As a techie in any discipline, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-shifting landscape and so many information sources.
Recently in Sidetrade’s Birmingham office, a few of us have been discussing the evolution of “Tech Twitter” which is exactly what it says on the tin; a community of people on Twitter, interested in tech.
Some of the biggest founders in the world take to Twitter to share thoughts and opinions, although not all of them are educational or help you to keep up — such as Elon’s reference to the Boring Companies flamethrowers back in 2018…
But amongst some of the flamethrower-like-craziness and noise, there is actually real value to be extracted from this ever-evolving Tech Twitter community if you look in the right places.
In my experience, I learn something new every single day from it; it helps me to keep up to date on new developments in the industry which in turn allow me to share interesting tech insights with the business and my colleagues.
This could be anything from coming across an exciting new start-up that we want to engage with, or a new version of some technology that we use explained in a bitesize manner that we can all digest.
Beyond learning opportunities, it’s also become a fantastic networking tool for me, and I’ve had the privilege to meet and engage with a variety of different people who I’d never have come across if it weren’t for Tech Twitter.
But where do you start in getting value from it?
1. Create your Tech Twitter profile
Sometimes a little distance is a good thing, and having a dedicated profile for Tech Twitter helps in more ways than one; it keeps your personal opinions separate and allows you to follow people in the community who interest you professionally and who post useful content. This means that when you’re on your Tech Twitter timeline you can be in “learning” mode, and when you’re using your personal account, your timeline could well be full of people talking about sports, Boris Johnson’s latest party or even worse… Love Island.
2. Follow people who post interesting threads 🧵
The most interesting profiles in the Twitter community are focused on “building an audience” for their content and would be quantified by the number of newsletters, blog or Youtube subscriptions. In Twitter terms, it’s the standard social popularity currency — followers.
One of the great things about Twitter is that you can centralise and organise different topics into one channel effectively by using “threads”.
Threads have grown in popularity over the years thanks to their ease of content delivery. Not just by individuals either, but companies and organisations too. So we’re at a bit of a “thread-mania” point in their evolution on Tech Twitter… but don’t get distracted by that, and instead focus on finding people who talk about topics that interest you.
To get you started, here are some of my favourite Tech Twitter threads that I’ve come across recently:
Yuri Lee posts some great content around web development and project motivation, apparently publicly promising people $100 if you don’t finish something is the best way!
Are you new or maybe you want to learn more in the space? Pratham has a great list of threads for learning here but also regularly posts more advanced content.
Matt Pocock has recently gained a lot of attention for his easy-to-digest TypeScript tips that are pretty advanced, but also really cool; in particular, the video style format in tweets.
And Sebastian is a great person to follow if you want to get a succinct thread every single week that explains some of the big changes in React; he delivers quite a lot of content in the form of Twitter threads that you can read but you could also subscribe to his newsletter.
3. Be a part of the community
Once you have your own profile and a cohort of interesting accounts filling your newsfeed, you’re then ready to start engaging in your new-found Tech Twitter community.
This doesn’t mean that you have to go and start writing your own content or building an audience of your own; that might be too big of a leap straight away! But make sure you engage with accounts that share content you like or benefit from.
Here are some steps you can take to benefit from Twitter’s network effect:
- Retweet, like and reply to interesting Tweets you come across
- Follow all of your colleagues to get inspiration from accounts they’re following and engaging with
- Outside of Twitter itself, share/talk about interesting Tweets with your colleagues, recommend your favourite profiles
- Keep a note of your favourite posts you come across, so you can revisit them in the future
Soon enough, you’ll be making connections within a community that you can learn from and develop alongside. So much so, that you might even find yourself wanting to create your own content and putting interesting learnings and insights back into the Tech Twitter community.
In the meantime, I’d love to know your top tips from getting value from Tech Twitter. Feel free to comment your tips and favourite profiles below, and give me a follow on Twitter @lukehennerley
Looking forward to connecting there!