The Power of Community: A New Dev’s Perspective on the Dev Community

Juan Carlos Pleitez
4 min readNov 12, 2020
Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" on Unsplash

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.” — Jean Vanier

I started my path toward software engineering at Flatiron School on October 26th, 2020. Knowing very little about the field, there were a handful of things I was expecting: spending hours on a computer (obviously!), doing research, learning the fundamentals of coding, and of course drinking A LOT of coffee. However, if you would have told me that I would be immersed into one of the largest online communities that is filled with knowledge, support, and all the memes to get you through your hardest days, I would have told you it was a pipe dream. I had been in career-based communities before and it always felt as though it was more of a forum about individual successes and how someone can take information rather than give. Boy was I proven wrong!

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow has single-handedly become one of the most important things in my life. You might think I’m exaggerating, and truly I wish I was, but it is by far the most visited website on my computer. Stack Overflow is a site in which developers can share their programming knowledge and learn from one another. The gist of it is, you ask a question (whether it be about a bug or which method works best) and another developer answers your question to the best of their ability. More likely than not the question you asked has already been answered and you have now just saved yourself time while also avoiding the frustration of trying to find a solution by yourself!


Like I previously stated, Stack Overflow is one of the most important things in my life, but Github is the MOST important. GitHub is home! It contains everything I have ever worked on and also just so happens to contain the work of almost every developer out there. And a lot of it is public! Even a giant tech company like Facebook has their code readily accessible! Now the reason a site like GitHub, and the community behind it, is so important is because the more knowledge and information out there, the more we as developers can push the envelope and expand our abilities. Can you imagine a developer world where people didn’t share their knowledge? We would not be as technically advanced as we currently are.

RubyGems & API’s

In the past week, while developing my first CLI application, I have encountered RubyGems and multiple API’s (Spotify API to be exact). Now I don’t want to get into specifics as to what they are exactly (look out for future blogs!), but to simplify it gems are code that other developers have written to make your life easier by having access to various methods, etc., and API’s are databases that you can use in your program. Ultimately, both are other ways in which the collective knowledge of developers can help a noob like me create a new app. All jokes aside, it really helps developers tackle more difficult tasks when there is a fluid foundation to work off of.

Flatiron School

Lastly, while it may not directly relate to you, it goes without saying that the community I connect with for 60+ hours a week at Flatiron has motivated and supported me in ways I didn’t plan for. Always answering questions at all hours of the day, studying together and making time for each other (through Zoom and Discord of course) even in the midst of a global pandemic. There were many times in my first week at Flatiron where I felt like I was the only one going through the trials and tribulations of an intense bootcamp, only to open up our cohort group chat and finding gifs that perfectly described everything I was feeling. The dev community has embraced me with open arms and I only hope to return the favor to future coders! Looking back at my previous careers, maybe I wouldn’t have made a switch if I felt the passion for knowledge and improvement like I do in the dev world.

We’re All in this Together!