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February 14, 2008

Nerd Love: Building a Community for Engineers

by deirdrewalsh



Tired of hearing the buzz word Web 2.0 and want to see a real world examples of technical collaboration online?  Then, check out the new NI Developer Zone Community.    Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this platform allows a community of engineers and scientists worldwide to connect and share example code, tutorials and textbook companion materials directly on the National Instruments Web site.  It also has unique collaboration features, polling capabilities, tagging, and other functionality from Jive’s ClearSpace X platform.  

This go-live marks one of the biggest events of my career.  Since October 2006, I’ve been working with a team of IT developers, computer scientists, and engineers to create a comprehensive online community geared at helping our customers connect online.  

Now, will be the home for customer-created content or documents that our engineers wants to work on with users.  For example, we are transferring several of the “community nuggets” (or programming tips) from the NI Discussion Forums to this new site, since it allows both employees and community members to interact and edit easily via a wiki interface.  Several of our users were using the forum technology for white papers, causing them to have to use several posts to explain one topic.  Additionally, the edit functionality on forums is limited to a 3 minute window. We hope this wiki-based approach will help our users share detailed information and collaborate more easily online. 

Now, my main focus will be growing the community and obtaining quality content for our users.


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