When deciding to embark on my coding journey, I knew nothing about the value of 'Tech Twitter', of course, I'd heard of Twitter, but I never knew the extent of utilising this social platform to your advantage, not to mention the help & support it brings you in the process.
When I decided to become an active part of Twitter, I honestly never expected to be welcomed so warmly by individuals I had never met before, see, I have very bad social anxiety (You would not think it!) and I really struggle to make new friends in real life, limiting myself to just 2 close ones - The fear of being ridiculed or rejected is real, and yes, you can't please everyone, and not everyone will like you, but I have learned from like minded people going down the same road that... IT IS OK!
I remember posting my first question to an audience of around 500 followers, I had been wanting to ask this question 1 month earlier when I had around 250 followers, and for the reasons above, I didn't, so I ended up scouring the internet for TWO HOURS for the help needed to solve it, (which I didnt manage to find...) So I carried around this unresolved question with me for FOUR weeks... and do you know what that question was?
How do I update my Github ReadME?
Yes, that was it, just that, and as I clicked tweet, I felt the nerves kick in. Would people laugh at me? Would I look less knowledgeable for asking what seems now, such a straightforward question, I never even considered that posting that question might actually help someone else that may be wondering the same. I must have contemplated about 5 times, deleting that tweet.
Even writing about it now makes me think back to how I felt, that feeling of fear. My first question to the tech community.
BUT... the response was so positive! Many people replied with links to their own Github readme's for inspiration and viewing, it was inspiring and such a huge boost to my confidence and morale, I received so many positive responses, and I could finally take a breath!
You don't just have to ask questions to benefit from Twitter, Aside from being a really welcoming and friendly community, there is also a vast and varied amount of knowledge available in one place, and I often find that if I am not following someone that is knowledgeable in the area I am needing help in, that recommendations are often given, providing your Twitter feed with a lot more variety. I have gained invitations to specific discord channels, which prove very useful for me.
Interact and engage in tweets and threads
This goes without saying, but I found a lot of useful resources and information from these and engaging with other followers, even if it just to wish someone a good day, this is a vital tip for benefitting and using your account to your advantage.
DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!
This is sometimes easier said than done, but once you ask that first question you won't go back, there are so many people that love helping others (Myself included!) and you may find that you receive replies giving you lots of different ways to carry out a task, for example, one way might work easier for you, but another way suggested may work best for someone else -
You never know who might be reading the answers to your questions and was wondering about the same thing!
If you know the answer... Reply with your answer anyway!
But why? The question has clearly been answered...
Yes, that may be so, but like above, contributing to someone's question may give a completely different way of carrying out a task - all beneficial in the long run, not to mention that it also embeds and secures your knowledge and learning in that particular area. Your reply may reach a follower not on your list, which in turn provides them with useful information - In effect, we are just creating one big tech circle, and we are picking up anyone and everyone along the way, to guide us and join in with our community.
I began blogging on DEV, to begin with, about things I had learned along the way and created tutorials for those that struggle with the tricky fundamentals in certain languages/frameworks, I find that writing down what I want to say - putting pen to paper - before writing my tutorials, makes it more accurate as I have time to think about the content and the jargon I will be using, and how I can make it user friendly for example.
In these tutorials, I included code snippets and 'try it yourself' activities so beginners could understand those fundamentals easily in a simple way. My content received lots of positive feedback and if I can help at least one person with my tutorials I know I've achieved what I set out to do.
If you learn something, whether it's centering a div, or a handy little tip or trick you've picked up... Try blogging about it or creating a thread! They are so beneficial and will really help you secure your knowledge by writing about it for others, but at the same time helping yourself! it's a win-win!
I often think of Twitter as a 'Social StackOverflow' - lighthearted, but you can also find some hidden gems on there in terms of information, knowledge and opportunities, not to mention gaining new friends, for me personally, Twitter has been a lifesaver in terms of finding the information or resources (Aside from Google of course!) I need to progress and achieve in my coding journey.
It goes without saying that we all need to be kind to each other on social media, whether you agree with a tweet/reply or not, we need to remember that there is a human with feelings behind that account, and it would not be professional to direct any negativity onto their tweets or content - We are all on the same journey ultimately
To all the people beginning your journey into Web Development, yes it can be daunting, yes it can be tough, but you've got this!
Welcome and good luck!