So, you’re looking to meet other developers? Great. Whether this is for making new like-minded friends, expanding your network or looking for a job, I’ve listed a few places in this article that you can meet other developers.
1. At Work
Well, this is a simple one. One of the best places to meet other developers is at work.
If you have a job, you’re most likely not the only developer working there. If you’re working for a small company, sure, you might be the only developer, or there might only be a few that you already know.
But, if you work for a big company, there should be other developers working in different areas.
There might be an entire IT department whose responsibility is building and maintaining the company website. Or, there could be different teams in different business units building applications just for that area.
That’s great, I can hear you say. But how do you actually meet them?
Internal social network. A few companies I’ve worked at have internal social networks for employees, such as Yammer, to communicate with each other. It’s much more open than email and can be focused on specific topics. Join up to your company’s social network, if they have one.
Ask around. Ask other people in your area if they know any other developers in the company. The other developers could help you out with technical problems you’re having, which can be a good response if anyone asks why you’re looking for other developers.
Other than your current workplace, where else can you meet developers?
2. Meetup.com And Other Meetups
Meetup.com is a website that allows people to organize meetups around a specific topic. These meetups can be structured or casual, depending on the group.
The idea is that people with a common interest (for example, Oracle SQL developers or Ruby on Rails developers) can get together and hang out. They can discuss technical issues they’re having, jobs that may be open, and whatever they want, really.
It’s a good place to meet people. I’m not a part of any meetup groups, but I’m considering joining one or looking out for one sometime soon. I know the Oracle User Group is quote large and is one of the biggest, which is probably where I would start.
Other than meetup.com, there are a lot of other sites out there that help you find people with common interests. I won’t list them all here, as there are so many and it really depends on where you’re located, but you can google for “(city) (topic) meetup” to find some (where city is your city and topic is the topic you’re looking for).
3. Tech Conferences
Another great place to meet other developers is at tech conferences. These large events are where companies or organizations get together and put on an event, often lasting for several days, around a broad topic.
For example, SXSW Interactive (also known as South by South West) is one of the most well-known tech conferences in the USA. There are keynote speakers, workshops, and a lot of people that turn out to learn about technology.
There are also many conferences put on by vendors themselves. Microsoft Build is a developer conference for Microsoft products, Oracle OpenWorld is for Oracle products, JavaOne for Java developers, and the list goes on.
Do a Google search for some tech conferences in your country. The big conferences often have annual events, so you may have a chance each year to get to one. Smaller conferences may run more frequently.
A lot of these presentations have speakers and vendor demonstrations, but one of the most valuable parts of these conferences is the fact that everyone is there for the same reason and has the same interest. It’s a great place to meet other developers who are interested in your technology.
4. Twitter and LinkedIn
The last place I would suggest for finding and meeting other developers is on either Twitter or LinkedIn.
In my research and experience, both Twitter and LinkedIn are the preferred social network for developers. If you don’t have Twitter or LinkedIn yet, I suggest signing up.
If you’re on Twitter, start following people who are interested in what you’re interested in. Find other developers by searching for them. Twitter’s search is pretty easy – you can search by keywords within profiles or tweets, and use hashtags to find tweets that people have tagged.
Sign up to LinkedIn and fill out your profile. Within LinkedIn you can join groups with a common interest. They work kind of like forums.
On LinkedIn, you can also search for people by location and connect with other people. This is the main purpose of LinkedIn, and the website is good at helping you do this.
So, if you’re using Twitter and LinkedIn, meeting other people at work, attending tech conferences and looking for meetups, you should have no problem meeting other developers in your field.
Career Action Tip: Choose one method above and take the first step. For example, sign up for a Twitter account and complete your profile. Or, look for the next tech conference in your country.