Tech communities can be an excellent way for people to connect with like-minded individuals, share their knowledge and resources, collaborate, and learn. But should you join one?
“No man is an island”; sound familiar? We’ve all heard that expression, or some variation of it, and have likely felt identified by it. Even if you’re the most devoted loner to walk this earth, you’ve probably needed to rely on someone else for something at some point in your life, no matter how small that something was. Humans are social creatures, and since the beginning of time, we’ve been programmed to live in a community. We are all connected in some way and have developed the need for interpersonal connections, especially now that the field of technology has evolved enough to push IT professionals and developers to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. This need for socializing amongst piers has been the fertile ground for tech communities to flourish and emerge as a crucial part of the tech industry.
But what exactly are tech communities? Should you join one? Why? Which one should you join, and how can you make an informed decision? How will join a tech community benefits your career? In this blog article, we at Foonkie Monkey wanted to tell you all about tech communities. For that, we’ll delve deeper into what tech communities are and their benefits and highlight why and how you can find and join one that suits your interests and goals. Let’s go!
What are tech communities?
Tech communities are digital platforms where groups of people, typically app and software developers, programmers, and data scientists, et al., who share a common interest in technology-related topics, such as development, data science, machine learning, cybersecurity, and more, meet to socialize. These communities, which can also be found in person, are often centered around specific technologies or segregated by skill levels to allow members to connect with peers and like-minded professionals so they can share insights, knowledge, opinions, and resources. Tech community members can also contribute to open-source software, collaborate on projects, recommend each other for jobs, and learn from each other as they participate in online forums, attend in-person meetups or conferences, or even join mentorship programs to find peers and mentors that can help inexperienced individuals advance their career and achieve their professional goals.
Tech communities also play a crucial role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the development and other tech-related industries. Since one of the core premises of tech communities is inclusion, most, if not all, communities are focused on creating welcoming and supportive environments for everyone. That encompasses everybody, from the amateur who’s starting out in the development world to underrepresented groups, such as women and LGBTQ+ individuals.
In other words, a tech community is like social media for developers…but with a real purpose. It is a place where developers and IT workers meet to socialize, help each other become better, stay on top of current tech trends, and gain exposure to their areas of expertise. Becoming a developer is a difficult journey in and of itself; imagine doing it on your own. So, by joining a tech community, you can get an instant support system that can help you on that journey and fill it with knowledge and encouragement.
Still, if you’re not convinced, here are the main reasons why you should consider joining a tech community.
1. It’s a great place for networking and collaboration.
As with any other profession, or even simple day-to-day interactions, any setting or place that promotes human interaction is fertile ground for building personal and professional relationships that can be beneficial to anyone’s career; this is what tech communities are best known for. At this point, however, you may be wondering, “Well, I can do that on Facebook.” And you’d be right…sort of. See, networking goes well beyond following other developers on Instagram and connecting on LinkedIn. Networking involves actually interacting with and learning from others, exchanging valuable information, and building relationships, and tech communities are all about that.
Tech communities are great for networking and collaboration because they allow you to connect with other professionals in your field without all the clutter, spam, bots, fake profiles, or any of the other issues that have been plaguing traditional social media lately. As a result, you can access a safe haven where you can build business and personal relationships that can lead to learning new skills, getting new job opportunities, building business partnerships, or even laying the groundwork for building your own startup!
Additionally, the personal benefits of networking and collaborating in tech communities are also manifold, especially for developers who work remotely or people who don’t have much time to socialize. Joining a tech community where you can interact with like-minded individuals is a great way to connect with people from all walks of life and make friends with interests similar to yours. This can help reduce feelings of loneliness or inadequacy and can, in the long run, help you grow both personally and professionally. And, if you simply don’t have the time to go out and socialize or attend conferences, most tech community events are held virtually, which makes it very convenient to participate in and engage with your peers from the comfort of your home.
2. Tech communities promote skill building.
One of the main reasons you’d benefit from joining a tech community is to gather all the information you can regarding:
- The latest technological trends.
- Modern advancements in app development.
- Changes in industry standards.
- Changes in regulatory laws.
- Watch demos of new tools.
- Gain knowledge from innovators.
- Learn best practices on how to implement new technologies into your team.
Tech communities are one of the best places to learn new skills and keep tabs on what’s happening in the industry so you can learn and adapt. And, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, most tech communities offer valuable resources and support for learning. Depending on your chosen platform, you can access online tutorials, product demonstrations, code reviews, and online or in-person mentorship programs. As a result, you can improve your knowledge and skills, all while advancing in your career and making valuable connections.
