Social networks for developers – a mystery that seems to be unsolved year after year. Do developers even use social networks?
Where do they spend their time, what do they read, watch, talk about? Where can developers be found? What are some of the go-to social networks for developers?
Whether you are an experienced developer looking to connect with other like-minded developers or if you are just dabbling in web development, finding the right social networks can be of great help.
Not only will you be able to find the answers to each and every question you may have about any part of the development process, but you will also have an opportunity to connect with so many amazing developers from all around the world. And that right there is the reason why you should know all about social networks for developers.
When you take a look at the most popular social networks in general, you might think that Facebook, LinkedIn or Snapchat are also the best social networks for developers.
However, that is not the case at all! Thanks to the Stack Overflow developer survey, it was discovered that developers are active on completely different social networks.
So if you are looking for the right social networks for developers, here is the list of social networks developers use and love!
This may surprise you, but the most popular social network for developers is Reddit. If you take a look at the stats available, there are over 2.3 million members in the Programming subreddit and 1.2 million members in the Learn Programming subreddit. In addition to this, there are always several thousand members online at any time in these subreddits, so no matter where you live – there is someone who is there to help you, day or night.
Once you start exploring Reddit, you will find that there are so many different subreddits related to some specific topics, such as different programming languages and frameworks. You can join Laravel, Symfony, Drupal, WordPress, AngularJS or ReactJS communities for example, if this is something that interests you. In this way, you will get in touch with the right people who can help you solve different issues and who know the industry inside and out. Also, you can get the latest info on any of these topics.
Even though a lot of people don’t think of YouTube as a social network, it really is. And developers use it to interact with other developers, to find solutions for the issues they encountered while working and to even offer their original content. This is why there are so many YouTube channels to learn programming available – and these channels are very popular.
For example, a channel named The New Boston offers over 4000 video tutorials and boasts over 2 million subscribers. Several other YouTube channels worth mentioning include Google Developers, Derek Banas and Learncode.academy. These channels have over 5 million subscribers and over 700 million views.
And we bet you thought that developers were shy and stayed away from public speaking?
Since Facebook is still the most popular social network, it comes as no surprise that it is found on this list. A lot of developers use it nowadays to connect with others by joining different Facebook groups.
These groups became popular in the last couple of years since they are a great way for developers to join like-minded people and to talk about different topics within these groups. So even though it is not the most popular social network for developers, Facebook still has a lot to offer so don’t neglect it completely.
Twitter is a social network where the maximum length of content is only 280 characters. So why is Twitter so popular when there isn’t too much content?
Well, one of the main reasons is the fact that you can follow influencers in the industry. These influencers share the latest news, notify their followers when something exciting happens and generally give useful tips and tricks.
Another important reason is the fact that many influencers love to start discussions, where they ask their followers to join in and share their views on various topics. By joining or simply following these discussions, developers can connect with each other as well, which is one of the biggest benefits of Twitter.
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks at the moment, so a lot of developers enjoy using it as well. However, it is important to mention that the vast majority of developers love to use Instagram in their spare time and not for work. So if your aim is to learn about programming or to get useful tips and tricks, Instagram is not a social network for that.
One thing you can use Instagram for is to enjoy a variety of memes and fun images about development. These kinds of profiles have a lot of followers and a bit of laughter at your own expense won’t do you any harm.
Another great way to use Instagram for business is to check out stories and posts related to different conferences. Let’s say that you cannot make it to a Laravel conference but you are really interested to see what happens there. All you need to do is to search for relevant hashtags and location tags and you are good to go. People love sharing photos and videos from conferences, and Instagram is a great network for that.
VK is the most popular website in Russia, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that this is a favorite social network for developers in Russia as well. If you don’t know what VK is, it is a social network based in Saint Petersburg.
There is no need to talk too much about VK, since this is a social network that many compare to Facebook. It is used in a similar manner to Facebook, since developers can connect with others and share their tips and tricks. So if you speak Russian and you are looking to find developers from Russian-speaking countries, VK is the right social network for you.
Famous for being the Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo is a micro-blogging platform in China. It is one of the biggest social media platforms in China and it boasts over 400 million monthly active users.
Weibo is the Chinese word for microblog. Users can publish content (eg. blog posts), chat, comment, follow other users and everything else that can be done on any other social network. And since the majority of the most popular social networks are still banned in China (YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, etc), developers in China use Weibo as their favorite social network. If you are looking for a way to connect with developers in China, Weibo would be a great starting point.
Even though Stack Overflow is often mentioned as a social network for developers, according to the definition of social networks, it is not one. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is worth mentioning it as one of the main sites where developers discuss different issues. Stack Overflow is an open community for developers. Here, they can discuss any problems they have, look for answers and share their knowledge. So if you ever tried to look for a solution to any coding problem you had, it is very likely that one of the top results was Stack Overflow.
This community is created for developers by developers and if you are looking for a place where developers love spending time – you can’t skip Stack Overflow.
WhatsApp groups are popular because developers can get the latest updates and useful info from the relevant community. In addition to this, whenever developers have any programming issues, someone will help them out as soon as possible – since this is a messaging service, the speed of getting answers is the biggest advantage of WhatsApp groups.
Since developers in China have access to completely different platforms and social networks, developers in China use WeChat in the same manner developers around the world use WhatsApp. WeChat is a messaging and social media platform, so developers use it to join groups and to chat, discuss and share relevant news.
It is important to mention that these WeChat groups are technically private and that you need to either scan a QR code or to have an invite to join them. Also, if a group has more than 100 members, only those who have linked a mobile number can be invited to join that group and if their number is from mainland China, it is necessary to link a bank card. So if you intend on joining these groups, pay close attention to the number of members they have.
When we talk about groups and chats where developers get together and share their knowledge, Slack has to be mentioned. Slack is a messaging platform that is usually used for business communication. And since developers are using it already for business, it makes sense that they decided to create channels to connect with other developers all around the world.
There is a Slack channel for every topic related to development. All you have to do is to find the right one for you. They can be about different programming languages, mobile development, testing or they can contain some questions and answers about programming in general.
What can be interesting for all young developers is that there are Slack channels dedicated to beginners. One of these channels is WeLearnJS, which helps beginners in the JS world.
Another fun and surprising fact about these Slack channels is that they promote a huge variety of challenges. Just take a look at JavaSpecialists channel – there are challenges related to health and fitness – participants would complete 15000 push-ups from October 2018 until February 2019 or run every day for 40 days and they would get a free copy of Java Design Patterns Course.
So once you join these channels you will truly become a part of that community and not just another anonymous user.
Even though forums are no longer as popular as they used to be, there are still quite a few forums that are active and that provide value to their members. For example, if you are interested in using CMS, you have the option to use official forums – you can take a look at Drupal forum or WordPress forum.
When it comes to forums which cover multiple topics, you should be careful when choosing where you want to create an account. A lot of forums became overcrowded with spam accounts. This is why you should browse first and then create an account.
Some of the most popular forums out there are CodeProject, which offers articles, tutorials, newsletters and even surveys; XDA developers, where you can find topics and questions about Android, and Apple developer forum, which covers topics related to Xcode, Swift and testing apps. These are just some of the most popular forums at the moment that doesn’t have too many spam accounts, but feels free to browse others as well – you may end up finding one that will suit your needs.
Are you ready to sign up?
Finding the right social networks for developers can seem like a mission impossible since they aren’t active on the most popular ones. However, now that you know which social networks are their favourites, you are ready to join millions of other developers who want to learn, share their knowledge and connect with other developers.
So what are you waiting for? Create profiles and enjoy!