The Rise of the Community Leader - Meet Shawn Wang

  • The Uncommon Team

    September 28th, 2021

Image of Shawn Wang

Community leaders have a lot in common, like their enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and a passion for building meaningful relationships within and across communities. As community leaders, their goals are similar, but their paths to community leadership are surprisingly diverse and often surprisingly...surprising.

Our series, "The Rise of the Community Leader," celebrates these uncommon paths, the people who took them, and what they learned along the way. Want to connect with more community leaders like them? Join Uncommon.

Meet Shawn Wang, Head of Developer Experience at Temporal.

How did you get your start in community?

I started out my dev career being extremely active in all NY tech meetups, which eventually transitioned online to helping grow the /r/reactjs community to over 200k members.

Tell us about the community you currently lead.

I currently run three communities: the /dev/invest Discord for devs talking money, the Coding Career Community for my book readers, and Svelte Society, which I started 2 years ago and helped Svelte get voted the most loved framework in the 2021 Stack Overflow and State of JS surveys.

What’s a key piece of advice you wish you would have had when starting your community career?

Events are the lifeblood of community. Your community doesn't have to be "on" all the time - it can ebb and flow, but just make sure you do really good events and give members a way to connect without you and watch it come alive.

Investment in community is growing. Where do you see it in 5-10 years?

I think there'll be more VPs of Community and formal community metrics in every company OKRs.

What's your favorite part about working in community?

The fact that it is an infinite game - the people who approach it with a transactional mentality fail because they fundamentally don't care about the people. It's always the people first.

What's the coolest thing you've seen community achieve?

People helping each other to achieve professional success (e.g., clinch their first high-profile industry conference talk)!

We’re all about celebrating our community members and their accomplishments. Is there anyone in the community you’d like to appreciate?

I think David Spinks and Rosie Sherry are just incredible for their earnest and tireless promotion of community ideas and leaders. Can't thank them enough for teaching me everything that I now know.

And now some fun questions we ask our Roomies when they join the team 🙂

Favorite emoji?

😅

Favorite quote?

"Learn in public."

Favorite good TV Show?

Coupling

Favorite bad TV Show?

WWE Total Divas

What's your inner animal?

Cuttlefish

If you had a food truck, what would you name it?

Lobster Roll

Next travel bucket list items to check off?

Galapagos

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Shawn! And we couldn't agree more - when it comes to community, it's people first. People matter most. 🙂

We're continually looking to highlight community leaders, voices, and stories—if there's someone you'd like to nominate to share theirs, let us know. See you in Uncommon!

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