There was a discussion about it some time ago. I think that the position of the staff at that time was that it would fragment the community and they weren't sure whether it would add much value.
As appealing as I find the idea of having a chat channel for the dev.to community, I share the same concerns. I have seen other communities based on forums and blogs start a discord server or similar only to see many users move permanently to the chat channel and stop visiting the website. Thus, the amount of interaction in the website decreased considerably in exchange for people talking about random topics in a rather unfocussed chat channel instead of posting and consuming quality content on the website.
Also, dev.to recently added direct messaging, so if you follow mutually another user, you can already ask questions and talk to them. I'm not sure what are the plans to develop it further.
Yeah. Dev.to has direct messaging feature where you can chat with mutually connected people and as per this post, they have group messaging in testing phase.
Yeah, this is the general path.
Replied elsewehere in this thread here
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