Programming can be a lonely job at times, especially when you’re sitting there, waiting for data to compile. Then you have a dreaded error, and you don’t know exactly what has gone horribly wrong, just that something has. Instead of trying to figure out what’s going on by banging your head against the wall, you can always crowdsource your problems. Or rather, you can say you’re crowdsourcing for the benefit of your higher ups. What you’re actually doing is hitting Google and programming forums, since that’s usually the most effective method of figuring things out in the programming world.
Where To Go
The easiest course of action is to Google it. You would be surprised how many people have probably run into the exact same problem you have. Sometimes, they’re nice enough to leave the answer where you can easily find it. The most difficult part with the general Google searching is making sure that you phrase your question with the proper keywords to find a relevant answer. If you can give an exact error message, that’s usually the best course of action. If not, try to search for a general description of your issue.
The next step is to go to programming and developer communities, such as the WordPress Codex forums. You might have to wait a bit to find out exactly what is going on with your programming and developing project, but you’re going to get answers from people who are using the same script that you’re using. Sometimes, you’ll even be able to talk directly with the script creators to get your answer straight from the horse’s mouth.
As mentioned above, the WordPress Codex is one developer community that you should stop by for WordPress related inquires. WordPress is widely used, so you’re going to get quick answers from very knowledgeable folks on all but the most esoteric of inquiries.
Another valuable developer network is the Qualcomm network, which covers mobile development. They’ve got tools, help, and plenty of resources to help you figure out the sometimes-confusing mobile development field. You’re also going to find a good community of people to ask questions directly to, or just to talk with like-minded people.
The Twitter API Wiki leads you through the ins and outs of using the Twitter API. When you want to integrate the API, it always helps to have a hand from the developers of the site. Otherwise, you could run into major issues that would drive you batty.
Developer resources are everywhere if you know how to look. While your bosses don’t appreciate you saying that you’re surfing forums all day long, they’ll love hearing the “crowdsourcing” term. It’s a buzzword that comes up constantly in their meetings, most likely, so you’ll look like you’re taking all sorts of initiative with this. Some Googling makes you the department hero and gets those pesky error messages running in terror.