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.
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.
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.
- Coding Coach
- Here to help
- Teach Yourself Computer Science
- Protege - Remote Jobs for Junior Developers
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.
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.
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.
Here is list of good tech communities that I love being apart of.
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
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.
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.
- The DEV Community
- This Dot Labs - Women in Tech meetup
- EddieHub - Inclusive Open Source Community
- Women Who Code
- Google Developer Community
I hope you enjoyed this article and best of luck on your developer journey.