Since I’m hoping to be an app developer again, I need to know where to go plug in with other app developers and reviewers. This should be easy for me, since I’ve been hanging out with these folks for awhile. But the tools for communicating, and the diversity of conversations, have taken off. Here are some options for getting involved with app developers. If you can think of more, please leave them in comments so I can update the post.
Independently organized developer groups on Facebook – Searching through Facebook for developer groups is a great way to keep a pulse on the various conversations. It’s easy to join or leave a group based on your preferences. I’ve already noticed groups specific to mobile app development, special needs apps, SLP apps, educational apps, etc. I’m currently in a group called “Developer Exchange“, which is an experiment that germinated from the mwa forum. If you are interested in this group, send me a message on Facebook, and I will add you (the setting is currently “secret” for privacy purposes, so only friends can add friends. That may be changing in the future based on how the group evolves). [UGH! Update on Feb 27th 2013 - I just found a backlog of messages in my "other" folder that FB "hid" from me. Darn FB! When in doubt, send me an email directly to introduce yourself and mention you'd like to be in the Facebook Group: email@example.com]
Parents With Apps Forum (formerly known as Moms With Apps forum). This is where I focused the past few years, which grew into a large collective of family-friendly developers. It is now being led by Scott Weiner of Weiner Family Studios, one of the original Dads in the group. It is a Simple Machines forum, with threaded conversations ranging from Marketing Strategies, to technical topics in Developer’s Corner.
appyMall Developer Exchange – This is a new group using the Facebook Groups platform, and is managed by Siva of Technology in Education. Siva runs a vibrant community through his website, Facebook page, and mailing list. He is known for his group promotions and dedicated interactions with developers and educators. What first caught my eye about Siva was his ability to organize apps into IEP goal categories. There is so much potential here to match apps with educational areas, and am looking forward to witnessing his innovations here.
Developer Discussions with the iMums - The iMums (Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace) are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Their Facebook discussion group is for app developers to let The iMums know about new or updated apps, press releases, upcoming price drops, promo code giveaways and any other information relating to apps they review or have already received. Additional developer resources are available at http://www.theimum.com/developers.
App Friday Facebook Page – App Friday is a weekly free and special price promotion, for kid app developers around the world. The Facebook page dedicated to hosting live gatherings of developers and app enthusiasts every week. George Karavias of Anlock Apps helped me set up the page and is the heart and soul behind getting the parties off the ground every week. I’d call this more of a marketing group rather than a developer forum, but anyone is welcome to post their app news here on a Friday.
Silicon Valley Apps for Kids Meetup – This group uses the meetup.com platform, and has an in person component based in San Carlos, California. Hosted by Creativity Inc., the founders of this group are an incredible resource for kid app developers in the Bay Area and around the world. Most recently they have hosted workshops on privacy, Nook Developer, and independent developer demos.
Silicon Valley iOS Developers Meetup – Started by Tim Burks, the Silicon Valley iOS Meetup is one of the largest around. I believe there are almost 5,000 members, who meet around the Bay Area and sometimes out of the AOL building in Palo Alto. Tim is an app developer and all around awesomely well-connected guy. Put him on your “get to know” list. Even if you are not based in Silicon Valley, their mail list could be beneficial to your knowledge base and inter-networking abilities.
More suggestions, from Jon of Thinkamingo:
Ray Wenderlich’s forums:
YCombinator’s Hacker News (lots of topics but some good developer threads at times):