What’s the Biggest Online Community for Software Developers?

If you’re a software developer, you know it’s crucial to find an online community where you can learn new techniques, study others’ code, and grow. Sometimes, those communities are developer portals run by companies, which can include forums and comment threads where you can ask questions; in other instances, you may find a community in a code repo or a forum designed for developer Q&A.

Where are the largest developer communities? SlashData recently conducted a study of such communities, using research data from its own surveys along with third-party research and vendor statements. Here’s a list of some of the absolute biggest:

If you’ve spent any time in the software-development world, GitHub’s placement at the top of this list will likely not come as a shocker. Many millions of technologists rely on GitHub to store and retrieve code for all kinds of uses. That Apple should take second place on this list (with 28 million) might not be surprising, either, considering the number of developers who work with (and need to talk about) iOS, macOS, and other Apple-related platforms. 

Stack Overflow remains an incredibly popular place for developers to ask all manner of questions about software, despite some longtime controversies over toxic culture. For those who are just starting out their software-development journey, Stack Overflow can make it easy to find the feedback you need on a particularly vexing coding question; once you’ve gained more experience, you may find yourself gravitating toward smaller, more specialized forums (such as specific subreddits on Reddit).

In addition to these giant communities, it’s also important to engage with mentors, colleagues, and technology-minded friends whenever you have a developer question or just need some moral support. If you’re participating in an online learning program of some sort, your instructor can likely guide you to specialized groups where you can deepen your education. No matter which kinds of communities you choose to participate in, remember to stay positive and curious; you may occasionally run into a troll or someone rude, but the majority of those who participate in these kinds of groups want to help.