Google Wave Developer Community: Asking For A Culture?

Google is about to get a vibrant developer community around Wave. This is a first for Google in terms of how big one can expect it to be. I guess the Android developer community also counts. The two can be considered the first among equals. But a mobile operating system was not something fundamentally new, Wave is.

There are about 20,000 people working for Google, many of them coders. Google has some of the smartest coders in the world. But not all of the smartest coders in the world work for Google. Most don't. It is a numbers game. Google is not big enough to house all the smartest coders in the world. Many of the smartest are soloists, or small group types who gutturally abhor anything corporate. The open source community appeals to many of them.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

The Wave community will be a great platform for them. The top developers will make mega bucks. They will make much more than the late coming engineers at Google.

So if the Wave developer community is going to be larger than Google Corporate, and if many members of that developer community will make mega bucks, you have to ask, does that developer community need a culture? A codified value system? Will that evolve on its own? Or will each small group within that community have a slightly distinct culture and value system of its own?

Microsoft has had a developer community around Windows for as long as Windows has been around. The budding Wave community will be similar, only much, much bigger.

I take it for granted that a value system will emerge, just like a market will emerge. It will not be top down. It will not be something dictated by Google Corporate. It will be grassroots. It will likely be diverse. But it will emerge. It will have more in common with the unregulated, uncorporate open source community than Google Corporate. But that is no harbinger of clashes. The two cultures can create a happy symbiosis. That is precisely why just like it has been important to articulate the Google corporate culture, (The Google Corporate Culture) I think it is important to try and articulate the developer community culture.

Members of this developer community are more likely to show up for their local Wave MeetUps than jamborees at Googleplex, if only because the community will be global and scattered. Much of the community action will be online.

The Google Corporate Culture
Google Wave: Organizations Will Go Topsy Turvy
Google Wave: Enormous Buzz
Possible Google Wave Applications And Innovations
Google Wave Architecture: Designed For Mass, Massive, Global Innovation
The Google Wave Architecture
Google Wave Ripples
Is Google Wave Social Enough To Challenge Facebook, Twitter?
Of Waves And Tsunamis
Google Wave: Wave Of The Future?
Google Wave: If Email Were Invented Today

From The Google Blogs

1 Wave Sandbox, 5 Hours, 17 Awesome Demos
The Making of the Sudoku Gadget
Google Wave API Office Hours
Google Wave team heads to Google Developer Days in Asia
Introducing the Google Wave APIs: what can you build?
Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.

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