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.
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 are more likely to stay motivated and keep to 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 special word that you should not to shy away from developer communities! The journey of learning to code is likely to be overwhelming for most and more of a reason to find a supportive network from the beginning so you don’t give up. Join a developer community that provides support for newbies, share your struggles and receive 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!
I also of course have to mention the community you’re reading this from right now! Here at inspirezone our community also focuses on providing support and motivation for members whether newbie or experienced. As the community grows we’ll place you in accountability groups to encourage you to stick to your goals. Consider joining us today 🙂
2. Knowledge sharing
We learn through gaining knowledge and there’s no shortage of knowledge exchange within developer communities. As the growth journey for developers never ends, we can never have too much to share.
Developer communities encourage sharing of what you know to others. Through this knowledge exchange we can all learn from each other and build ourselves into growing our development skills.
What is shared can range from developer tips, tools and resources on development to coding snippets to more in depth topics on programming languages and applications.
It’s like having an extended community of colleagues where you can help each other out in challenges you face. Use these communities to learn from people who are more experienced than you in certain areas of software development.
This is another reason why newbies especially should join a developer community. You’ll gain a lot simply by learning from others in the field of software development you are pursuing. You can also open discussions with others to gain more insight into where their experiences have led them.
3. Networking opportunities
By being part of a group with other developers you also make it easier to form closer connections with developers in your field and potentially come across some job opportunities.
This applies especially if you join a developer community that meets up locally in your area. You’ll probably come across the same people at each meetup and eventually get to know them and their backgrounds.
This can open up opportunities to find mentors in fields of software development you want to grow in or. You can also potentially meet developers with similar interests willing to collaborate with you on projects.
As organisations also tend to be involved in supporting developer communities you can discover ones looking to recruit in your area. In this case, you’re likely to be considered for positions as companies can see you are active in a community and have a mindset of learning.
The opportunities that open up 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
As developer communities bring together people with all sorts of background, you’ll always come across topics and conversations in areas not directly related to your industry.
Just by being active in such communities you can pick up technical terms relating to software development beyond your fields of expertise. This will allow you to expand your interest to other fields of software development 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 dev related topic you want. On dev.to, I come across all kinds of posts relating to fields I had no previous experience with such as front-end and back-end development.
By reading posts on areas of software dev I’m not familiar with I’ve become more aware of technologies, frameworks and even programming languages that I’m now exploring to help me with some side projects I work on.
By the way, If you’re not part of dev.to i highly recommend you consider joining this community! They are a great place to share your own journey as a developer, exchange developer tips, share code snippets and have discussions on all things software dev regardless of your experience.
The more involved you get with diverse developer communities the more you’ll realise how vast other areas of software development outside your field are. By choosing the right communities to be active on, you can expand your interest and knowledge in areas beyond your expertise in ways that can unexpectedly help you in the future.
5. It will challenge you
This point depends on the type of community you join. Certain developer communities 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 hackathons and challenges completed within a time frame either solo or as part of a team.
An example of a challenge based communities are ones that run Game jams. A Game jam is a challenge where developers make video games solo or part of a team. They usually have to submit a game with a chosen theme or set of rules. The games are submitted within a time frame to be ranked by others. The winners would receive badges, prizes or simply bragging rights! Checkout itch.io which is a Game jam community hosting challenges all year round.
Here at inspirezone, we are also focused on challenging you to grow your skills. This is achieved by encouraging you to build up skills through collaboration with other developers. We want developers to work on accelerating their growth and the best way is to learn by doing.
While we have this blog to provide tips and discussions for developers, we are also working on building a community that’s entirely dedicated to helping devs become more active in their coding activity! Whether you’re a newbie or experienced, we welcome anyone willing to dedicate time and effort to accelerate their coding skills. Learn more about how we work and consider joining us!
Developer communities provide a supportive environment that allows exchange of knowledge and experiences with people of similar interests and struggles as you. 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 as a programmer!
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.