The term Dark Matter Developers was coined by Scott Hanselman in this blog post from 2012. In his post he defines Dark Matter Developers:
My coworker Damian Edwards and I hypothesize that there is another kind of developer than the ones we meet all the time. We call them Dark Matter Developers. They don’t read a lot of blogs, they never write blogs, they don’t go to user groups, they don’t tweet or facebook, and you don’t often see them at large conferences. Where are these dark matter developers online?
He goes on to theorize about these developers who are silently getting stuff done without sharing their accomplishments and stumbling blocks via blogs, conference talks or social media. He calls out a few examples of the types of programmers that he would categorize as Dark Matter Developers including “Embedded developers still doing their thing in C and C++.”
The blog post definitely rings true, but I’d like to think that the C++ community is slowly beginning to wake up and shed the Dark Matter Developer mantle.
C++ developers now have our own user groups and conferences to attend: If you haven’t already go check out CppCon and MeetingC++. I hope to attend, and possibly speak, at CppCon this year and I’m really looking forward to spending a week with the C++ Community. MeetingC++ is both a conference and a collection of C++ user groups, mostly in Europe.
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! C++ also has a podcast dedicated to it: CppCast. I’ve been having a great time recording this podcast over the past few weeks and talking to C++ developers in the community
I want to see the community grow more though. I want to see CppCon sell out this year. I want to have more C++ bloggers out there then I could possibly ever read. I want to see you all tweeting about how you’re using some new features of C++1x in your projects.
I want developers in the greater programming community to know that we’re out there writing amazing things in a language that is thriving and changing.
Please share this post with your colleagues. Tell them about the programming community and why they should join it. Here’s a great post from John Sonmez about the importance of community: http://simpleprogrammer.com/2014/03/21/importance-community-cant-alone/. Also, if you’d like to create your own blog but don’t know where to start here’s a great resource for that: http://devcareerboost.com/blog-course/.