Bryan Robinson 0:09
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Bryan Robinson 24:11
And maybe most importantly, let’s talk about sociologically speaking. Humans are social creatures, we, we crave community. And in doing so we often form in groups and out groups and that that can be fine but know that the tech choices, tech choices are never a reason to other somebody. Right? And if you’re looking around, or a specific flavor of community or you’re missing community, know that the you are actually empowered to start community locally, globally, corporate sponsored bootstraps, virtual in person. Take it from someone who who started up community when there wasn’t one around and ran an eight year local meetup. You can do it. It is possible and and if we are missing a sense of this global umbrella community that that, honestly, the JAMstack has been in the past, now that perhaps we can find a path forward on that. But let’s never forget that corporate created communities are always there for the corporation. And maybe let’s not depend on that. Now, people drove the JAMstack community, let’s depend on the people in the community, not businesses. Now, I’ve said a lot in this presentation that is sure to spawned some arguments here and elsewhere. So before I take audience or Brian, question and answer, I’ll say this, come argue with me, right? There’s so much nuance. There’s so many good perspectives in this world. I’d love to hear from everyone. You can find me on Twitter at be Rob or come join the high graph corporate community at Slack dot high graph.com. And let me have it let me know what you think. Can we fix it? Is it worth fixing? Can we go forward and make it better? I like to think so.
Brian Rinaldi 26:14
That that was that was great, Bryan. Very thought provoking. And and, you know, you said it was going to be spicy. And there was a little bit of space actually listened by so it’s like, it’s like, you know, when you go to like the Indian restaurant, you order of spicy as an American versus ordering as an Indian you gave me we used
Bryan Robinson 26:34
to we used to go to a Thai restaurant, or one to 10 on the spicy scale and three, maybe four.
Brian Rinaldi 26:41
So, you know, I think one of the things the JAMstack community was all about was debating what the JAMstack was. That’s like we existed every episode debating with the JAMstack.
Bryan Robinson 26:51
Every single podcast, every single article is. So what is the JAMstack? What what is it?
Brian Rinaldi 26:58
Yeah, no, I mean, I joke, I was a part of some of those, you know, but I always used to say, and I still say, it’s, it’s really like, look whether something fit within whatever definition of the jam stack or not, it’s like, use the tools that make sense, right? Like, this is not about, it’s not really like, ultimately, you’re not gonna be like, listen, I was going to release this. But turns out that something I’m doing here is not jam stack. And I was trying to build jam stack. So
Bryan Robinson 27:25
I got access it right. Yeah, exactly.
Brian Rinaldi 27:28
I mean, developers are going to do what works best for them for their project. And that might, I mean, it might fall within whatever definition of the jam stack we come up with, or it might not. It doesn’t, yeah, who cares? Who cares? Here’s what you want to use. That being said, I have been a part of many of those debates. And I think, you know, it’s funny, you mentioned the JAMstack was the people we met along the way I had, I actually put that in chat, right before you said it. Obviously, you know, Brian’s think alike, even if they’re spelled differently. But I do think there was some value to that aspect of it, though, you know, not just from like, marketing value for Netlify, or whoever, or other companies that tied into that, right. It was more like, there was we knew, we knew we had things that we could talk about in common, we were solving similar problems, often with different tools. And I do feel like we’ve lost that, in the sense that, you know, okay, the, we the community kind of dispersed. And everybody’s sitting there in a very framework specific, you know, Discord, or slack or whatever, like you mentioned, it’s like, so, you know, there’s, obviously, for instance, a lot of things that next year is, like, if you’re building sites with Next.js, you’re gonna have other people building next year sites are gonna have in common, but like, you lose some of that, that diversity of perspective, I think, of how, how might you do this without RxJS? Do you even need next year? Next year? I’m only using RxJS. Exactly. I’m only using next year. So as an example, but just like, you know, you you’d lose some of that, that, you know, do you how do you think we can get any of that back? Now, everybody’s kind of gone off into a little silos? So
Bryan Robinson 29:21
do a few different perspectives. Right. So So I do want to go back? And before I answer that question, and help me remember that need to answer that question. You mentioned, you know, being helpful as a term to help congregate right. And I think that there’s definitely value in the jam stack label for that. But interestingly, so my favorite part of that’s my jam stack was always I got to ask, what’s your jam and the jam stack, like didn’t have to be technology could be a philosophical nature. And especially in the early days, like season one. Typically, we were hearing Gatsby or 11 V. And we were hearing Gatsby because it was a single page application generator and they loves single page applications. And we’re hitting 11 today, because who needs a single page application for a content site? So there’s this like disconnect in the community to which I think we, we always have seen throughout, but it was this nice umbrella where we could have that argument, that arguments of valid argument. And again, there’s a time for both of them. But in terms of can we get it back? Right? Can we get it back when it’s been closed down, and when it when it’s gone away? So humans are cyclical, and I make the joke early that we’re not and then obviously, like, much of the presentation is tongue in cheek, but we will find a need of an umbrella community at some point, again, what there’s the JAMstack community or something else. It’s necessary, because it’s like you said, this fracturing. And I’m sure in other ways this fracturing has happened in the past to it hasn’t happened in a big sense, because we couldn’t do global communities back in the day. But it’s happened before. And then we can always come back together. So the key, and the hard part is building community is incredibly hard. Like, nullify, did great in building the jam stack community. Again, a lot of it was community lifted, but they gave the space for it to happen. And when you have built it, and then it’s gone, and you have to build it again. And it took years to build that, like, it wasn’t just like, hey, Netlify says the jam stack community is cool, you should come do it. Like it was years of people having conversations, just like three people, and then 10 people and then 20 people, and it snowballs, I like talking about community work as being a big snowball effect. So it’s not an easy thing. Like we could right now Brett, we’re gonna make the Brian and Brian make the jam, stack community a thing. And we could start up a new jam stack, Discord, or slack or whatever we want to do. It’ll be three years before, it’s at the level that it was what we had before. And we’re also like, as a, as a society, we’re burnt out a little bit on like, the virtual nature of some of our relationships. But like, these, these platforms are important, and they allow us to have these conversations. So they shouldn’t just be cast aside. And they should be cast like because they’re also just, they’re so hard to build. It’s gonna be hard for us to get back to where we were.
