Facebook’s F8 conference is all about developers and the social media giant has come way too far from its very first developer meetup organized exactly ten years ago. The company has released several new tools in the said duration and developers have latched onto the platform to build websites, apps, chatbots and analyze their growth. But, it is now looking to provide the developers with a platform to come, build, and learn together from each other.
This initiative is called Developer Circles and is based on the simple concept of community. It aims to enable developers from across the globe to connect and build a local member-driven platform, where anyone can learn and discuss Facebook’s tools with one other. They can then use the said knowledge garnered from these community meetings to collaborate and build new tools as a team effort.
In an official blog post, Ime Archibong, director of strategic partnerships said,
Developer Circles are forums to share knowledge, collaborate, build new ideas, and learn about the latest technologies from Facebook and other industry leaders.
Each of these local communities will always be open and free for any Facebook developer to join and participate actively. It doesn’t matter if you’re an interested student, an avid coder, or even an industry professional, Developer Circles will cater to the needs and wants of every like-minded individual.
The local initiative will be spearheaded by local members of the community, who’ll be responsible for leading activities performed by the circle. The leading member will be responsible for organizing regular offline events and managing a local online community. The social networking giant is currently big on building a community on the platform as its primary aim of connecting people from across the globe takes the backseat. It is also organizing a standalone Communities Summit for such individuals, who’re running successful groups on Facebook and helping others in need.
With Developer Circles, in addition to hosting meetups and hackathons, each local circle will have a dedicated Facebook Group where members can continue the conversation between meetups.
These local Facebook groups will be dedicated to sharing knowledge, i.e code, links, videos, and anything else with other members of the community. This will enable not only enable them to stay up to date with the latest features of the developer tools but they’ll also tag other members and help them learn, improve and build applications as well. To make this ever easier, the social networking giant is debuting certain Facebook Groups features like social learning units comprised of sequential training modules for developers.
In addition to offline meetings and hackathon events, Facebook has also partnered with online learning platform Udacity to provide these local Developer Circles with additional training programs. Since over 80 percent of the members involved in Developer Circles program, which has been silently running for a year, are based internationally, it is necessary to formalize the knowledge distribution process — currently taken care by the members and leaders themselves.
The company’s collaboration with Udacity will explore options for launching customized programs for engineers-in-training at these Developer Circles. These courses will be available completely free of cost and require an input of close to ten hours from the members of the community. The topics covered under the courses include basics of using Account Kit, React, and building conversational bots for the Messenger platform. Facebook is one of the many course partners who’ve signed up with Udacity to teach developers and help them come to speed with latest developments.
The Developer Circles can be seen an iteration of the same, but it was born out of the long-running initiative called FbStart. Here, the company awards early-stage and innovative startups with access to its services and developer tools worth $40,000 for free. And now it looking to empower the developer community in every local region by fostering an environment of technical learning. As Facebook mentions, this initiative is still in its infancy and it is looking for feedback from existing as well as new members to further groom the program.