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Reddit as a tool for learning

If you haven't been using reddit as a tool for learning, you are truly missing out. It's time to give it a try.

Reddit has been an incredible tool for me as a writer and a learner. I've benefitted from many subreddits over the years, by immersing myself special interest topics for fun, like Strava or Watchmaking or Woodworking. I've also used reddit to share articles I've written, and to research niches for product ideas.

One thing I really love about reddit is that it is a fairly even playing field - posts that get upvotes ones which are interesting to real people, and the discussions that result are often candid and helpful.

It's not a popularity contest, it's a meritocracy.

Many of the technical subreddits I frequent have fairly strict rules about what can be posted. Moderators are quick to remove low-content or spammy posts, and the community is quick to downvote posts that don't add value. When it works, this results in a fairly high signal-to-noise ratio, making places like /r/javascript a great place to learn.

Reddit's community code of conduct also encourages participation - reddit's famous 10% rule states that you should spend 10% of your time posting and 90% of your time commenting. This helps to keep the community active and engaged, and it also helps to keep the community from being overrun by spam.

This is a good thing, because it means that the content that does get posted is generally high quality, and the discussions that result are often helpful and interesting.

Since the beginning of 2023, I've tried to spend some time browsing subreddits for JavaScript, Next.js, and Computer science. It's an interesting way to keep up with what's going on in the industry, and is a good way to keep my own skills sharp.

I used to dismiss reddit as something that I didn't understand - though I've had an account for years, I didn't use reddit regularly until about 2018. If you find yourself in the same boat, consider giving it a try - rather than spending your time doomscrolling on instagram and TikTok, create a reddit account and subscribe to subreddits that will help you learn something. Whether it's directly applicable to your professional life or not, having a steady drip of discussion from topics that interest you can be a fantastic way to stay sharp, and to keep an eye out for new opportunities.

Once you've done that, consider adding to the community by participating in discussions and posting content of your own. You'll be surprised at how much you can learn by teaching others, and you'll be surprised at how much you can learn by asking questions.

Some super subreddits that suprised me

  • r/firebase is the home on reddit for people building products with Firebase. My last startup was built using Firebase, and this subreddit was a great resource for me. It is moderated by a team of Firebase employees, and full of experienced devs with great advice.
  • r/buyitforlife is a subreddit where people ask about and recommend products that are built to last.
  • r/nextjs is just what it sounds like: discussions about building with Next.js. For me, it serves as a helpful ear-to-the-ground for tooling and best practices.
  • r/nocode might be one of the most inspiring subreddits I've found. No code tooling has come so far in the past few years. There are solo founders building entire companies on no code tools. It's incredible.

It's been a little quiet...

...on the Mike-publishes-content front lately. I've got a few things to share soon which I'm excited to share with you, buuut not for another week or two. If you're jonesing for some fun reading, the APIs You Won't Hate community has produced some great stuff lately:



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