If you’re a developer looking to grow your skills, being an active member of a community is one of the best ways to go about it. Join a developer community, connect with others and share your knowledge and experiences with developers on a similar journey path as you!
Developer communities provide several advantages that will help you become a better programmer. In this article we’ll cover 5 reasons why being part of a community matters. If you’re not already part of a community or don’t actively participate in the ones you’re a part of, it’s time to rethink how you view them!
By the end of this we hope you’ll be convinced of why you should join a developer community and place effort in finding the ones where you’ll feel included and will ultimately allow you to grow as a developer.
1. For support and motivation
Most developer communities act as a place for you to connect with others you can relate to. Through the environment provided by such communities, you can connect with developers going through similar challenges as you.
As a result, you’re more likely to stay motivated and stay on track with your current development goals.
The journey of a developer can be tough, especially if you’re on the journey solo. Whether as a newbie, switching to a different field or by growing your existing skills, having a support network goes a long way in making you feel that you’re not on the journey alone.
For the newbies out there, a message that you should not shy away from developer communities!
The journey of learning to code is likely to be overwhelming at some stage. This is a key reason why you should find a supportive network from the beginning so you don’t feel isolated in your struggles.
Join a developer community that provides support for newbies and share your struggles. It’s likely we’ve all gone through similar challenges and hearing from others can act as encouragement.
Share new things you’ve learned, programming memes or whatever! It’s all about finding people you can share things with that you know are going through similar experiences as you.
2. Knowledge sharing
Developer communities encourage sharing of what you know with others. Through this knowledge exchange, we can all learn from each other and grow our skills.
Communities are a great way to share developer tips, tools, resources, coding snippets, tutorials or to have in-depth discussions on programming languages and all things dev related.
Being part of a developer community is like having an extended network of colleagues where you can help each other out. Use these communities to learn from people who are more experienced than you in your field.
This is another reason why I believe it’s essential for newbies to join a developer community.
You’ll gain a lot by simply participating and learning from others in the field of software development you’re interested in.
You can also open discussions with others to gain more insight into where their experiences have led them and learn from these experiences.
3. Networking opportunities
Being part of a developer community also opens up opportunities to form closer connections with developers in your field.
Job opportunities may also arise and especially applies if you join a developer community that meets up locally in your area. In this case, as you meet with the same people at each meetup you’ll eventually get to know them and their backgrounds.
This also opens up chances to find mentors in your field or potentially meet developers with similar interests willing to collaborate with you on projects.
As companies also tend to be involved in supporting developer communities, there’s also the opportunity to network with them. This can in turn increase your chances of being considered for positions as companies can see you are active in a developer community.
The networking possibilities that can arise simply by being active in communities and conversing with others on a similar journey path is another powerful reason why you should join a developer community.
4. Expand your areas of expertise
When you join a developer community you come across people with different backgrounds and expertise. As a result, you’re constantly being exposed to topics and discussions that may not be directly related to your field of interest.
Just by being active in such communities, you can pick up technical terms and knowledge relating to software development outside your direct area of expertise.
This is advantageous in allowing you to become more aware of what’s going on in other areas and potentially increase your interest in those areas as you learn more about them.
I personally found this the case when I joined the DEV.to community. It’s a community that allows anyone to share their experiences by making posts and discussions on any developer related topic they want. On DEV.to, I’ve come across all kinds of posts relating to fields I had no previous experience with.
By reading posts on areas of software development I’m not familiar with I’ve become more aware of technologies, frameworks and even programming languages that I’m now exploring to help with some side projects.
By the way, If you’re not part of DEV.to I highly recommend you consider joining this developer community! It’s a great place to share your own journey as a developer, exchange tips, share code snippets and have discussions on all things software dev regardless of your experience.
The more involved you get with a diverse range of developer communities, the more you’ll realise just how vast software development is and how much there is to learn!
By choosing the right communities to be active in, you can expand your interest and knowledge in ways that can help you in the future, sometimes unexpectedly.
5. It will challenge you
This point depends on the type of community you join. The opportunity for challenges relates to certain developer communities that are focused on having you take part in a challenge or project.
For example, freeCodeCamp is great for newbies as you can learn the fundamentals of several programming languages by completing coding challenges.
You can also join communities that focus on running hackathons and challenges to be completed within a time frame.
An example of deadline-based developer challenges are Game jams. In Game jams, developers work on a video game for submission to a competition either solo or part of a team.
Usually, the Game jam sets a theme and rules the game should follow. The games are then submitted and sometimes ranked by other competitors. The winners may receive badges, prizes or simply bragging rights!
Check out itch.io which is a Game jam community hosting challenges all year round.
The site you’re reading this on is also a developer community! At inspirezone, we are focused on using coding events and challenges to grow your skills.
While we have this blog to provide tips and tricks for developers, we are also working on building a community that’s entirely dedicated to helping you becoming a more active and motivated developer.
This is achieved by encouraging you to build up skills through active participation in our coding challenges or collaborating with other members.
Developer communities provide a supportive environment that encourages exchange of knowledge and experiences.
Being part of a community is a great way to keep motivated in your goals and have discussions with others passionate about software development.
Join a developer community and you may be surprised at just how much it will help you grow!
Other than our inspirezone community, you can use this list from freeCodeCamp to view other kinds of developer communities you can be a part of. As mentioned in the article, also consider joining the DEV.to community which I’m a part of and consider it to be a very welcoming community!
Are you already part of a developer community? Which ones do you recommend? Comment below!
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