I used to be very active on ServerFault. In fact, I was on the first page in the top 10 overall ranking. I love StackExchange's products and ServerFault as a forum and I recommend them still.
What prompted me to post this was coming back to the site to find an answer that I previously wrote and I discovered that the question was closed.
I stopped contributing to the site for a couple reasons:
- I'm committed to many other community activities as well as having additional demands on my life otherwise, and ServerFault was something that fell off my list of priorities.
- The primary reason is an active combative position against professional related topics that aren't deeply technical amongst the community.
The second point became very clear running for moderator in 2011. It was a close election with two positions and I came in third not being elected.
Part of my candidate statement:
As many of you have seen me espouse before, I want to see your Server Fault continue to be a community of top-notch professionals. With this, I have encouraged policies and moderator actions that enable professionals, while discouraging participation of those who do not work in the Information Technology field. As a moderator, I will continue to encourage professionals, while guiding the end-user to the appropriate site.
During the election process, there were members of the community who took a hostile approach towards professional content that related to career management. I attributed that to the deciding factor in my loss. I believe that this attitude has taken over ServerFault today.
There are many deep technical resources for professionals. Internet sites, user groups, among others. Nevertheless, there's a substantial void for professional content regarding career management catered towards Infrastructure and Operations professionals.
It's unfortunate that ServerFault is experiencing challenges reflected in the reduction in use. There's more to running servers professionally than simply learning the technology -- it's learning how to grow and build as a professional, which is what you've seen the most successful past ServerFault contributors embrace.
I spend a great deal of my time in the community helping with that between the Career Track at Ohio LinuxFest, LOPSA Columbus presentations, as well as presentations and events that I organize and support. That gap is beginning to close but there is still a lot of work to be done. Before, I thought ServerFault would help with that and I believe that it still can.
It's time for technologists to be open to more than simply the technology. For us to grow as professionals and as a community, this must happen. Is ServerFault prepared to lead that change?