I was often asked why I started to use Twitter. Having a twitter account is much more than writing messages limited to 140 characters. In this article I want you to show the benefits of using Twitter as a professional software developer and how this helps you to improve your skills and therefore you career chances.

Twitter

Introduction

After using Twitter for some months I now feel comfortable to tell you why I use it and which excellent benefits I get from using it. I’ll explain seven benefits in detail.

Getting in touch

It’s fairly easy to get in touch with other developers you’ve never met before. Let’s say you just read a book from Jon Skeet or Roy Osherove and wanted to ask a question. There are chances that you’ll get an answer in a short period of time if you ask on Twitter. This seems to be pretty awesome!

Communicate on conferences

Nearly all conferences such as Microsoft’s tech days or local user groups use an official hash tag. Using this hash tag, you can interact with the speakers or ask them questions which will be answered in the next session or even better directly in the current session. Your voice will be heard!

Be informed

If there are some changes to technologies you use, you can be sure that you will know about them very early, if you follow the right people. There are people writing tweets about that particular technology you’re interested in. These are not only community leaders but also team members of the development team. You’ll get the best information from trustworthy sources.

Quick and short

You’ll get information in a short and compact way. There are only 140 characters allowed. This makes it possible to follow many people and only dive deep into subjects you’re really interested in. Most information will be shared soon, because the writer doesn’t have to layout an article or spell check hundred words before publishing. It only takes seconds to write a tweet.

Learn about new things

In your feed you’ll find tweets about technologies or methodologies you’ve never heard and used before. This gives you the great ability to investigate these things and find new ways to work more effectively. Twitter is really a place to be if you plan to improve your skills and want to hear from many different things. Otherwise you would have to read through tons of magazines and blogs to get the same effect.

Getting help

If you’re stuck with a problem or experience problems using a specific service, you probably do best writing a tweet. Most professional web sites will provide valuable information within a short period of time. And if they won’t, the community will help you for sure.

Spread your knowledge

If you work hard and write a blog about your achievements and solutions you probably want to let the world know that you exist. If you have a Twitter account, chances are that people interested in things you write down will follow you and maybe retweet your messages. They will follow you to be notified if you post something relevant. Maybe you’ll end up having some discussions about topics you wrote in your blog with people you haven’t known before. This gives you a huge potential to learn even more in these subjects from many different talented developers.

Conclusion

If you don’t want to waste the chance having all these benefits, you should open your Twitter account right now. Not only to follow me, but to follow others, to improve your skills and to write your first tweet today.

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Claudio Bernasconi

Claudio Bernasconi is a professional software developer, Microsoft certified technology specialist, blogger, technology enthusiast and founder of CarParking Schweiz. Since 2010 he works for KMS AG in Lucerne, Switzerland.