Tech twitter is at its best, a fantastic source of information, useful for jobseekers, juniors and even seniors, an incredible networking tool, full of insight to useful data regarding the latest jobs, tools and languages & motivation to get up and go at your next project.
The problem is at its worst, tech twitter can be spammy, full of personal issues, shaming for various reasons and worst of all – TOO many motivational posts or ‘HTML is a programming language jokes’ / clickbait titles / polls.
This isn’t going to be a post calling anyone out, as to be fair, almost every popular account I have followed are guilty of one or another to varying degrees including myself (sometimes especially me)
This is me.
I’m Sorry, I’m trying to get better.
Things we can all do better
- Stop rewording everyone else’s popular tweets within minutes of each other, it’s unbelievable the amount of times I see the exact same clickbait post within minutes / hours of the same kind of accounts. This kind of behaviour is spammy and pretty low bar engagement bait. Either contribute to the original tweet or offer a new train of thought on it, don’t just reword it like it’s somebody else’s homework because you want those ‘like’ dopamines. Which leads me into my next point.
- Let’s focus on growing real connections and not just playing the numbers game. 100 real connections is worth more than 10,000 non active users.
- Stop shaming others for having a different opinion or thought process, unless it really is something unbelievably controversial and even then, think, would I call this out on this person or talk to them like this in a conference or meeting setting? The detached reality of twitter can make for some really shitty behaviour that can just end up putting everyone in a bad mood.
- Remember you’re in a tech bubble, the worst example of this was when top tech twitter’ers’ starting openly comparing salaries across countries and states in an opportunity to ‘show wage transparency’ which came across more as thinly veiled showboating. It was cringeworthy to behold, imagine being a highly capable developer based in Nigeria, the Philippines, India etc looking at people ‘shocked’ to be “only” earning $200,000 compared to others earning $400,000 for job roles not even explained. Even in Europe those wages are unheard if with the guy who pretty much wrote React earning in the £80k range in the UK. Things like cost of living aren’t even considered but it was definitely up there as one of the worst moments on tech twitter, all I could think about imagining being someone in another job industry with nowhere near the earning potential having it rubbed in your face.
- Let’s stop gatekeeping, stop talking down those learning other languages, using other methods of learning as being inferior. Mostly because this is a shitty behaviour to begin with and shows some insecurity on your end and also because everyones in a different stage of their journey, some won’t stick it, some will keep developing and some may excel but they’ll come from all kinds of backgrounds and have different journeys to you. Give advice where it’s not condescending or could potentially be misinterpreted.
- Let’s stop pretending the journey into tech is easy to sell a course or a book. Learning to code is not easy, it’s not done overnight / in a month. It can take years of experience to truly grasp the fundamentals well. Encouragement is one thing, bland motivational posts / sales pitches to people really desperate is another. That’s not to say only few can learn to code, that’s not true either. Anyone can with the right attitude and discipline, but let’s not downplay the effort involved necessary either.
Give me solutions
Make a healthy use of the mute keywords function on twitter – preferably forever. I use this for most political topics that boil my blood to read about, or for non-useful topics I seem to spend too much time on or anything that generally leads to a rabbit hole. Sometimes I mute current world events even for a week when I need to focus.
Limit your time on twitter also, it’s a good networking tool but so’s LinkedIn but it can activate a lot of dopamine for non productive time.
From personal experience, don’t try to follow EVERYONE on tech twitter, follow those who are passionate about what they do, that focus on networking and forging connections not just building up a following.
Another piece of great advice is to try to mainly follow those in your ‘stack’, the tech twitter space for even web development is vast and you’ll end up with a ton of irrelevant posts, when you’re new and trying to figure out a language this is ok because you’re trying to figure out what you like but this is honestly a huge waste of your timeline once you’re narrowing things down.
Don’t just follow people because they ‘look like you’ or share your beliefs either, we all need to stop living in our echo chambers and open up the conversation a bit.