About a year ago Scott Hanselman wrote about dark matter developers. I'd be surprised if you hadn't heard of the term already. The problem is, in the last couple of weeks I've seen people using it as a derogatory term, which it's not. They were calling them bad, which they aren't. I don't think this is what Scott ever intended.
When Scott talks about dark matter developers he is referring to the guys in the office who don't really contribute to the community. They aren't the first to answer Stack Overflow questions, they don't have their own blog and they don't go to conferences. What they do, do is get stuff done and at the end of the day go home and live their lives. It's important to remember this doesn't make them bad. They may still know the latest design patterns, tools and techniques just as well as you do. They just choose not to talk about it.
I've known and worked with plenty of dark matter developers who are incredibly good at their jobs.
So please don't instantly label a dark matter developer as being bad. They can be just as capable as you. And the last thing that is going to help bring them into this community we are so proud of is if we call them bad because they don't contribute.
This is not to say that I don't think people will benefit more from being in the community, as I've mentioned in a previous post. Just that it's not a requirement to being good.
The inverse of this is also true. Just because somebody has a blog or a twitter account it doesn't make them a good developer or expert. It just means they shout louder. I've seen multiple blogs that have opinions and ideas I consider bad. Not that you should trust me either.
It doesn't matter who it is you should never just trust their opinion on a subject without exploring and deciding for yourself.
This is only a short post. I just think its important that we don't alienate people from our community.