HashiCorp shuts down Gitter channels, introduces Community Portal


Anyone wanting to learn about Vault, Terraform, or any of the other HashiCorp projects has a new place to turn to: the HashiCorp Community Portal. Announced by company founder Mitchell Hashimoto earlier this week, the new portal is meant to “enable users to build relationships through knowledge sharing”.

It therefore offers users a way to find local groups to discuss HashiCorp tools and a way to virtually connect via a more traditional forum. The portal also serves as a reservoir for getting started guides and other resources such as videos and articles that were previously scattered across product websites.

According to Hashimoto, the philosophy and vision behind his company’s open source projects is a unified one and that “most of our community share common goals or use multiple products. Having a single destination for community reflects this.”

Prior to the launch, chat and networking platform Gitter was used for most communication. However, having the option of real-time chat tends to set certain expectations, as Hashimoto acknowledges in his introductory post.

“This put a difficult burden on ourselves and members of our community to be constantly present and checking channels in order to respond. This introduces a lot of context switching and takes away from our ability to focus on fixing bugs or otherwise improving the products.”

Since it’s a chat, searchability wasn’t ideal either, which meant that similar questions had to be answered multiple times without a good way of linking to them. The forums are meant to help with all of that and will therefore replace the Gitter channels. Those will in turn be shut down.

The discussion forums will be staffed with HashiCorp employees to answer questions, so there will still be a way to interact with the company that doesn’t involve meeting up in person. It might take a little while longer, but ideally you will get something more substantial in the end and benefit from the time freed up to concentrate on the projects itself.