Brian Rinaldi 32:24
Yeah, yeah, I agree. I mean, you know, I think it I think there’s some sense of it’s still existing, I’m gonna get to actually Henri has a question. You know, Henri, that’s speaking of the friends we made along the way JAMstack emerge from, from imagination experimentation, do you believe the community will settle with I think even by WP means WordPress, since you used it as an example. And doubt, downplay experiments and ideas living at the edge. I mean, I guess the question is, if, my way I’m perceiving it, maybe you’re perceiving it differently, but is more like, do you think we’re gonna settle on, like, some specific tools like on a single solution kind of thing, and, and blue light and do less experimentation?
Bryan Robinson 33:20
I certainly hope not. But I mean, to the point that we were talking about with the community in general, having an umbrella term gives everyone who wants to experiment, a broader license to experiment. I don’t think that will settle on WordPress. I think WordPress is an aspect of inertia, right? A body in motion will stay in motion about a restful state rest. If you know WordPress, and it gets the job done for you. Why the heck would you learn something else? It still works. It’s still a solid technology is still like there’s improvements made every day like I remember when what was their block builder called Gutenberg. Gutenberg came out and it was terrible. Like they released a terribly buggy product in Gutenberg. And everyone hated the analysis of fairly solid, like Rich Text Block builder, like it does a pretty good job. So WordPress is going nowhere. It’s always going to be there. Because there’s so much of the web that was built on it. And there’s so many people who have learned it. And again, education just like community is a hard thing. Developers are built on experimentation and a lot of ways if you’re if you’re doing development in a specific way, if you’re doing development and just getting the job done, absolutely. Be inertia, take a paycheck. I got no issues with you for that. But we’re always in the spirit of like rapid experimentation again, but there’s also this like this confirmation bias to that. Like yes, next Jas has done huge thanks to Astro is making amazing new leaps in his the islands thing I love islands architecture. But overall, like that’s a drop in the bucket of the entire Web, right? Like the web is this huge thing, so much legacy so much non legacy new site created every, you know, every microsecond, nanosecond, whatever. Some of that will be these new experimental things. What’s gonna be the thing that dethrones like a WordPress methodology? I don’t, I don’t know, I don’t know that something does. But follow your heart and not the hype, do do what’s going to be what? What gets the job done and that you are happy to maintain WordPress, I’d never be happy maintaining even in the modern iteration, which is significantly better. I wouldn’t be happy maintaining that. Maintenance, I’ll make sure the web is is not ephemeral, right? Like it can be you can take down your site. But the things that you build for a job, they need to endure for a period of time, three years, five years, whatever makes the most sense, monetarily speaking, has to endure. So you need to be happy maintaining that system.
Brian Rinaldi 35:59
Yes. Okay. I’ve got to add another good question from Sergey, who hits on something I wanted to ask you about? So he says, How do we find independent community with our solely relying on corporate sponsorships to promote the ideas? And, and I’ll add on that, you know, I think it’s interesting, because we talk about like, champ SEC was, you know, basically built around Netlify created the idea, and they had the community and so on and so forth. But like, even all these in Matt brought this up earlier, all the framework specific communities, we’re now all kind of splintering off to our own bad companies to like, they’re not, it’s not like yet for the most part, almost all of them are our, our company sponsored, like there’s either a startup behind it or, you know, company that owns the framework. So what’s the future there?
