What Does It Take to Create Healthy Mobile Developer Communities

At Singly, we are spending more time in cities outside Silicon Valley, such as Chicago with our recent App Challenge we put on last weekend with Braintree. As we work to get to know developer communities outside of the valley, we want to do more than just be a presence at Hackathons in these cities–we want to understand more about what makes a healthy development community, and contribute to that.

There is lots of talk about which cities, such as New York, Chicago, Seattle and others that have potential for incubating startups, similar to Silicon Valley. I feel before we have these conversations, we need have many more discussion about what creates a healthy developer community within a city, and specifically what it takes to evolve a robust mobile developer base.

After spending time looking at growing developer communities in cities like New York, Chicago and Austin, you can start to see some patterns around what creates a healthy developer base:

  • Active developer meetup groups
  • Regularly occurring hackathons
  • Co-working spaces
  • University with CS program
  • Workshops
  • Conferences

These are just a few of the patterns we see in the cities that are starting to make a name for themselves when it comes to web and mobile development. What other areas are critical to growing a healthy developer base in a community? What helped you get into mobile development?

Traditionally the talent to support software development has come out of university programs, but with the current shortage of developers, and the rapid pace of change in the technology landscape–universities won’t be enough. We need to start thinking out of the box, and many cities like Chicago and Austin already are.

We need to organically build healthy developer bases in all markets across the United States. To do it properly, it needs to happen from within these communities. But what can Silicon Valley and other established tech companies do to help? This is something Singly will be exploring in the coming months.

Let us know your thoughts.

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