When you think of developers whether you are thinking about coders, makers, or doers you generally don’t think about how important the community can be to influence and produce these developers. I am a web and mobile application developer in Winnipeg Manitoba and something that is not always taught in school here is just how important the community is.
I run the local Winnipeg Android group along side a couple other really talented people Jody Gillis and Ben Rogers. The Android group is small but is full of really dedicated people who are making apps and really pushing the limit to what the tech market has to offer in Winnipeg.
Thinkers, Makers, and Doers
The community is made up of all sorts of different people. It doesn’t matter if you are starting a tech company or you were just brought on with a local startup that is selling shaving equipment, you will be surrounded by these kinds of people. When you stay within the confines of your bubble you will always get the input of the same people.
Getting involved in the community even at the initial stages of an idea can really help. I have been to a couple Ramp Up Manitoba events where I was surrounded by all kinds of creative people with ideas. This made me really evaluate myself as a developer because sometimes the best ideas come out of these gatherings.
Being the thinker is totally fine, especially if you can find yourself a maker and a doer (or be all 3) and make something awesome.
Community Driven Development
I can sometimes be a little biased towards open source development. Almost everything I have ever made in the form of a game, app, or tool is generally published on GitHub. I, like most people have some things that I am not ready to share (mostly because the code is messy!) but for the most part I like knowing that my peers can look at my code and contribute or tell me why it is wrong.
The fact that the community can see my work forces me to work harder at what I do; it makes me think a lot more about the quality of my work before I consider something “version 1”. The quality of my code increases and it forces me to think about things like:
- Does my logic make sense?
- Can you read my code?
- Am I using variables that make sense?
These are all things that if nobody else is ever going to be involved in, what you do might be pushed aside in favor of speed. This doesn’t mean that only open source development is affected by the community but it does mean that the community can influence the quality of your work.
That idea you have for that website (you know the one) can be done a lot faster than you think. Making your idea community driven not only can help your project gain traction but can also help speed up your project by getting people to help you idea scrub and allowing people to track bugs and even push changes to your code (through services like GitHub and BitBucket) can help you identify issues a lot faster than doing all the testing yourself.
Connections & Networking
When you start attending user groups and meetups, you will not only start meeting like minded developers but you will be invited to share your ideas and see what you are truly capable of as a developer. This experience is the most valuable thing you can get entering the field and it is something that I am happy that I did before even graduating college.
It is important to get out there once and a while and show everybody what you’re made of, and see what they can do to.
Originally posted on LinkedIn by me.