Bryan Robinson 36:59
Bleak? No, there’s a lot of so I spent some time at at orbit Gala, which is a devil to accompany community tracking company. And there’s a lot of different types of communities that we can talk about the jam stack community, at its best, would have been referred to as a community of practice, a group of practitioners that are looking to push themselves forward and know their craft the best. It has secondary function as a community of product. But they usually discouraged, like asking, just like Netlify questions, right that like, you could ask them there. And you’d probably find a Netlify person, but like, it was discouraged for the most part, like ask in general. But music practice can be very organic. With the amount of free tools out there for doing community work, what a community needs is space. So that space could be a discord, that space could be live in person events. Like I said, I spent eight years building the Memphis Web Workers in Memphis, Tennessee, and we needed a room and pizza, right? I got sponsorship for that. And obviously, if you have things, you have to pay for it, you need money. But I think this is also one of those things that we look at as a large gaping hole in the developer landscape in general, like if you think about this, in terms of not just the jam stack, but think about open source software, open source software funding is an incredibly hard problem. And while there’s been some movement in solving that it’s not a solved problem, right? Like maybe you’ve got open collective and you’re able to take donations, maybe you do get sponsorships in some ways. But there’s like this idea that there’s like not a hand held on you about what you have to develop. But like, I think we see, like we see with the fact that like next now or not next. Yeah. Next, next is kind of taken over the React leadership, which kind of means that we went from Facebook having a hand on a community, to resell, having a hand on a community. So it’s a hard problem. But the basics of community work, are free. The basics are finding and creating a space, gathering people in the space and giving them an area to talk about the things that they have in common. And again, I see this and I’m not the greatest live chat community person anymore. I’m one of the people that is slightly struggles with them from from a timing perspective. But like I look at there are communities of practice I’m a part of, I’m a part of like, there’s this thing called the party Corgi network, which is just like content creators and developers, that there’s not a real central thesis to that community. And I don’t participate that much. I put post food pictures in there every once in a while because that’s what I do. But there’s no corporate ownership of that right there. is a, you know, a team that put it together. So I think that we can definitely take a look at like the open source model. donations and stuff like that work to a degree, the community events that we ran in Memphis, not just were individual, but we had an umbrella nonprofit that we created for them. So we had a Ruby meet up at a Python meetup. We had the web workers, we had a PHP meetup, we were all individuals, there was no control over these groups. But we saw a need that if we wanted to run a bigger events and needed like a sponsorship that could get like a 501, C three, we needed an umbrella. So we formed a nonprofit to help government. And I think that there’s some some some learnings to be had from there as well.
Brian Rinaldi 40:41
Yeah, yeah. Speaking of that, like there’s some chatter about that. And in the chat here, and, you know, that’s even how we resolve some of the issues with our community here in Orlando that Scott got very big. And even some of the post pandemic, the not for profit, helped. Even before we existed even before but post pandemic is may helped us solve some big problems around space that we couldn’t find space anymore, that was freely available, easily available before the pandemic. And now it’s, it’s a lot more difficult, which is something that one of the people brought up as well, I
Bryan Robinson 41:19
will mentioned and I am, I’ve been out of the in person game for a little while, right? Since I moved from Memphis, I have I have not run in person events, but look to your local universities. Like oftentimes, you can get a deal with their community science, or their community science, their computer science department, and run a band, there’s sometimes looking for that sort of thing. Not always, but sometimes that’s what we did. But also find a partnership with recruiters, like recruiters get a bad name in tech in a lot of ways. But they’re hungry for people who are passionate about technology. And if you make a partnership with them, and they’re your they’re your partner, month after month, after month after month. Usually they don’t require a lot of like, promotion, right? They’ll say, hey, come say your piece, five minutes. And that’s it. And long term, right? i We actually, the last few meetups I ran, were all virtual, obviously, it was 2020. And I actually moved, I didn’t have a sponsor, cuz I didn’t need one, I could do it all for free. And I gave them sponsorship slots in those, I said, Hey, you know, this, this company, this recruiting company, they were with us for eight years. If you’re looking for a job, I highly recommend them. And so like, I built community with my recruiting company, right, that’s that’s kind of how that goes. So
Brian Rinaldi 42:42
yeah, yeah, it’s a hard problem to solve. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s, we could, if you even started talking about events, oh, my God, it’s a whole, they could be here in the rest of the afternoon. space
Bryan Robinson 42:54
can be something, right. Space doesn’t have to be events, events are great, and they can help build space. But space is a place that we can all get together and talk about the things that we care about. Yeah. And my favorite, my favorite quote is, and it’s attributed because it’s supposedly like was what I think DaVinci might have said, or some artists, right, it was it was when art critics get together, they talk about art. When artists get together, they talked about the price of paint. So sometimes these these corporate led communities, they talk about art, but what we really talked about is the price of paint, which is like nitty gritty on these frameworks, right? Like, how do we do this? So finding a space for that I think is important if we can,
Brian Rinaldi 43:35
yep, for sure. For sure. Okay, well, I wish we had more time because this was a great conversation. We didn’t even get to like I was going to try and convince you to like, change your Y to an i whatever, like,
Bryan Robinson 43:50
I love my y.
Brian Rinaldi 43:54
Thank you, Bryan, for this academic lecture. You know, I hope I passed and just remember, and we’ll continue this conversation in other communities at some somewhere, somewhere