There is an old African Proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
This saying fits well when it comes to developer communities. Whether you are already a software developer or learning how to become one, developer communities play an important role in growing your skills. This is because you can’t be successful with only your knowledge, you also need communities and networks.
What is a Developer Community?
A developer community is defined as a group of developers that come together to achieve a common goal.
In other words, developer communities bring people with a shared purpose together. These communities connect experts to teams or to people that need help in software development.
What are the Benefits of Joining a Developer Community?
There is a common belief that developers work in isolation. You may choose to develop alone but a human being is a social creature and the ability to communicate, and collaborate with others play an important role in success. Here are some benefits you gain for joining of a developer community:
- Developer communities serves as a knowledge base since you have access to resources, tools, tutorials, coding tips, coding snippets and more.
- Meeting with people who have different backgrounds and expertise expands your level of knowledge and experience. Through different topics and discussions, you become more aware of technologies and frameworks that best suit what you are working on.
- Provides a platform for sharing ideas as well as creating collaboration opportunities with other developers.
- Helps developers solve problems faster since one can seek assistance from other developers when you get stuck. You can also get a solution from previous discussions similar to a problem you are facing.
- Helps new developers to easily learn the ropes and learn through peer-programming, knowledge sharing, sharing tools, code reviews, mentor-ship, and getting answers.
- Other developers can point out bugs you may not have noticed helping improve your code.
- Enhance faster workflows and reduced support costs. For instance, in a company you can save the cost of hiring a support team to answer technical questions. You also avoid a senior developer spending time answering junior developer questions, which wastes his value in the company.
- A developer gets to contribute to a community through answering questions or owning libraries. This enhances one’s visibility and is a great way to get new opportunities as well as discover companies that are hiring.
- You get to learn what is new in your programming language of interest, the challenges encountered by other developers, and find new ways to solve coding problems.
- The developer communities act as a support network. Coding can be overwhelming especially if you are doing it solo. Sharing helps keep you motivated and on track.
Where to Find a Developer Community
There are many developer communities as they have been in existence for long. The collaboration in this communities have resulted to open source movements, public repos, and meetups.
Before selecting a community, you need to first know what you are looking towards achieving. Also find out and understand what the community is about and if their goals meet your needs. Look for a community that encourages free flow of information and positive contributions towards collaboration.
Ones you know what you are looking for, you can find online support communities such as Github, stack overflow, Codenewbie, Sitepoint community, Freecodecamp, Reddit, Google developer groups, and more.
You may also opt for in-person support communities such as meetups and conferences. If you like challenges and are willing to grow your skills further, you can choose to join hackathons.
Developer communities have clearly come out as the best way to grow your skills, as you are interacting and sharing knowledge with people that you share similar interests.
Are you part of a developer community? Let us know which one in the comments.