level are just one of many personalization options available to users.
Voice chat and screen sharing: Discord supports audio chat and video rooms, which will expand how our community interacts at a global level and the very manner in which we host virtual meetups. Another feature, one-click screen sharing, will allow us to easily troubleshoot issues or share ideas.
Moderation tools: As we continue to grow our community, it's important to have tools that foster an inclusive, enjoyable environment. Discord enables us to quickly flag and address unwanted activities with a built-in auto-moderator. There's also the option to require new server members to acknowledge and adhere to a code of conduct before signing on for the first time.
Developers dig it
Another reason for the switch? You, the members of our Developer Community, asked for it. (Indirectly, we’ll admit).
A few months ago, we ran a Contentful Developer Community Survey (shout out to those who participated) to find out what was working and what could be improved upon. When asked what types of resources were the most valuable, virtual meet-ups and video tutorials were at the top of the list.
With Slack, these interactions had to take place via Zoom, or another platform. With Discord, we minimize the number of hoops community members have to jump through to get to the content they really care about.
This change of platform also provides the perfect setting for us to introduce new community resources. Here’s a quick peek at what we’ll roll out on Discord in the future: a career channel for exploring open roles at Contentful, a tech talk channel to nerd out over the newest tools, and a virtual stage for engaging together in real-time.
How do I access Discord?
Whether you’re new to the Contentful Developer Community or a long-time member, joining the fun on Discord is simple. Here’s the process in five steps:
Download the application or use a web browser. Note for Mac users, Discord asks for permission to receive keystrokes — which improves accessibility by enabling systemwide push-to-talk (PTT) to work. If you disable this permission, Discord will still function just fine, you’ll just need to open the app for your PTT hotkey to function.
Having trouble installing the application or creating an account? Visit the Discord Help Center.
We're confident that the entire Contentful Developer Community will benefit from this transition from Slack to Discord. Myself and the rest of the DevRel team are looking forward to forging stronger connections and learning about more of your creative builds. We'll see you over there!