I recently attended my first Twitter Chat with CodeNewbie this Wednesday, June 25th. It was a great experience interacting with other developers with the guided conversation that focused on communities in the tech space.
That got me thinking about my involvement with the tech community.
Before the pandemic shifted many schools and workplaces online, I did not really participate in a tech community. I think I just felt like I didn't have enough experience to feel ready to join tech meetups and the like.
That all changed when I decided to participate in Stanford University's Code In Place this year.
For those of you unfamiliar with Code In Place, it is a volunteer-led course hosted by Stanford University that gathers over 900 teachers to help teach people from around the world how to code in python. What differentiates it from other online course is that it hosts weekly live sessions where students can discuss lectures and work together on a coding exercise that applies lecture concepts.
I initially took the course to brush up on python, but ultimately what I enjoyed was the Code In Place online community. I really think that Code In Place was the first tech community I have participated in. I don't know what it was, but seeing what people from different parts of the world were working on or struggling with made me want to participate.
And I did.
I started posting what I was working on, what questions I had, and even social things like asking how everyone's day was going. By the end of the course I was even trying to answer and help trouble shoot other people's questions (one of my personal accomplishments was helping resolve someone's technical question - Stackoverflow here I come!).
I think that because it was a beginner friendly community and course I felt encouraged to put myself out there and engage.
My experience with the Code In Place community fired up my interest in being involved in the tech community and has led me to other awesome communities like Dev.To, CodeNewbie, and Virtual Coffee Chats!
I personally think the value I have received in participating in a tech community so far has been coding/learning to code more consistently and meeting and learning from other developers. Seeing what other people are working on makes me want to keep improving myself and learn new things. Additionally, I look forward to contributing more as I gain more experience.
As most of my experience was with online tech communities. I feel like I'm able to interact with developers I probably couldn't normally due to location and time zone differences. As things open up and having had a great experience online so far, I look forward to participating at in-person meetups in the future.
What do you enjoy about being part of a tech community?
Do you have a preference towards in-person or online communities and why?