Coding is hard. And there is so much to learn, no one person can really know it all. I think that's why developers tend to rely on the developer community so much (more than other types of jobs I think). It's why welcoming community hubs like dev.to have exploded.
In this post, I wanted to share three communities that offer the opportunity to learn from and connect with your fellow developers. They are communities that I participate in actively and have gained a lot from. Even when they cater to new or aspiring developers (as a couple of them tend to do), I've found amazing opportunities to learn, even as someone with decades of experience as a developer.
I am totally biased about this one as I created it and run it, but I do that as a way to give back to the developer community and share my love for learning about code and technology. This month is actually the anniversary of 4 years of running CFE.
What is it?
Virtual Coffee was created by Bekah Hawrot Weigel and Dan Ott. It was inspired to build connections and networking opportunities for developers, especially new and aspiring developers, during the pandemic. Virtual Coffee has grown enormously because it offers a laid-back and welcoming place for you to meet and talk about important developer topics.
What is it?
Virtual Coffee offers numerous opportunities to meet and connect via Zoom every week. They generally host two "morning crowd" get togethers each week at 9am ET and two "afternoon crowd" get togethers at noon ET. They also have a "brownbag session" most Friday's at noon ET. The brownbag sessions are for members only and are more focused on learning a particular topic, taught by a member of the Virtual Coffee community. Membership is completely free but does require that you've attended at least one morning/afternoon crowd get together. This also gives you access to their private Slack community, which is very active and extremely helpful.
Mintbean was created by Monarch Wadia and Navi Mann. Inspired by their own experiences in tech, they created it as a community aiming to help new and aspiring developers gain the knowledge and experience they need to land a job and be successful as developers. In particular, they help devs bridge the gap between a boot camp and a successful career.
What is it?
MintBean hosts regular virtual meets every week with speakers on a variety of topics as well as virtual hackathons. This gives you the opportunity not just to learn from the community, but also to team up with your fellow developers and build something fun and useful that you can add to your portfolio. Mintbean also hosts a very active Discord server where you can communicate in between meets and hackathons.
Each of these communities emphasizes different learning styles and opportunities. You can, of course, join all of them (I did), but you can also find the one that fits you the best. I hope to see you there!