Even though coding is often considered a lone career, learning to code should be a collaborative effort. Communities are important for learning, regardless of what you are learning. Learning as a community has been embraced for long in the technology realm and has proven effective for most aspiring programmers and software developers. The mere feeling of belonging and the desire to be part of something you are interested in and passionate about is amazing.
The Rise of Coding Communities
For more than two decades, programmers and developers have become vital in nearly all industries, making it necessary for them to connect. However, unlike before, where coding education was limited, most current communities start at schools and coding Bootcamps, where those learning UI or UX can start forming groups or form connections with other experienced developers for career guidance.
Currently, both in-person and online forums have stepped up to widen learning opportunities, encourage networking, and help developers solve different problems. Online communities, including blogs, Stack Overflow, and open-source platforms, have become a meeting place for developers to share and improve codes with each other.
On the other hand, in-person events, such as conferences and meet-ups, have made it easier to build personal relationships, learn together, and ease career development. These communities allow coding enthusiasts to learn new skills regardless of their knowledge or experience by joining educative conversations.
As mentioned, three online platforms currently unite the developer community. They include;
- Stack Overflow – this is a great developer community that doubles up as a learning resource. Launched in 2008, it focuses on helping other developers in similar roles as users are encouraged to share knowledge.
- Blogging – blogs are great for answering questions without perfect answers on Google Search results. You can also pose your queries if you run into problems that other developers may have encountered before. Writing articles provides additional stories beyond the lines of codes, which is better than question-answer forums, such as Stack Overflow.
- Open-source codes – these are progressions of previous online communities that allow people to contribute to existing libraries and meet previous contributors for in-depth discussion and analysis.
Importance of Learning Communities
Learning to code in a community is beneficial in the following ways;
- It connects people – a learning community, either online or in-person, makes it easy for different people from various industries, geographical locations, and disciplines to connect, share ideas, and learn from one another.
- Sets goals and measures progress collectively – learning communities align platform participants around the same metrics, goals, and practice areas.
- Facilitates shared learning – participants get to learn from successful and unsuccessful user experiences. This deepens collective knowledge.
- Offers ongoing support – apart from providing learning opportunities, coding communities provide great ongoing support. The more you get involved in these platforms, the more people you get to connect with. Such relationships advance into support systems in the future, where they can help solve problems, share job opportunities, and more.
How to Get Involved
Being involved in these communities is the best way to realize its value. As a coding enthusiast, you can get involved in these communities in either of the following ways;
- Share Your Knowledge
All platforms in the programming community offer a unique learning opportunity. Sharing knowledge on these platforms enables participants to gain skills and learn from one another. If you have a broad idea about how something works, teaching allows you to break it down and understand the concept from its foundation. For instance, if someone has a problem or needs to learn a new programming language, you can help them with personal hacks that helped you.
- Attending Meet-ups
Developers in small groups can organize regular meet-ups with specific agendas. These are best for programmers with similar roles in different companies and within the same locality. These meetings enhance a sense of belonging and can feature food and guests with informative talks to make them interesting. Ideally, you will start building personal relationships with others after attending several meetings.
- Attend Conferences
Just like meet-ups, conferences are another great way of involving yourself in the coding community. However, they are specifically beneficial to beginners in the industry. Unlike local meet-ups, conferences allow you to meet people from different regions, cities, and countries, exposing you to a wide array of knowledge. You also get to chat with vendors and listen to keynote speakers in your field as you expand your network.
The Bottom Line
While the common notion that learning to code is somehow true, communities are incredibly helpful to beginners, especially when learning the basics of coding and new programming languages. Unlike other courses, most people cannot grasp coding concepts after a few lessons and tutorials. Besides, even experts can encounter challenges that require external assistance. Coding communities have made this easy.