After this year’s ZendCon, there’s a question that’s been sitting in the back of my mind, bugging me to come up with a good answer – what role should companies take in the developer community ecosystem? The problem with the question is simple, though, because no two user group situations are the same.
I’ve heard things from both ends of the spectrum on this one. Some groups prefer to keep the companies away from their groups and rely on the support of those that make it up (much like a lot of the general PHP community) and there’s others that swing far to the other side and want any and every company that could potentially help them out to come walk through their door. The tricky part comes up when you get into that gray area in the middle. Some groups want help when they need it, but don’t want a company coming in and using that same influence to change the course of the group or to try to leverage it for their own purposes (“sure, we’ll help you out with that if…”).
So, what I want to hear from all of you – where do you think companies fit in our corner of the world in the PHP community? There’s several large ones out there that can and do contribute and others that don’t…which is the right blend and, more importantly, what can we do to help the situation?