Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/on-code-and-community/
People often ask me “Why Sass?” Why choose Sass over another preprocessor? Why is it so much more popular than its competitors?
That’s a great question, and aside from all of the technical conversations about similarities and differences between preprocessors that can follow, the real answer is: the community. With a thriving, benevolent, and encouraging community of designers and developers, Sass has grown to be the irrefutably most popular and mature CSS preprocessor out there.
Let’s take a look at what happens in a large, healthy development community:
- More people look at the source code, which means more people are there to triage issues, log bugs, and help develop the source.
- More people try out the product because it’s improving more rapidly.
- More people write about using the product and develop new ideas on workflows.
- More people help contribute to the documentation.
- More people develop 3rd party applications and toolkits to improve upon the product.
- More people talk about using the product and its tools at meetups and conferences.
- More people switch to using the product in the workplace.
- More people are introduced to the product, from development teams to interns to designers to project managers.
From development teams, to interns, to designers, to project managers, this is cyclical.
Eventually there are meetup groups, books, videocasts, and a conference devoted to the product. Community is essential in the life line of any piece of software because without people to use your product, what’s the point? This is something that the Slack Chat Product Team understands very clearly, and if you read the story of their journey, you’ll see how user-centric their development approach was. The founder of the company recalls “when key users told us something wasn’t working, we fixed it — immediately.”