Have you ever had the feeling of wanting to help other people especially the newbies in your field but you have little idea about how you can go about it? In this article we will be exploring the ways on how we can give back to the community.
Here’s an overview of what I’ll be talking about:
- Write an open-source book
- Join/Initiate an Open-Source Project
- Join Developer Meetups
- Join Delicious
Write an open-source book
This requires more effort than simply blogging but its usally worth it. Writing a book and making it free is the most awesome thing ever. Here are some good places to find open-source books.
If posting long and in-depth articles is not your type then maybe short informative posts will attract you. You may start out with Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook, GeekList, and Kippt. Your posts can be in the form of useful links, productivity tips(keyboard shortcuts for text-editors), new awesome JS library, link to a stackoverflow question that you have answered or something that you recently learned.
If you have a silver tongue and you’d rather speak to help people out then podcasting is for you. Here are some of the good podcast that you may want to check out to have an idea what people usually talk about in development podcasts:
- Shoptalk Show
- Herding Code
- This Developer’s life
- FaceOff Show
If you want to show how to do something then there’s no better way than to create a screencast for it. Some of the good screencasting platforms are youtube and vimeo since the videos that you upload are public by default. A good youtube channel that I know is theNewBoston they have some very good and easy to understand tutorials about programming and different kinds of software.
Join/Initiate an Open-Source Project
You can also join an open-source project. It may be hard to look for an open-source project to join especially for newbies. Since you will have to read a large amount of code and understand how it does things before you can contribute to it. But there are things that even newbies or non-developers can do like testing and filing bugs. One good project to join is the jQuery project. One thing to remember when looking for an open-source project is to join a project which you already use in your day to day life as a developer. If you’re out of luck and you can’t find a good open-source project to join then you can create your own open-source project and invite people to join. Projects are really a good way to learn stuff that you don’t usually learn on a day to day job since you will have lots of time to experiment with things.
Join Developer Meetups
You can also join developer meetups. One good place to find and join meetups is meetup.com. Its really easy to find meetups wherever you are in the world. Meetup.com will recommend meetups that are near the location that you have supplied in your information.
One good way to meetup with your fellow developers is through seminars and conferences. Conferences are a great place to learn from other developers and they might also learn something from you. I can’t really recommend a good developer conference since I haven’t been into conferences(though I dream to be in one of those awesome conferences someday).
You can also join Stackoverflow or any stackexchange site and start browsing for some questions that you can answer at your current level of knowledge. One easy way to find questions is through the tags which can be found on the right portion of the stackoverflow website. Once you’ve answered a fair amount of questions and contributed enough to the community then they will also invite you to Stackoverflow Careers which is a good way to find jobs.
If you’re out of options but you really want to help out then you can create your delicious profile and start bookmarking awesome stuff. This requires the least amount of effort because all you have to do is to click on the bookmarklet, tag your bookmark, then save it. Then you can post it to your public twitter account so that people will find it.
Everything we know we owe it to the community. Consider doing some of the things mentioned above and give back to the community. It doesn’t take a genius to be able to contribute, you can contribute even if you’re just new to the development industry. The things mentioned above are good ways to learn while helping others.