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How Vercel is Using GitHub Discussions to Build a Strong Next.js Community

· 3 min read
Bekah Hawrot Weigel
Developer Experience Lead

Communication is key to maintaining a healthy open source project. It’s even more important if one of your projects has more than 100,000 stars. Using a tool like GitHub discussions provides an opportunity for communication for more than bug reports, show and tell, or product announcements. It can provide a path to support and connect the community, and that’s exactly how Vercel is using discussions on their Next.js repository.

What is Next.js?

Next.js is a flexible React framework that gives you building blocks to create fast web applications.

Vercel, the company behind Next.js, provides a platform for deploying and hosting Next.js applications, as well as a range of other tools and services for building and scaling web applications.

How does Next.js use their discussions?

At first glance, the list of discussion features for Next.js looks pretty ordinary, well except maybe the squirrel with the hat as the icon for the Show and Tell section. Next.js takes it a step further and leverages GitHub discussions to provide its community with a space for participation and interaction. The project prioritizes community building by pinning important discussions at the top of the page: Companies/Sites using Next.js, Who’s hiring (April 2023), Who wants to be hired (April 2023).

Companies/Sites using Next.js

This discussion lists companies that are using Next.js, allows folks to respond to the post with their site that’s built with Next.js, and also links to their showcase as well. So if you have a Next.js site, and you’re not already showing it off, add it to this discussion!

Who’s hiring

This monthly post provides a space for companies to advertise job openings for individuals with Next.js experience, and for job seekers to find opportunities. I checked out their posts all the way back to November 2021, and loved seeing how many included this line: “At least one company has hired someone as a result of it!”

Who wants to be hired

This pinned post is for job seekers with Next.js experience to showcase their skills and experience. Companies looking to hire can browse the post for potential candidates. This gives a nice glimpse into the Next.js community and provides support for job seekers and does my favorite thing: offers to send swag to anyone who was hired through the post.

Screenshot of Who wants to be hired (April 2023) post

It’s great to see Next.js building a strong and supportive community through discussions. If you’re a Next.js developer looking for work and you have contributions you’d like to highlight, you can add them to your OpenSauced highlights and link them to your post.

header image created using midjourney.