I Joined A Programming Community, And This Is What I Learned

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One thing that budding programmers might be getting wrong is the idea that with just the Internet and the host of online learning materials available, they do not need a community.

This is one of the many mistakes I made when I set out to learn to program: learning in isolation. I am starting to correct it; you can join me.

I came to know how much behind innovation and trend I was, and how much I had been missing when I eventually joined a community. On my first few weeks of joining a community my learning took an entire new curve- it was in my first programming community that I actually got to learn/know of Java.

I came across new things that I never knew existed and amazing opportunities that I would never have gotten access to on my own. I learnt to diversify and not stick with one programming language, and I got to work on my first real project.

If learning to program is what you really want to do, then joining a community is what you really have to do. Joining a community has a lot of benefits; below are some of the benefits of joining a community.

Joining a community

· Helps you learn faster: Learning community helps eliminate the laziness and procrastination that would have eaten you up if you were learning on your own.

· Keeps you up-to-speed with trending technologies: Trust me when I say, you do not know what is happening out there in the tech world if you are a lone ranger. You cannot read everything in the world, but in a community, you get to learn from the study of others through knowledge sharing.

· Makes learning to code fun: There is nothing more fun than being in the company of like minds, learning the same thing and sharing a common goal.

· Helps you work through coding difficulties in real time: Just before writing this particular part of this article, I listened to an Android Developer at Google, talked about how she spent hours on a problem, which took another programmer few minutes to solve; when she reached out for help. This is what the community provides you with, quick solution to your coding problems.

· They serve as a source of challenge: Nothing can be more challenging than seeing a fellow programmer solve a problem that gave you sleepless nights in seconds; you are spurred to study harder.

· Holds you accountable to your goals: Communities have shared goals; this helps members hold one another accountable to their goals and work together to achieve these goals.

· Keeps you going when learning seems tedious and like a waste of time: You will face this as you learn to code, I have countless times, but being a member of a community is what has helped me stay in the boat and not fall overboard.

· Source of coding projects: I came to work on my first real web project just within a day of joining a community.

· Networking: In less than a week of joining one of my communities, I came across personalities who I never would have met on my own; Bankers, staffs from top tech companies like Microsoft, brand experts, graphic gurus, startups and startup experts and incredible motivational speakers. Communities help you create long lasting useful relationships and networks.

Programming community(s) can be online or offline (I personally prefer offline communities). Join a community on all the programming languages you are learning, and you can create one if there is none. I am currently learning Android and JavaScript and I joined a community on both of them even before starting off my learning.

This proverb summarizes it all;

To travel fast, travel alone, but to travel far (and fast), travel with a community.

Learning communities are indispensable, searching for them is not so hard, Google is your friend, or you can ask a real friend who is also a programmer.

Thanks for taking your time to read this long article,

Are you a member of a coding community, what has been your experience so far, how has the community been of benefit to you?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Happy coding and learning.

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