Discourse Support Training Program

As Discourse grows, more and more communities are needing skilled hands to help out. We see this trend internally, and from the posts on #marketplace with companies looking to hire full-time employees (FTEs) or contract hires.

To better help community owners looking to grow their community on Discourse and individuals looking to start a career in the Discourse ecosystem, we are creating a technical training program that details steps and tasks you can complete to become an expert in technically supporting Discourse communities/instances.

In this training, you’ll learn by doing which is the open source way. You’ll complete varying tasks across different aspects of Discourse and as you complete them, you level up through the program.

:mega: As a point of note, this training is for someone who already knows how hosted apps work and is looking to how to work with Discourse, it requires some technical know-how (but not a lot) as it guides one through setting up, managing and growing a Discourse community from a technical standpoint.

When supporting Discourse communities/instances you should be able to fully set up, manage and grow a Discourse community from a technical standpoint, this is very helpful because Discourse gives communities the power to create their own custom space/home from scratch once they understand how it works. This training will give you that understanding. To be able to technically support Discourse communities/instances, you should be able to:

  • Set up a Discourse instance, install plugins and themes
  • Search through Meta and the Discourse codebase to find key information and resources you need to work with
  • Have gone through a good portion of the #howto topics
  • Configure complex Discourse integrations
  • Write SQL queries
  • Make Discourse theme customisations and configurations
  • Make JavaScript customisations to Discourse
  • Understand the philosophy behind how we build and work at Discourse and how we pick and prioritise features
  • Answer #support topics
  • Repro and check #bug requests
  • Give helpful product #feature request and feedback

The more you complete each of the above steps, the better you become. This gives you access to the 3 parts or levels of this Discourse Support Training program:

  1. Discourse Support Enthusiast
  2. Discourse Support Advocate
  3. Discourse Support Expert

Each level shows a level of skill or proficiency, and as each level is completed you get badges. These badges correspond to the tasks within each level and combined together, they give you access to the level badge. Level badges show a higher level of proficiency, they show one has enough experience working on Discourse to support a community or communities growing on it.

Why should you take this training?

Very good question. Simple answer, the demand for technically skilled Discourse users is rising, we get frequent requests from our customers looking for help and most times these are shared with the skilled members of the community. We want to make these opportunities more accessible to the wider community, but first, we have to ensure there is enough understanding and experience with Discourse. This training will help us highlight and showcase the skilled members of the community.

Also, there are full-time job opportunities within Discourse.org and the larger Discourse ecosystem.

Start the training

To get started, first request to join the Discourse Experts Group, once your request has been accepted, go through each one of the topics below, and complete the tasks therein, and level up. The steps to take have been detailed extensively in each topic. Feel free to ask for clarification on/in any of the topics if need be.

  1. Discourse Support Enthusiast
  2. Discourse Support Advocate
  3. Discourse Support Expert

And complete the tasks. Once progress has been made for the first level, reply on the topic to get a manual review from a staff member to award you the badge. Once you complete all 3 levels, then :tada: you get the Discourse Support Expert (DSEx) badge and the recognition that you are a Discourse support expert.

:warning: Access to this training program and the badges is continually being vetted, so if an already participating member’s contribution starts to wane or lose quality, their access will be withdrawn.

Click through each of the levels above to start your Discourse learning journey.