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How to get the most out of DEV

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There was a really interesting discussion that sprang up in the comments on this post about site content. A couple people mentioned that they were getting fatigued with tutorials and whatnot, but they're clearly active and engaged members of the community. So I wondered, what do people like most about DEV? What content do you engage with the most? Are there things that the site could change to make you engage more? Less?

I'm still fairly new here and I'm trying to figure out how to get the most out of this site and find a place in the community. Let me know what's worked for you!

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I’ve been wanting to do more “types” of posts, some that come to mind are things like “refactor this” or “compare this code” or “let’s all read and critique a file in a major open source project together”

Basically these kinds of posts would gather similar to #discuss and #explainlikeimfive etc.

Soo: new tags we support, have mods for etc.

Thoughts?

 

I love the idea of doing like, a group read of code, or a refactoring brainstorm session. The only caveat that I'd want to make sure of is that the maintainers are aware and have okayed the code for that level of group scrutiny. I know I would be mortified if people looked through my github graveyard and did a code review.

Or, inspired by this idea of site-wide group discussion, a maybe we could do a Papers We Love style discussion of a whitepaper or a conference talk every month or so. That might be a fun way to do deep dives into more advanced material.

The main hurdle I foresee with this style of expansion is what you mention - new tags, mods, increased overhead for the staff.

 

Big +1 to a Papers We Love or Conference Talk discussion!

Yeah! All that stuff is great!

I'm also really fond of "boosting" good stuff on DEV, in the form of referencing other posts or comments for a different audience or another look and a new discussion.

Basically like this:

We're currently featuring #bestofdev on the main sidebar if anyone wants to add posts like this to that tag.

I love this idea of boosting other people's posts in a best of tag. I was under the impression, based on usage, that the bestof tag was unofficially reserved for staff wrap up posts. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

 

Code reads would be great, so long as they don't end up with people posting their "friends" code just to criticise them.

A lot of us go to events and conferences and such (I say this like a veteran but I've been to a grand total of one conference so far). I think it would be neat to see people talk about their impressions and what they got from the events they attend. I'm going to something else next month so I'll probably post something about it, but what I'd be looking for in other people's posts is more than "sooo tired!" and "here's a photo gallery of all the free trinkets I got", which is mostly what I see on Twitter.

 

Also “inbox” threads of sort. Basically an open thread for me to be contacted publicly about anything.

 

It's nice that you mention this because I've been working on a post around refactoring techniques and later on plan to dive into some of my own code.

 

“let’s all read and critique a file in a major open source project together”

HAHAHA. Should totally have a category for that.

 

I think more mid-level tutorials would be nice. Like, it's nice that specific problems people have solved are documented here (in case you happen to have that specific problem), and the career advice and general discussion is nice, but I'd like to see articles about less-known features of particular languages, refreshers on basic-to-intermediate CS concepts, etc.

 

Also please check out my manuscript titled:
Wow I need to learn to review my comments before I hit submit
or
How many times can I fit "nice" into a two-sentence comment?

 

Highly relatable content. Commenting on this site is making me realize how many tics I have. I start a good 30% of comments with “I mean,” 😂😭

 

It might be interesting to have people share their experiences with things like Hacktoberfest, GitHub's game jam (starting next week!), or Advent of Code; granted, that could result in a lot of clutter on the front page that not everyone is interested in, so some filtration might be necessary were this to take off.

Also, remember when everyone was sharing their GitHub graveyards? That was cool!

 

So, it sounds like you would like to see more user driven trends and, like, topic/format posts rather than having staff driven topic threads? Ex: people sharing their Hacktoberfest PRs in the hacktoberfest tag rather than a hacktoberfest wrap up post where people talk about their PRs in the comments?

 

Yeah, but I'm not really sure of the format it would take - I've just noticed that comments become untenable at a certain point, but scattering all of the Hacktoberfest content across various posts might also be hard to keep up with =/

For sure. I definitely don't have any answers either, but I think it's super interesting. Because I definitely want to see what people are working on for Hacktoberfest or a game jam, and I'd love to see Advent of Code solutions. But organizing it seems really difficult.

 

That's definitely a common theme I'm seeing in the comments here and on a couple other posts. I think it's a super valid concern regarding the longevity of the community. I used to organize a meetup group that was very popular with beginners for a while, but eventually participants "aged out" of our content and we had a hard time sustaining long term membership.

Writing and organizing beginner content is a lot easier. What format are you interested in reading advanced content in? Long explainer posts? Shorter explanations geared toward discussion? Bullet pointed summaries of conference talks with counterpoints or expansions from the author of the post? These are just a few possible avenues off the top of my head, but I think it's a really interesting conversation going forward, and I'd love to hear other people's thoughts!

 

I love the supportive (and built-in) community! As for posts, I'm going to go against the grain and say I love super in-depth tutorials like

and explainers like and I also like advice posts like and . I learned a ton from this explainer: . And AMAs are awesome like

#Discuss can be a great place to get opinions and advice in longer form than twitter. Plus, posts have more permanence here since you can search for them -- my posts from a year ago still get readers!

Also, if you're a strong writer and put a lot of effort into your posts, the community is still close-knit enough where your writing can get a lot of attention, which is awesome.

I can't emphasize enough how mean programmers can be on Reddit and HackerNews (I've been on the front page of both for blog posts and it was a rollercoaster experience). This community is so much more supportive! Strong COC FTW!

Even if some content isn't tailored to my interests or experience level, I still like to skim and maybe pick something new up!

 

Thanks so much for linking to these articles! They all sound fantastic and are going straight to my reading list! This comment is making me think how much I love the "Classic DEV Post" feature underneath the comment sections, and also wonder if there are additional places that older content could be surfaced. Unlike other social media feeds, the utility of a post on DEV doesn't expire super quickly, so finding relevant old content could be very useful.

Seconding strong CoC!

 

Yes!! There used to be ones that would show up on the homepage, but that stopped. I really liked that! The classic posts are also an awesome feature though!

 

Use the tag to find good is nice I think. I'm a ruby programmer and I have found some solutions what I looked for years.

Another way is using search.

Dev.to is cool.

 
Classic DEV Post from May 10 '19

Discuss: GitHub Special Event

GitHub is holding a "GitHub Special Event" today. Let's discuss what we're thinking leading up to it + while it's happening <3

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Pronouns: they/them | | | Pythonista, cat lover, avid reader, and gamer in Chicago. Tip jar: https://ko-fi.com/thejessleigh