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2.2. What is a Community of Practice?

It seems to be a commonly held opinion that principles of the open source way are limited to the practice of software development.
In fact, the open source way is an instance of a ''community of practice'', which exist in varying forms all around us. Etienne Wenger, the leading theorist of communities of practice, [ defines] the term as follows:
Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope. In a nutshell: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
 --Etienne Wenger