I think this community works quite well, always room from improvement, but this is how it went for me.
I knew very little to nothing about servers and scripting.
As soon as I got an idea to try to launch my own server it took me ~2 weeks to get it working, with some help from community and helpful sources all around this forum.
After a few more weeks with support help, I was able to do some scripting.
Basically when you are here to set up a game and know nothing about how can it be done.
This community helps you get started quite fast. A very good sign.
At the start, I simply wanted to be part of something and help anyone, because all of this was fascinating, but my skill level was so low nobody was interested. So instead I started tinkering with the TFS 1.x what I got working.
Here is the first major problem with a lot of these open source or private servers here.
There is no onboarding process.
Bringing value to the community
After a few months, I got pretty good at it and started offering my skills for free where I could.
Every time I had a problem I posted in support and continuously updated it with what I was trying to do and what I already tried if I didn't get an answer. This motivated me to spend even more time here.
I think I got an answer to all my problems.
This means it is a very healthy and helpful community.
Few months after helping others I started to see the development patterns and started having ideas on how to improve TFS architecture.
Also the more I did stuff the more I was requested to do things.
I got a little overwhelmed, all I did was things for other private servers.
I started thinking: "Why should I do something for others if I could build something much better myself and share it with others in the end?"
Eventually, I wanted to improve my own server map.
And here was the kicker, nobody was willing to map for free, but they were willing to do it for money.
So I started offering my Lua scripting services for 2eur/h or in return for maps. The price eventually rise to 10eur/h
It was now over 6months spent in this community. I had no work nor school and my family started to push me to do "real work"
For excuse, I started bringing up, that what I am doing here is work and I can make money here.
From that point on started also paying bills.
This shifted me from spending money to the community and only get paid here or working on my server.
Eventually, I got offer from an ABB factory to be an ERP software developer.
And that offer was because thanks to the skills I learned from this community. It was the only thing I had on my CV
At first, I accepted the job to speed up building Whi World.
Funny, nobody was interested to work on my server for 10eur/h (looked for the mapper, c++ engineer and website developer)
I started using the freelance site. I spent over 1000eur over several months.
I posted quite often what I bough or what I am working on, because I wanted to be noticed, but it felt like, a very small amount of people cared. (also I did a very bad job at marketing)
At work, however, I got praised every time I did something good or got guidance on what to do differently If I made mistakes.
Over time I gave up on doing this server in my free time and started focusing more on improving other coworker working tools.
This how I stopped contributing here.
If I would have understood that all I am doing here will benefit me in the future regardless if I publish everything or not. I would have made a public repo from the beginning. I would have definitely had a higher impact on the community and my situation only could be better, not worse.
For all the new developers here. Your ideas are amazing, but there are also a lot more great ideas out there.
If you don't get money for keeping your ideas and code private. Open source them as soon as possible.
Its the fastest highway you can fulfill your ideas and dreams.
If your project set up is well documented and your server is open source.
I am willing to advise and write scripts for you for free.