How Can We Give Back, Every Step of the Way?


Cross-posted from my blog on! Of course most of us know who the lovely friend mentioned below is. :slight_smile:

A friend of mine was recently hired for her first developer position, and she is angling to run an educational workshop. Not only am I proud of her, but I am inspired to do something on my own that contributes to the tech community.

I am a student with a beginner’s knowledge of code. I see the vast ocean of things I still have to learn, and I know I’ve made some efforts to find support for myself in my journey. I refuse to feel like a burden, but I’d also like to give back what I can.

I have some basic ideas for how I can contribute as a student, such as participating in communities like DEV and helping them to grow just by being present! I can also help answer questions for students who are behind me in my curriculum.

Other ideas, like blogging about little things I learn along the way, don’t seem to me as though they’d be very effective. Am I wrong?

I’m looking for suggestions of overlooked ways that new and aspiring techies can give back.

Thank you!


Some of the things I encourage people to do are:

  • ask questions, ask a lot of questions - this helps people with experience, it helps people who are learning, and it helps you. The answers make for great blog posts.
  • talk about problems you have solved - if publicly doesn’t work, schedule a teaching hangout, remember these can be short and can cover the smallest of things
  • listen - find someone (can be less experienced or more experienced) and listen to what they have to say. Everyone struggles at times and no one ever stops to listen to each other. This helps more than many of us are willing to admin.
  • collaborate - this doesn’t have to be open source, it doesn’t have to be public and it doesn’t have to be a side project. It could of course be all three. But find a way to work on something with someone else.