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At what point do you feel part of a developer community?

damcosset profile image Damien Cosset ・2 min read

Community definitions:

a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.

I have been thinking about this lately. In the current world, we often have these tribal feelings. As developers, we will even fight tooth and nail to defend our community. If I am part of the Javascript community, I can become offensive and mean towards the C++ community because of the programming language. Or because I believe the member of that community have certain traits...

We hear the word community a lot to describe groups of developers. Sometimes for programming languages, sometimes for frameworks and sometimes for websites. The PHP community, the React community, the DEV community...

But... what makes you part of a community? At what point can you comfortably say: "I am a part of the X community" ?

I'll take myself as an example. I use the following technologies: ReactJS, NodeJS, Java Spring Boot, Typescript, CSS, HTML, Javascript.

I mostly use Javascript technologies. I use Spring Boot also. I consider myself to be part of the Javascript community. But, I don't consider myself part of the Java or Spring Boot community. I could see myself part of the React community, but for some reason, it's not as strong as the Javascript one for me...

This has nothing to do with how much I love those technologies. I love React, and I like to use Spring Boot. So, that can't explain why I feel this way.

To me, I think I comes down to the following question:

  • If X didn't exist anymore, would you feel like something was missing?

Spring Boot, TypeScript and React could disappear, and honestly, after a few adjustments, I wouldn't care too much. Yeah, even React, I could move on to something else without an issue.

Now, if you took Javascript or DEV.to from me, I wouldn't be a happy camper. Those are things that define me. They have been a part of me for so long, and they shaped me in so many ways that I couldn't give them away that easily.

So, after all those words, there are two communities I feel a part of:

  • the DEV community
  • The Javascript community

What do you think? Which communities do you feel you belong to?

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Discussion

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olivermensahdev profile image
Oliver Mensah

When I was able to share might thoughts and I got accepted with feedback to improve next time. That's when I felt like it is a safe place to be. I'm more inclined to a location-based community like DevCongress, DevCAccra in Ghana. With the online-based community, JavaScript, PHP, and Dev.to are my go-to community.

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maniflames profile image
Maniflames

Because of my junior mindset during the first years college, I've had a short stage where I would judge other developers based on arbitrary things like 'favorite language'. That didn't really make me feel part of anything just 'not part of x'.

Right now I'm almost done with college. After working with several languages and doing different types of software development grounding the feeling of community on the usage of a specific set of technologies seems pointless.

I don't feel like part of a community until others within the community treat me like a member or at least as if I belong. Right now I regularly watch twitch streams by cyberbarbie and joined the discord group as well. I do feel part of that community and have never felt more at home anywhere else. Although she is learning python, within the community itself everybody learns their own thing: other languages, webdev, gamedev, etc. If you make friends and can learn from (and with) several people and just have a nice chat others I'm good.

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nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐞 𝐝𝐞 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐝

But... what makes you part of a community? At what point can you comfortably say: "I am a part of the X community" ?

When you stop being the guy who "becomes offensive and mean towards the C++ community because of the programming language". Not insinuating you do! Just quoting you :)

We're all developers regardless of what language we use. When you can move past that and become impartial to different languages, THEN you become part of a community.

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damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset Author

Oh, I couldn't agree more with that feeling. But as humans, we form into tribes. And I don't think that will change anytime soon in our profession. And sometimes, with tribes, we become defensive to "protect" our "kind".

But it's interesting to know how and when developers feel like they are a part of a certain tribe.

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leob profile image
leob

Hmm well, that would be the dev.to community I guess!

Somehow the founders of dev.to have really managed to build not just a blogging platform like medium.com, but a genuine "community". Back when I was still in the habit of "consuming" content on medium.com I never had any "community" feeling at all.

So that's a big compliment I would like to give to the dev.to founders.

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nexusdenim profile image
Nexus Denim

We are Developers and we will remain loyal to our languages but get the bigger picture here we are all DEV Community in which all developers are welcome either front back anywhere. If one can code he is a developer and a developer community it is.

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thegreytangent profile image
thegreytangent

Yeah, exactly right.