A while back I blogged my thoughts about where my career path has lead me and what I feel I would like to do next. In those two posts I’ve mentioned the possibility of getting new certifications but I was wondering if that would be a correct path to pursue. In order to help myself decide which path would be of more help to me going forward I decided to seek advice from Scott Hanselman. I’m sure most of you probably know Scott but if you don’t then go check out his website. I promise you that this wont be a waste of your keystrokes.
What Scott mentioned to me was this
I personally believe that the amount of work required for certification is not worth it. I think one would be better off volunteering with open source projects that are well-known, working on documentation and unit testing. Having a good open source Project under your belt is far more valuable in my mind
So in an attempt to take Scott’s advice on board, my goal is to focus on that in 2014. In addition to being involved in open source there are also other ways of getting involved in the developer community which could also be useful. This is something I enjoyed doing to some extent when I was involved in the Christchurch .NET user group in New Zealand but I’ve done less of that since moving to Melbourne.
Want to Get involved? Here are things you Can do
If you’ve decided to get involved in the developer community/open source but are not sure where to start or what to do, don’t worry! The efforts of others have made it easier for you and I to get started. Below is a list of posts and resources that I’ve come across which may be of help. If you know of other resources please share them here so that we can help make it easier for those looking to find them in one place.
The majority of the links below are from Scott’s blog, there may be others out there that are relevant to this topic but as a regular reader of Scott’s blog I think his posts should have most of what you need covered.
Get involved in Open Source today – How to contribute a patch to a GitHub hosted Open Source project like Code 52
Example: How to contribute a patch to an Open Source Project like DasBlog
Your Blog is The Engine of Community
Blog Interesting – 32 Ways to Keep Your Blog from Sucking
Discovering Open Source: up-for-grabs.net
Hanselminutes Podcast 28 – Open Source Options
“In this production, Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery offer suggestions and advice on how you can get out there, and get involved. Blogging, Twitter, Github, StackOverflow, User Groups and Conferences: all of this can make you a happier, more productive developer and inspire you to take your career to the next level.” (PluralSight)
The Art of Speaking: Scott Hanselman
“Scott Hanselman is put to the test: give a 15 minute talk on a new subject! How does he prepare? What are his secrets? Find out!” (PluralSight)
As you can see, the two courses above are now in the PluralSight library, if you don’t have a PluralSight subscription I highly recommend that you try them out. I had a one month trial subscription and after watching some content decided to buy one. If you like watching videos to get familiar with tech content then PluralSight is a must have. At the very least you will get to watch the courses above. I did, and I think you can take away a lot from them.
OPEN SOURCE WEBSITES
These are a few of the sites that contain open source projects shared by individuals, companies …etc.
OPEN SOURCE PROJECTS LOOKING FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Up for grabs is a website started by Keith Dahlby and the main goal for the site is to help people like you and I and open source project owners find and contribute.
USER GROUP COMMUNITIES
Microsoft Technical Communities, INETA, Upcoming .NET Meetups
There are probably tons of developer user groups across the globe, the three sites above should have most of the user groups that relate to Microsoft technologies world wide.
StackOverflow, ASP.NET Forums, MSDN Forums …etc.
I hope you find this post and the links grouped here useful in getting you started in Getting Involved. If you know of any additional resources or links I did not include here please share them in the comments below (web) and I’ll update the post accordingly.