Insights of a community undergoing growth and change

Insights of a community undergoing growth and change

This article is about the changes, some of which that might have been quite unnoticeable, that we as a community have made over the past year.

In 2019, we realised that we had a lot more ambitions than we first thought. Over the course of multiple meetings we worked out the details of those ambitions and started to work on a plan for our community. A plan with lots of new milestones to look forward to!

Big changes

It was during those last few months of 2019, that we realised that we wanted to make a few big changes and steer the course of this community into a different direction. This is when womencodebe stopped to exist and womendotcodebe came to life.

The name change and ambitions also stand for the moment where our core team changed. womendotcodebe exists of 2 core members: Eva and me (Claudia). Together we want to focus on creating a community that inspires and supports women, and our ambitions should reflect that.

New ambitions

Newish name, new domain, new ambitions. But which ambitions?

More events

Our plans consisted of having more TechTalks events AND adding a couple of inclusive (yes open to all) events throughout the year. These crossover events are events where we team up with another community and host an open-to-all tech event. The format is the same as our TechTalks, we invite a couple of speakers and the rest of the event is mostly reserved for networking with fellow peers.

Besides “knowledge”-focused events, we, at womendotcodebe also want to focus more on social events, networking in a casual setting, sharing experiences over a meal and just getting to know each other over games…

Keeping the pandemic and related restrictions in mind, this hasn’t been the easiest time to get the latter started.

Online vs offline

The past 2 years over at womencodebe, the community had shifted from mostly online to almost completely offline; as we mentioned before, Slack just wasn’t working for us.

We had things to figure out and this was going to take up a lot of time and research. Our research consisted of surveys and sometimes single questions or polls on the community social media channels. We didn’t want to make the same mistakes again and decided it was best not to rush and to plan properly.

Part of that multistep plan was to launch a newsletter that contained both community news, interesting resources, upcoming events from various communities in Belgium and more! The newsletter would replace a lot of communication that went through Slack in the earlier days.

Alongside the newsletter we also launched our blog and the member spotlight interview series, where we put focus on our members, how amazing they are and the wise words they have to share with the world.

If you haven’t explored other articles on our blog yet, go check it out!

Surprisingly, this was not the only shift to online we had to make, due to the ongoing pandemic we decided to move our events online as well! In September the first online edition of our recurring TechTalks event took place.
Expect more of this in 2021!


In the past we used the term “member” so loosely that sometimes it was difficult to work with. Thanks to the aforementioned research, we gathered enough insights to start shaping our community memberships.

After reviewing all the options, we decided to go ahead with moving our online community over to Discord. The platform seemed to have most of the things we were looking for and that we were missing on Slack. It wasn’t just about moving the community, we wanted to create a better onboarding experience as well.

Here are some of the benefits of Discord that convinced us to make the switch:

  • it’s free and easy to work with
  • having more control over privacy settings
  • only needing one account for multiple servers and not having to remind which account was connected to which server.
  • free guest invites (this is a paid feature on Slack)
  • having multiple roles that you can control to the finest details
  • voice channels, for a spontaneous conversation or when typing it all out just seems so tiresome

Moving forward

Currently, the biggest changes have already been made, but a few smaller ones are still in the works. Starting now, we will first focus on improving the things that we already have. Things, such as creating better content for our newsletter and blog, finetuning our onboarding and finding better ways to welcome new members and more…

As for future events, we will carefully plan while tracking the developments of the pandemic in order so that we don’t have to cancel all our scheduled events again.

Thank you for staying with us till the end of this post! ❤️ If you enjoyed reading this, why not share it with your network?

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