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'How did you do that?'

JavaScript➕Coffee🚀
Freelance tech writer and community-builder Self-teaching web development/design, using online resources. Blogs about JavaScript, mindset, and my journey.
Updated on ・3 min read

I joined twitter in mid June this year (2020) at around the same time that I started my journey into coding. I have had a twitter account before, but I wasn't very active - more of a 'lurker' (just there to look at other people's content!)
I posted rarely, and not about anything in particular. Sometimes I engaged with other equestrians regarding a question that I wanted answering. I think I followed a few hundred people and had about 38 followers on that account at its peak.

On my account, JavaScript+Coffee (@javascriptcoff1 ), I currently have about 2180 followers and am following around 400 people, 2 months after setting up the account.

People have started to ask me how I am growing my twitter following so quickly. My first reaction to this was 'I don't know!', but as more people are now asking, I have sat down and had a proper think about it.
I am aware of some courses or resources that people promote, but I have never read anything about how to do 'it', where 'it' is some magical X-factor of the Twittersphere.

Yesterday I discovered the Analytics page of my twitter account.
I had never gone into it before, and there are some interesting graphs in there with some big numbers, but they are not really what I am interested in, nor why I came to twitter.

The reason that I came to Twitter was to network, to discuss with other developers, and to struggle through with other #CodeNewbies on their journeys - because who can do this alone?!
I engage with people, I post a lot about my journey, about other people I find extraordinary, and about things that I find funny.

So how have I increased my following by >2000 in a month and a half? I suppose the real answer is that I still don't really know, but I suppose it's something to do with my high level of engagement with everyone. I speak with everyone, not just people who I think can help me, but people who I can help too! I may be a code newbie still, but I have helped people with things other than technical details - I have helped people remember to take a break and I've pulled people out of the 'coding coma' that I think can sometimes happen when you are so focused that you can't stop, nor can you actually do anything! Sometimes a little chit chat can really help remind people that they are not alone, especially during times like these.

Twitter has had great benefit for me already, with an incredible level of support and wisdom coming from my followers. I have funny, witty, knowledgable people just a click away - what else could I want!! If I come across an issue that google hasn't answered for me, I know where I can go if I need advice. I have been mentored, I have been invited to join a small project to gain some experience, and I've had the opportunity to meet so many genuinely lovely people!

If you want to grow your twitter following, start by thinking about what you are really using twitter for. Do you want to just learn, do you want to learn as well as help people, or are you happy just being a 'lurker'?

If you want to just learn, you are taking without giving, and that will not work... You will end up following many people and maybe you will retweet sometimes, but you are not showing anyone who YOU are! What are YOU learning? What do you already know?

If you want to learn as well as help people, in my experience, you will get the most out of twitter! Engage with people on comments, ask questions, make suggestions! No one is out there to bring you down*, go for it!

Or do you want to be a lurker, like I used to be? Never really meaningfully engaging with people that much, just enjoying other peoples content but never really posting? There's nothing wrong with that if that's what you want to do, but people aren't just going to 'follow you back'.

Through my engagement, my journey came full circle last night as I found out that the linkedIn post that started all of this off, back in June, was actually written by (ex-Uber driver, now successful software engineer) @nat_sharpe_, husband of @sharpemartha, who I have spoken to a lot over the past couple of months! What a small world!

*There may be 0.01% of the twittersphere that are there to make silly comments or get on their high horse about things, but that is what the block button is for..... Just don't post negative stuff about PHP and you'll be fine...

Discussion (2)

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misslorsx profile image
Laura Jane

Love this Faye! Well done! 😃

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javascriptcoff1 profile image
JavaScript➕Coffee🚀 Author

Thank you!