Get Involved!

I finally caved in this week and treated myself to a pluralsight subscription. The final sweetener was when it acquired Tekpub as there were a number of courses on Tekpub I fancied including the subject of this post Get Involved!.

Get Involved! is an inspiring course put together by Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery which should be essential viewing for developers. It introduces the viewer to a number of ways they can get out there and add value to the developer community. Covering blogging, meetups, github, twitter and stackoverflow it explains the value, shows you how to get started and importantly avoid pitfalls like having a melt down when people disagree with you blog, trying too hard on twitter and submitting code to an open source project in a format that offends.

I’m still a relative blogging and twitter novice, this is only the second year of my blog and my first year of using twitter, and there was lots of great advice on having a blog and tweeting but the part I found most interesting was the section on getting involved in open source through github. The guys did a great job of showing there is no need to be daunted and that there are lot of little ways you can start to get involved like adding tests or documentation before moving on to fixing issues or adding features. The part on github etiquette is invaluable for a new comer like myself. Maybe getting started in this could be something for my 2014 new year’s resolutions?

As someone who has only decided to Get Involved! in the last year or two I really recommend checking out the course and trying to find time to put some of it into practice. I still don’t blog, speak and tweet nearly as much as I’d like to but when I do I find it a really exhilarating process. I enjoy sharing my views, although I admit sometimes I fear receiving a negative response, and feeling that I can add value. Plus I find it helps me to find time to learn, understand and develop an opinion on things. Sometimes you need a motivator when work, children and home seem to be taking up all your time. (Not that I’d have it any other way).

I plan to share some of the great messages from the course at a meetup next year. Definitely worth sharing.