5 Fantastic Web Development Forums
Errors, failures, bugs, and glitches are common to any web development project. Overcoming these problems often requires perusing server logs, flushing caches, counting semicolons, searching online, and sorting through posts on development forums.
Development forums can be like a giant cyber water cooler where software engineers, hackers, and code writers can come together describe problems and concerns and get helpful feedback from peers who have experienced or are experiencing similar obstacles.
These forum encounters can get a project back on track. As an example, after running into an error on a commercial WordPress site that has just been moved to a new server — “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress” — a forum post on Ubuntu Forums used in conjunction with error logs lead to discovering the problem.
There are almost certainly hundreds or even thousands of valuable, web development forums on the Internet, so these five fantastic forums certainly don’t represent an exhaustive list, but they are among some of the best.
Perhaps the best know web development forum on the Internet, Stack Overflow is a completely free, question and answer site. Stack Overflow encourages participation with badges for helpful answers or commenting.
Software engineers Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky created the site in 2008 as an alternative to several “paid” help sites that offered to help with development problems for a price. It seems this approach has worked, since Stack Overflow has nearly one million registered users helping each other with topics ranging from Android app development to setting up a Yahoo! store.
Online media firm and book publisher SitePoint has a popular forum that is good for new developers. Users will have to watch out for the occasional book offer, but great threads about databases, Ruby, Python, ecommerce, web security, and hundreds of other topics are readily available.
All told, the SitePoint forum has more than 250,000 users.
Developer and entrepreneur Ryan Troy started the Ubuntu Forums site in October of 2004. Troy, who is co-author for the VMware Cookbook, quickly gained a following on the site, which soon became the official Ubuntu forum. In June 2007, Troy even passed ownership to Ubuntu’s parent company, Canonical.
The site has threads about anything and everything Ubuntu Linux related including web development topics specific to Ubuntu-powered servers and the applications running on those servers. It is not uncommon to find threads about WordPress, Magento, or similar since these platforms often run a Ubuntu server LAMP stack.
What the Dev Shed might lack in graphic design, it makes up for in forum activity.
At any moment there might be hundreds of active treads from the site’s 440,000 plus registered users. It is worth mentioning that Dev Shed has appealed to its users for ideas aimed at improvement, but this is still a very valuable resource.
The forums have many users and can be very helpful for developers making the transition to Microsoft products or seeking to do a better job of code for Internet Explorer.
Here are several more forums that you might want to consider.