PSA: Newbies - Please Don't Be Afraid To Reach Out
Amazing Things Can and Often Will Happen
I've wanted to write a post here for a while now, but if I'm honest I was a little nervous and shy because I'm very new to the development world and didn't really see anything of value that I could add. However after some recent experiences I feel like sharing could potentially be helpful to others, so here goes...
Developers are Awesome!
Over the years I have observed or been a part of many different communities, but I am yet to find one that comes even close to that of the programming community in terms of helping one and other.
It really is amazing how much people are willing to help each other out. Yes we are all told there is more jobs than developers, but this is still a competitive industry where ones skills are what gets us hired and helps us move up the food chain, yet seasoned professionals and beginners alike choose to help their peers time and time again. This is super refreshing to see considering how cut throat the world can be these days.
I'm sure most of you know how awesome the Dev community is, most likely you will have also found other awesome communities such as r/learnprogramming, r/webdev, freecodecamp and many more. The internet is full of amazing articles, blogs and forum posts that will help you no end, but I implore you to take it on step further and reap the rewards that come with it.
Engage Engage Engage
I learnt the value of networking long ago and I believe it as important in this industry as any other. I'm sure we have all heard the saying "It's not what you know, it's who you know" and I am a great believer in it. Now, don't get me wrong, what you know is obviously important, but having great contacts can make your life much easier when it comes to learning and when it is time to look for a job.
I have reached out to maybe 50 people in the last couple of months. I have found these people here at Dev, on Twitter, LinkedIN and Reddit and have had positive responses from virtually everybody. Some of those I am now talking with weekly via email and others pretty much daily via discord.
Most of the people I have contacted have already been providing advice via various different mediums and they were very happy I reached out. Most told me that it is good to know that people are reading their stuff and getting a lot out of it. This is what told me not enough people are reaching out and thus this (rather long) post was born. Another example of this is the DEV mentoring scheme, I read in the comments early on that there were way more mentors than mentees (this may not be the case now as more people are aware of it) which is just absurd to me. There are people willing to give up their time to help you - TAKE THE HELP
It's Not All One Way
I think a lot of people think that reaching out to those offering help and advice on forums and such is going to lead to a very one sided situation where they're receiving all the benefits and the helper gets nothing in return. This is certainly not the case, first off helping others is a very rewarding experience in itself. It is also very well known that teaching others is one of the best ways to solidify your own knowledge. Finally, you are able to help by giving your feedback on the things they're writing or tweeting about and help them generate ideas for new content and a whole host of other things. Basically, it's a two way street where both parties can benefit.
That's All Folks
Okay, if you have made it this far congratulations! I do have a tendancy to waffle a little, which I am working on and hopefully any future posts here can be more concise. I alluded to the fact that I am very new in my learning stage earlier in this post, but I am more than willing to help out anybody anyway I can as well as very excited to meet new people in this community, so please do reach out for anything!