The internet's beauty nowadays is that —almost— all of your answers are one click away! Times have changed so much that immediacy is a need, especially when you are learning something new, and need to get the info as soon as possible!
We come across problems or errors that defy our knowledge and sometimes can be tricky to solve. Whatever the case may be and despite our biggest effort, we might find ourselves in a pickle and feel like we’re getting away of the solution instead of closer. On these cases, it is important to remember that you are probably not the first one that goes through this.
Great Minds Think Alike
There are many communities where you can find solutions to recurring, common, popular (sometimes unpopular too), and annoying problems.
These are my main sources of solutions
You can find communities with many like you on different platforms! You can find the best environment full of people as brilliant as you are, with the answer to all your questions or advice that could be useful to help you learn more!
Here’s the list of the resources where I found information:
GitHub/GitLab Code and Issues
Nothing like the kitchen itself. Sometimes you need to dig deeper on a dependency such as a framework or library. From undocumented functions, classes, variables, etc.
Since a third-party dependency is not under your control, you either collaborate with the Open Source community and open a PR with a fix or ask for help on the repository issues.💡 Tip: Issues with the solution you’re looking for might be already closed because a solution was given. Make sure you search removing the “closed” filter.
A rabbit hole, honestly. But there are some subreddits that might help your quest. Reddit is really easy to use, you can quickly post a link or submit a question right after signing up or creating your account.
The programming communities on Reddit are open for discussions and often focused on certain topics, technologies, languages, frameworks, etc.
These are some of the most popular that I personally follow:
- /r/Programming: From news, rumors, to breakthroughs.
- /r/AskProgramming: A subreddit for all your programming questions.
- r/WebDev: A community dedicated to all things web development: both front-end and back-end.
- /r/Node: Discussions regarding Node.js.
- /r/ReactJS: A community for learning and developing web applications using React by Facebook.
- /r/Frontend: For frontend web developers who want to move the web forward or want to learn how.
- /r/Coding: Similar to /r/AskProgramming or /r/Programming but no news or magazine-like stuff. Just the magical intricacies of the craft.
- /r/OpenSource: Related to open-source as a whole, not just web development.
- /r/LearnProgramming: A subreddit for all questions related to programming in any language.
- /r/LearnWebDev: If you want to learn how to make websites or applications, this is one (of many) places for you.
- /r/BadCode: Why not?
- /r/ProgrammerHumor: We deserve a laugh or two from time to time.
- /r/PHP: Share and discover the latest news about the PHP ecosystem and its community.
- /r/WordPress and /r/ProWordPress: A place for WordPress Developers and Designers to share articles, resources, code snippets, workflow methods, etc. The difference between /r/WordPress and /r/ProWordPress is that, respectively, discussions are entry-level and advanced./r/DailyProgrammer: Weekly programming challenges for programmers of all skill levels. 3 challenges are posted per week increasing difficulty. Solutions are peer-reviewed and redditors can ask for the community for feedback and comments.
- /r/Technology: Maybe not as programming-focused as expected to be on this blog post, but it doesn’t hurt to have news and discussions about the creation and use of technology and its surrounding issues.
The list goes on, but take a look for yourself and join the communities you like the most.
Stack Overflow and the Whole Stack Exchange Network
All roads lead to Rome. StackOverflow will most likely be on the first results page for almost every issue, error message, filename, etc. you search for. Until it doesn’t or has 0 answers. Or is [duplicated] when is actually not. But still, quite helpful.
Similar to Reddit, there are topics (known as tags), and some package developers use these tags as an official support channel to post questions about their libraries.
StackOverflow is part of the Stack Exchange network, there are many other sites with focused discussion boards such as:
- Server Fault and Super User for sysadmins and DevOps
- Ask Ubuntu for the obvious in-name Linux distribution and Unix & Linux for the rest
- Game Development for, well, game development
- Information Security for security professionals
- WordPress again
- And many, many more💡 Tip: These communities try their best to help you solve your programming (or other categories) problems. Increase your chances of getting answers by trying to solve it by yourself, but for real, and if you sitill cannot find the solution, post whatever and everything you tried so far. The reason being that community members won’t help anyone who just asks and doesn’t try. Also, whenever you have a chance, help other too 🙂
Hacker News is more on the business side of things. But you might catch an article that affects your favorite tools, libraries, and maybe the companies.
CodeProject offers helpful news, information, and source codes. It has general discussion forums for software developers to share their thoughts with like-minded users in the community. There is also a "Quick Answers" section similar to the Stack Exchange sites to post questions.
Once you sign up, you can ask questions, participate, post on discussion boards and get weekly updates. There is a community of 11+ million users and the programming forums are classified using tags based on programming languages, platform, web services, and more. Some of the popular topics dealt with are .NET, C#, C++, Java, Android, SQL, and Web.
Programmers Heaven offers resources including "Question & Answer" communities for developers, it also offers help in multiple languages and applications such as C and C++, Visual Basic, Java, VB.NET, PHP, Python, and many more.
Posts are categorized under groups:
- Programming Languages.
- Mobile & Wireless.
- Operating Systems & Platforms.
- Software Development.
- Web Development.
- And many more!
All it takes is for you to sign up and start using this site, carry out a small search for specific info and comment on others’ posts.
I must admit that I have landed on Quora only when I’m desperate for answers. For some reason it tends to be on the 2nd results page for me, and you know what being on page 2 means.
Even when the spectrum of all the topics is quite wide, most of the answers you’ll find here are opinions from experts, it proves itself as a valuable resource for programming and software development information.
Once you sign up, you’ll notice that there isn’t a list of categories or topics, so you should search to find the info you’re looking for. There’s an up-vote system where you can award or get points based on the quality and relevance of yours or anyone's answer and you can also view stats for your replies.
I tried to list some of the most recurring websites I end up when looking for solutions, but the spectrum is quite big and depends on the technology I’m working on at that moment. It can vary from a first-party forum (like Strapi’s or Vue’s) to one of the above or similar that enclose several tools or technologies.
Whatever your source of information is, just make sure you do your experimental research too. Don’t simply trust solutions out there, they can be helpful or harmful. At the end of the day, your goal is to learn from the problems, find solutions for them, and learn again.