When you’re just starting out, the tech world can feel pretty intimidating. That’s why open Slack groups are so ideal for tech beginners: You can get career advice, coding help, and general support without ever leaving your chair. Even better? You’ll meet mentors and friends from all across the world—and I probably don’t need to tell you that having a network can make all the difference.
To help you figure out which Slack groups to join (there’s a ton), I’ve rounded up the best communities for those new to web development.
These groups meet a couple criteria:
Active: If there’s not a fairly regular stream of conversation, you probably won’t get much use from the community. Having a ton of members isn’t necessary, but having involved members is.
Collaborative: There’s nothing wrong with the occasional self-promotion. However, if everyone’s saying, “Check out my app!” and no one’s actually, well, checking out the apps, that’s no good. All of the communities on this list are filled with members that give just as much as they get.
Organized: While open Slack groups are usually pretty casual informals, having an organized leader is crucial. He or she will arrange meetups, introduce new channels and archive old ones, and keep the activity going.
Respectful: A general attitude of respect, humility, and kindness is crucial! You’ll never want to ask questions if you’re worried about the reaction you’ll get.
Without further ado, here are my top picks.
Anyone who’s interested in programming is welcome in #devchat. Since there’s no restrictions on language, framework, experience level, or location, you’ll find a great mix of people.
Thanks to the variety, there’s also a ton of different channels you can join. Use Python? Join the Python channel. Want to discuss Flask or Django? Those have their own channels as well. With more than 55 options, you can easily find your niche.
Plus, #devchat members are friendly and helpful, making this group a good resource for when you’re stuck.
If you’re interested in talking about Ruby or Ruby on Rails, Ruby Developers will be right up your alley. As far as open Slack communities go, it’s relatively small: Just over 1,500 people belong, and there are only nine channels.
One of those channels, #beginners_and_mentors, is especially perfect if you’re looking for advice or feedback. Any time someone has a question, multiple users typically jump in with suggestions. The #rails channel sees a lot of discussion as well.
NYCtech: a well-moderated forum for New York’s tech community.
NYC Devs: along similar lines, this Slack group is for developers in the city of New York.