As a bonus, tech communities can also help you improve your communication skills, a crucial aspect of your personal and professional life that can help you thrive in the workplace and in social scenarios. By joining a tech community, you’ll gain more confidence when talking to people, which is essential to communicate with clients, team members, and peers and translating that to the users of your app.
3. Tech communities can help you solve your problems.
We’ve all been there; hours or even days wasted while struggling with bugs in our code or trying to find lost documentation. While these and many other strifes are part of the development world, they’re annoying and often cost us time, energy, and money to figure out, especially when you’re starting your adventure in the app, software development, and programming. Luckily, tech communities are teeming with people who have probably already dealt with the same issues you have and have tried and tested every solution known to men. As a result, they can help you find the right solution to most of your problems in little to no time, which is an excellent alternative to the days you would’ve spent otherwise.
And, the best part? You can not only find solutions for your problems, but you can also learn from the mistakes of other tech community members so you can gain insight into how to avoid making them yourself. So, you’ll get first-hand knowledge of what to do and what to avoid, helping you on your way forward no matter what you’re project is or how complex your new undertaking might be.
4. Tech communities can drive your professional development
As mentioned earlier, tech communities are a great way to build professional and personal relationships. On the professional front, being a part of a tech community is very helpful in the sense that:
You can gain a new perspective on your peers’ unique experiences, journeys, and challenges. In addition, talking to them can give you an exclusive insight into how to use particular tools, which mistakes to avoid, how to deal with demanding clients, or how to adapt to emerging technologies, for instance, which is more valuable than traditional learning from books or classes.
You can join countless events and workshops specifically focused on career development. Most tech communities offer classes on modern technologies and tools and development practices and career-oriented seminars about resume building and interview tips, to name a few.
You get the chance to meet with recruiters, development company owners, and hiring managers that are actively seeking new talent, allowing you to “sell yourself” and appeal to them directly instead of the usual “dropping off resumes” by email.
You get access to links that people in tech communities usually share to direct other members toward various job or learning opportunities almost daily. As a result, you have access to internship opportunities, volunteer programs, training sessions, or webinars.
Overall, tech communities foster professional learning, growth, and better income generation by helping you access countless resources and making a name for yourself in a better, more direct, and impactful way.
5. Tech communities can help change the world.
Yes, I know; this one sounds biased. But the truth is that, by joining a tech community, you have a unique chance to impact others. The points mentioned above address what you would gain from becoming a member of a tech community, but you can also be the one who gives, teaches, mentors, and guides others on their own journeys. It’s gratifying and fulfilling, not to mention necessary, to give back to your community and drive positive change by sharing your knowledge and inspiring others to do the same.
Additionally, you can also help promote inclusive practices and encourage diversity in the app development industry by supporting or creating tech communities that are focused on creating welcoming and supportive environments for underrepresented groups. In that sense, tech communities are a great platform to help you spread the message: “Hey, there is space for you too!” which welcomes people from all walks of life, from beginners and the undecided to the most experienced and talented developers and IT gurus, meaning that no matter who you are, or what level of expertise you fall in, there will always be people like you.
What are some tech communities you can join?
Ok, so now what? Where do you begin? Depending on your interests and goals, there are many tech communities you can join. Here are some popular options:
GitHub: GitHub is arguably the most popular tech community right now. It is a web-based platform for collaboration and version control that offers features such as issue tracking, project management, and code review tools. You can access countless open-source projects and share your insights with millions of users.
Indie Hackers: Indie Hackers is an online tech community and resource center for independent developers and IT workers who are building and launching their own startups. Members can access a forum to share their experiences and ask for advice. The community was founded in 2016 and was later acquired by Stripe.
Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is a tech community created explicitly for programmers and software developers. Their forums allow members to ask and answer technical questions related to programming, software development, and other technical topics. It is currently one of the most widely used tech communities for programmers and developers.
Tech Ladies: Tech Ladies is a tech community and job board that connects women in the tech industry. It teems with technological opportunities and helps support and promote gender diversity in the tech industry. It provides women with an inclusive platform where they can share resources, support each other, answer questions, join online discussions, and access job listings. It has grown to become a global network of over 50,000 members.
Overall, tech communities are a great, valuable resource for development and IT professionals, or enthusiasts, to socialize, stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technological advancement, network with other professionals, promote inclusion and diversity, and improve their skills and knowledge. Although you don’t need to be a member to be a well-rounded professional, tech communities can help you access valuable resources, gain priceless insights, and build connections with other developers, mentors, and experts. So, whether you are an expert or a beginner, there is a tech community out there for you out there that can provide you with the support and resources you need to succeed.
If you have further questions about tech communities or want us to help you with anything regarding the app and software development, don’t hesitate to contact us!