Hereby a fondness is expressed for the CHS Community http://communities.mentor.com/mgcx/community/harness – though I wish it was called something else instead of community.
“Community” is an overworked label. But I have no better suggestion to call it. The Capital Harness Systems Bunch. The Capital Harness Systems Gang. The Group of CHS. Team CHS. The CHS Appreciation Society. The Soviet of CHS. The Society of CHS Practitioners. The Loyal and Ancient CHS Collective. They’re not exactly appealing and snappy suggestions are they?
I know it is a poor way of discovering a zeitgeist to look what some of the popular searches are using Google TM. But here are the results because it is quick and nearly as good as thinking for myself, perhaps better.
Looking for phrase “a community of” … returns
organisms and their [abiotic] non-living environment
So out of this hasty sample of what communities are out in the abstraction of the Internet one promises you not much in the way of nuns, no reference to organisms and little to nothing which is animalistic. But for the rest it isn’t stretching my knowledge of the CHS community to recognize it as friendly, where people read and write, consume and contribute. There are those who go there to learn from the more experienced (veterans) and the experienced go there to learn new things too and pass on knowledge.
Ah, Internet technologies! How easy it is to accelerate communication and interaction. In the olden days there were bulletin boards, and in the olden olden days there were face-to-face meetings. Formally arranged periodic symposiums and user group meetings played a part in having people share their experiences and they still do. Possibly alsways will do – for teams work best who know each other from meeting with each other and really getting to know each other, rather than through being members of an email group. But now serious users who want to know best practices, want to share their wisdom with others, and give and take knowledge about using this software have a place to go every day of the week, or at three o’clock in the morning if they are really inclined to do that.
A place to share.
The Integrated Electrical Systems Division of Mentor Graphics (IESD) started this initiative in 2008 as an internal resource before it went fully public on the Mentor Graphics Website. This trial was done to make sure the mission was fully explored, qualified, and the delivery didn’t have teething problems. An increasing number of customers’ staff is now active in posting to the community. I visit at least a couple of times a week and there is always something new and interesting
The online community adds to the offerings of Mentor Graphics Customer Support Division (CSD) whose telephone/email issue resolution is consistently placed as leading other sector companies in independent surveys sampling customer satisfaction. It comes from a widened base of expertise, putting customers in touch with technical and development engineers.
What’s the purpose?
First, the intention is to be going broader into collaboration between users who are deploying the system and the Mentor Graphics staff who know CHS inside and out. Customer’s knowledge of CHS is accelerated by their education and experience getting a little boost here and there from the community. One of those leading the charge from Mentor Graphics to make a success of the community is Nigel Hughes and he’s done a great job. I also have to say that his blog on the community pages is well worth a visit.
Second, sharing ideas, and sharing content is an aim of the community. For example plug-ins for the CHS application programming interface (API) are made available (with a normal standard disclaimer relating to customers’ use). I have downloaded a few of these and actually put them to good use in my own installation. Content also exists in the form of advisory documentation, best practice discussions.
Evolving appropriate practical ways of using systems like CHS involves fitting the software functional possibilities to the organizational realities of the customer. This is subtle, sometimes not straightforward task. The decisions get caught up with evaluation of alternatives, new users find it hard to imagine the consequences of a decision – of course they do, they are new users and lack the experience which gives them a solid foundation to navigate between competing choices. A community is a way of consolidating the experience. You have a chance to tap in to the experience – and you are invited to share your experience in exchange.
You get education, you give education. Trends and truth are beginning to show through the discussions. No charge, no hassle - a good idea from a newcomer can be as good as one from a person who has posted a hundred times. Over the next year it will be interesting to see what direction the people who join the community take it.
I recommend you to sign up and be a leading influence on the future direction of the community. If you’re reading this then it is highly likely you are just the sort of person who would benefit from participating.
Footnote on language – what I have learned apart from the word abiotic.
Realized that you can have a sentence legitimately ending …. “two to too” as in “The Mentor community for CHS harness is well worth a visit or two to, too.”