I’m Tony Hynes, Director of Community Development for F5. Given the scale of change to the look and functionality of DevCentral, and the passionate responses we’ve received as a result of the change, I wanted to take some of your time to address a few things. But if you’re in a hurry here’s the tl;dr version: We know this relaunch didn’t go exactly as planned and we’re committed to fixing it.
First off, I want to apologize for forklifting your experience without enough prior communication. We should have given the community a better heads up on what exactly was going to change. We’re asking the DevCentral user to change a lot of known behaviors (login, contribution maintenance, account management) and we didn’t do a good job hitting that message early and often. Total failure on our part.
Second, we are working through the challenge of locating the content you need both on-site and through search engines. We are actively working on a few fixes that will alleviate some of the pain, and we will be adding “help” functionality which will act as a guide to help you work with the new DevCentral search, filter, and navigation options. We should have had this complete at launch. Again, mea culpa.
Third, change is hard. The old platform was just that—old. There was no path forward on the old platform to build the type of experience we know the community wanted or to build the features the community needs. The community deserved a better site and we weren’t going to be able to build that on-top of the old one. In the short term, that means we have to make some compromises and take a few steps back in order to move forward. Which leads me to address what’s coming.
A long-standing request from the community has been to consolidate credentials across F5 properties. DevCentral will be the first F5 property to on-board the necessary technology, and soon you’ll be able to use this SSO on other F5 sites. Also, from the “big ask” bucket is the ability to respond to Q&A via email. The new platform supports not only Q&A, but also article and message comments as well. This adds a whole new level of engagement capabilities to the site, and validates the message that DevCentral belongs to the community, and we want to hear your voice.
Fourth, the members of my team are as much members of DevCentral as they are owners, and they are equally passionate. They want the improvements to come just as fast and furious as you do. They’re not satisfied with the relaunch either and are as committed to making this right as I am.
Finally, please know that we understand the pain caused as a result of the changes and the impact to your daily workflow. We are actively working to resolve every issue with complete urgency.
Thank you for sticking with us through this transition and for understanding that our goal is a better experience for all. You have, once again, proven that this is a community that cares enough to provide feedback (good and bad). For that, I cannot thank you enough!