Article: The JS Community has a Bullying Problem

On Medium: The JS Community has a Bullying Problem.

Previously, James Kyle also had written something along those lines: Dear Javascript.

How do the Elixir community think of this? Have you ever encountered something similar? Is it something that could/should be prevented? Is it preventable at all?


I haven’t witnessed any bullying and we certainly would not allow it on the forum - forums are not the place for personal grievances between members or platforms to mount attacks on others within the community.

I think the Elixir CoC and even our own Mission Statement helps set the tone in the community, so we are much less likely to see that kind of thing :023: Of course it’s impossible to police what people do on their own blogs or on other channels but most of our community is mature and considerate… and so I imagine things like this to be at a minimum and any occurrences would be judged by the community accordingly.


These are very depressing reads indeed. :icon_sad:

I think what I post will be controversial but here’s my 2 cents. There have being people that have tried to act like that on the forum but they have being quickly shut down as community grows things like this will happen. Now for a controversial bit to a point for high profile people and projects it comes with the territory a person in that position:

  • Can command very high compensation
  • Has a lot of options to work basically on what she/he finds interesting
  • Ability to travel to conferences meet other cool people etc.

In a perfect world this would have no cons in the real world being in this position brings an increased public profile which inherently results in more interaction with people and by the cursory look at our society the avg number of a***ols is not exactly decreasing. So it may sound harsh but I think it’s important to maintain perspective if you are being payed 360K to work on a project of your choosing seating in a super nice office traveling all over the world all expenses paid interacting with clever and interesting people, if you remember that 99% of the world’s population is living in an infinitely sh***er situation (as we discuss this topic a power tripping ruler is finishing leveling a 2 million inhabitant city to the ground and the most we as West can master is a bit of deep concern) might help one ignore sarcastic trolling on twitter a bit easier.

I believe that arguments, backed by facts and evidence, are healthy for both communities and people.
But the moment it gets personal, that’s when it has to stop.

I have noticed a lot of such incidents in the JS community, it is sad but it’s there, it’s present and it seems like it won’t stop anytime soon.
A good example is the package maintainers of the Hapi.JS framework, there are a lot of young programmers dedicating their time and effort to maintaining packages for that framework but they also get bullied by the people using them.

You should definitely read Eran Hammer’s blog post on this issue (note: adult language might be present)

But, I am happy to say that I’ve never seen such incidents in the Elixir community.
My first interaction with the community was on IRC and there are a lot of awesome people on there who pointed me towards the right direction in learning Elixir.
It’s good to see that the irrational fear of posting something, in fear of being judged for not knowing simple things, is not present on this forum or on the IRC channel.

I’d love to think this has something to do with the lang. but I highly suspect it’s just stats JS has prob like 4 mil. devs given that a likelihood of occurrence of a “loud troll” being optimistic let’s say 1 in a 1,000 JS would have 4,000 vs what would be corresponding number for Elixir? There is of course the age dynamic in play too prob. as it seams more mature devs are the majority in Elixir community.

You’re right, with such a huge number of programmers you will end up with a lot of trolls and toxicity.
But, I believe that the overall community culture has some kind of influence on the actions of such people.

In his post Eric was talking about people who are not your average programmer. They are people with a lot of influence inside the community. So I don’t know if they can be called trolls, but they certainly are bullies abusing their influence.

Recent withdrawal of cancelable-promises has some of the bullying tone from google or googlers

I don’t think the Elixir community will have this issue unless it grows 10x in a year. The only thing that makes me roll my eyes that I see related to the Elixir community are people who go like “omg you’re still using Rails!?!?! Elixir is the future n00b rails is dead”.


Hmm why is it bullying we would need a lot more info to come to that conclusion it seems.


Do you want people to have a look at Elixir? Be nice, you’re representing the language and community in that moment, there is no reason to be aggressive about it.
It reminds me of the C, C# and Java programmers who would always say “You are not a real developer!” for using JavaScript or Ruby.

Such an aggressive stance doesn’t do any good.

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True. The context of js universe emits that feeling

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I don’t agree with that article at all. As a project lead or the head of a community or sub-community you have a duty to do whatever you can to protect your users. This is often best-achieved by a CoC or Mission Statement. The fact that problems are clearly visible in this industry - as outlined in this thread - highlights a need for such measures.

I don’t think I’ve seen that either - at least not here on the forum. We opt for a much more balanced approach:

Doesn’t happen in this forum but I’ve seen it on reddit and HN (both of which I’ve quit using, so not sure how it is now).

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Do the masses at Reddit or HN even reflect/contain bona-fide Elixir users tho? I get the feeling that places like those are largely where people just get on the bandwagon of whatever is hot at the time just to be seen as ‘smart’ or ‘cool’ despite not even using the tech.

Also by reading some of the comments those platforms just come across as incredibly immature. Maybe I am being a bit too harsh :lol:


No, you’re not being harsh whatsoever.
Most Reddit / HN users are indeed immature.

Whether they do or not is irrelevant—reddit and HN are public forums for general interest so if the general populace sees Elixir users be annoying there they’ll be turned off the ecosystem (has happened with a friend I know in person). I know this forum is awesome though :smiley:

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I don’t think it’s irrelevant because over time I guess most people will form the same opinion, therefore take what they read on those places with a pinch of salt and not hold the rest of (the genuine?) community responsible :003: I hope so anyway :lol:

Hello all,

I am an amateur programmer who has taught himself several languages over the years: visual basic, C#, python, ruby, js and now, my favorite, elixir. I have no formal training in programming at all. As a result, I occasionally have “stupid questions”. You know, the answer is simple, but for whatever reason, it evades you. When I come to this community to ask such questions, I have been met with friendly answers–even when the question is a shining example of me being dense. I truly appreciate that about the elixir community. It is friendly and supportive.

But… there is one thing I would warn the community about. There are some, I fear, that see people like me–amateurs with a keen interest in programming–as a problem or as an annoyance. Yes, I, we ask the occasional stupid question, but honestly so what? How many others might have that question, but are disinclined to ask it because of a fear of being mocked? And even if not, I had that question. Help me answer it rather than look down on me for asking it, as has happened to me in the past in other programming communities (one of the reasons I moved on in one case from that language).

So please help keep this community friendly and open to all–professionals and amateurs. Make the Elixir community an example for others programming communities. To that end, may I make a suggestion?Rather than make the community unwelcoming to beginners and amateurs–as bullying in other communities certainly does, embrace them instead. This means that the professionals and experts in the community must make an effort. You possess the expertise to help answer my and other’s simple questions as well as the most challenging technical queries. So I would ask, don’t ignore, or worse, ridicule those who are simply trying to learn. This community so far has done a wonderful job of that. But please keep it up.

I still wouldn’t call them stupid questions. :slight_smile: And you are right, there is nothing wrong with them.

I take almost all questions as a learning opportunity. For example, if a lot of people are asking about Ecto.Changesets? Is it because the concept is foreign or because it is a bad abstraction? How can we improve the docs? How can we rearrange guides so the concept is not confusing when we later introduce it.

In my ideal world, a large amount of questions should be answered by linking to the documentation. Not as a “RTFM” kind of thing but more like “great question, it has been documented here: LINK”.

But it probably won’t ever happen because teaching and producing documentation is still a very hard job as you need to assume a starting point. The Elixir guides are probably not good for someone who has just started programming, we do use words and rely on abstractions that a new programmer won’t be familiar with and those will lead to questions which are totally reasonable. For such, I would love to have even more introductory Elixir materials, such as “Introducing Elixir”.

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