DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Cover image for 3 Reasons Why you need to join a tech community
Jessica Wilkins
Jessica Wilkins

Posted on

3 Reasons Why you need to join a tech community

No matter where you are in your developer journey, it is really important to join a tech community. Healthy tech communities can provide valuable learning opportunities, growth, mentorship and career advancement.

In this article, I will provide you with three reasons why you should join a tech community. I will also provide you with a list of communities I enjoy being apart of.

Reason #1: Community Support

Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash
Family holding hands

When I first started learning how to code, I remember feeling lost on what to do.

I had so many questions including:

Which courses should I take?

How long will it take to get a developer job?

Is it normal to struggle while learning how to code?

After a couple of months of bouncing around to different online sources, I stumbled across freeCodeCamp.

Not only did I enjoy their interactive lessons, but I also loved being apart of their supportive online community.

Since I came from a non-tech background, it was very helpful to have a community there to help guide me throughout my journey.

When you are plugged into a good community, they will be there to celebrate your wins, and support you during the tough times.

Whether you have been programming for 2 months or 2 decades, everyone needs a support system.

Reason #2: Access to valuable programming resources

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Public Library

One of the great things about being in a community is the volume of great resources that developers share with each other.

I have probably bookmarked 100's of resources within the past year.

Here are a few great resources I learned about through my community.

I have also asked my community for suggestions on resources for accessibility, Web 3, interview prep and more.

Your community should be a trusted resource to help you distinguish between the good and bad content.

Reason #3: Networking

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

People talking at conference

Connecting with other developers is one of the biggest reasons why people join tech communities in the first place.

Making genuine connections with people can help boost your developer career. There are many developers out there who got jobs through their network.

When you take the time to meet, discuss, connect and collaborate with other developers, it can lead to more career opportunities than the traditional job search.

Please Note:
Networking does not mean using people for personal gain.

Do not join a tech community and immediately demand complete strangers for a job.

Focus on making genuine connections with others. That way they can vouch for your work and feel comfortable recommending you for jobs.

List of good tech communities

Here is list of good tech communities that I love being apart of.

Virtual Coffee

Virtual Coffee Website

I joined Virtual Coffee a few months ago and it has been an incredible experience. The level of care and time that goes into everything they do is beyond amazing.

Virtual Coffee was founded by @bekahhw in April of 2020. Since then it has grown into an incredible group of developers from all around the world.

Virtual Coffee meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays to discuss anything related to tech. Members can also seek programming help, career advice, and more through the slack channel.

I also really enjoy participating in the Lunch and Learn events as well as the monthly challenges.

If you are interested in joining, then please visit the Virtual Coffee website on how to attend a meeting.

The freeCodeCamp forum

freeCodeCamp forum

This is a forum dedicated to those seeking help with the freeCodeCamp curriculum as well as general advice regarding web development and careers.

This was the first community I had ever joined and I really liked that fact that it was a safe place to ask questions.

There is no question to dumb or small to ask because people are always willing to help out.

The forum is also a great place to share projects you have been working on and receive valuable feedback.

You don't have to be actively going through the curriculum to join the forum. There are plenty of professional developers who have joined and just want to participate in the conversations.

If you are interested in joining, then please sign up on the freeCodeCamp forum website.

You can also join the freeCodeCamp discord or chat.

How to find other developer communities

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Community of people

There are plenty of forums, chats, slack channels, and meetups that you can join.

Here is a list of some other suggestions that you can try out and see if it is a good fit.

I hope you enjoyed this article and best of luck on your developer journey.

Top comments (8)

Collapse
 
jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

One big drawback - especially for beginners - can be the echo chamber effect. You're likely to mainly hear about the 'coolest' things, and be led by clickbait type content (dev.to being a perfect example). A lot of content in these communities isn't curated and can often be misleading, if not plain wrong. You also risk being guided by 'experts' who are far from that, who are just good at promoting themselves.

It's a minefield out there. It used to be far easier to learn when there wasn't so much 'choice'.

Collapse
 
thumbone profile image
Bernd Wechner • Edited on

I just took a look at EddieHub myself drawn by the subtitle above "Inclusive Open Source Community". And it looks sort of impressive when you surf in, but I surfed away again too. I think in no small part because of my Australian lens. It's not something I'm proud of, though we have our nationalists like everyone does who would threaten me for that lack of pride in our cultural identity and predilections. But through our lens when you see a service or site named after it's creator, and a then a spruik page like this: eddiejaoude.io/home, we tend to run. It's associated with rank US style individualism and our backdrop and infused culture is one of us, over me. Again don't get me wrong, that is not universal here any more there are universal truths about any rich complex culture (which they all are). But it is the unspoken backdrop that has no doubt influenced my reflex - in that when I see those things I feel a desire to withdraw not engage, like I'm in the glow of ego not community and I need to put my sunglasses on. I know that's far from universal and in the US for example it is the backdrop infused unspoken culture, that one promotes oneself as strongly as possible, the power and glory of the individual and their achievements. Which is why here in Oz (what we affectionately call Australia) we associate that kind of rugged individualism with the US, and of course those that are inspired by this culture and emulate it too.

But I concur, I have read some trash here and on other tech sites, and in fact am known to respond to a class of question I have seen a few times that runs like this "I'm thinking of starting a blog - or youtube channel - what material do you think I should cover, what would you follow and subscribe to?".

My response to such a question is generally along the lines of: the internet is awash with blogs and vlogs already and there is very little scope to add any value anywhere, least of all if you have to ask, if your motivation is publishing first and you're looking for material. Next thing, you're on the treadmill copying stuff willy nilly as writing originally is hard work and just reproducing and rephrasing the huge echochamber of the internet's endless wannabe publishing community. If you have unique skills and passion and google it and can't find anyone doing it, there's a niche, but consider a metered monthly routine that gives you time to research and present quality not just quantity. Only problem is it's hard work and doesn't pay. If you're asking what niches need filling I can tell you up front it's documentation for FOSS. Almost any project out there is eager for technical writers. Of course, not a lot of limelight or fame to be gained in that area, but enough. Again, do a good, productive job, with quality output and that speaks to others as much as, and to some, more loudly than, a load of likes, followers and/or self promotion. In fact many of the best paid technical people remain humble and productive and some even become popular within target niche communities not broadly.

It bugs me for example that whenever I have a Python question I don't get the Python manual as the first hit but a pile of paraphrasings that generally suck and I have to scroll down to find the Python docs on the matter. I'd love to be able to tune my search engines in that regard. Alas the ones I know all seem to use popularity as some measure of my desire to see something (an echo chamber again, it's popular because it's listed high and it's listed high because it's popular and sites all scrambling to break into that self reinforcing cycle), but I don't want a popular page, I want the right page, and when I have technical questions that in order is the reference manual, followed by the best tutorials and no search engine I know provides me that ordering.

Collapse
 
jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

Being a Brit, I think the cultural mindset is very similar

Thread Thread
 
thumbone profile image
Bernd Wechner

Makes sense. Australian backdrop culture is essentially inherited from the English (and Irish and Scottish) to this day. It's a much younger offshoot than the US (by a century or more and so has not diverged as far culturally).

Collapse
 
jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

Or just copying content from MDN/other reference source and passing it off as their own

Thread Thread
 
asapsonter profile image
Sam Sonter

I am for an effective dev community especilly for backend devs. If anyone can recommend

Collapse
 
ronaldngounou profile image
Ronald L. Ngounou

Thank you very much Jessica for sharing this gold mine. As a beginner, it will be definetely rewarding to my journey.

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.