Note: Netlify renamed its community, the title, etc. on February 24, 2021. Thus, there might be references in this post that are irrelevant or outdated now. I didn’t edit the post to preserve consistency with the systems and information in place before the mentioned date.
2020 was definitely a strange year for most of us. However, I think it would be unfair to say that the whole year was bad. There were definitely some good things about it too. I’m here talking about something totally unexpectedly good that happened to me. I got promoted in the workplace I wasn’t even working! Strange, right? Keep reading.
All of this began in the 10th month of the year.
In the first week of October, I stumbled upon a problem with using Netlify’s services. Being a free user, I went to their community forum to ask my question. While I waited to get an answer, I checked out some other posts on the forum. Big mistake (or maybe not)! I found myself quickly addicted to answering questions. Some were pretty basic, some got me thinking, some gave me additional knowledge, some made me research more stuff and so on. It started getting interesting.
Week 2 - 3
I kept visiting the forum daily, whenever I got bored from studies or my usual work. Tasks involving some thinking for the brain keep me super active. I went on answering, many of them were perfect solutions, got praised and thanked by people, earned almost all of the badges available on the forum and got a lot of likes.
Finally, one of the unexpected things happened. I was approached by the moderator, asking me to join Netlify’s Community Pilot programme. For all I knew, Community Pilots that I had seen around on the forums in the past 3 weeks were appointed by Netlify. I didn’t know people could volunteer or be selected at any time. So, this message came as a welcome surprise. Without any hesitation, I agreed to join the programme.
I was actually added to the Community Pilots Hub and welcomed and greeted by the other Pilots. I had got the remaining few badges on the forum, got permissions to edit others' posts and the best of all, the ‘Community Pilot’ title around my name. In a few weeks, Netlify also added the official mascot to show that we’re semi-officially representing Netlify.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.” That is true. I had got a ‘promotion’, but that wasn’t the end of it. It’s not like I could just stop answering questions. Just like I said before, I wasn’t aware of these potential benefits, I kept answering on the forums for personal satisfaction and I was going to continue to do so irrespectively of this post.
However, now I wasn’t just limited to answering questions. Since I was one of the people representing such a big company on a semi-official level in an open forum, I had to be extra careful about the fact that I wasn’t offending anyone, or hurting Netlify’s reputation, etc. Just because I could edit anyone’s posts, didn’t mean I could just make random edits. It all had to go through certain rules.
While this position isn’t a paid one, it’s not unpaid either. Netlify has an interesting way to thank us for our help. In return for the help, the Community Pilots get most of Netlify’s premium features for free. Netlify Forms Unlimited, Analytics Unlimited, Identity Unlimited and so on. All in all, I’d say, it’s worth it.
Netlify Community is a fun and friendly place. It gives me some food for thought. The Community Pilot position has its own worth, and it indeed felt like an achievement.