As a newbie who just started teaching myself Javascript back in November, I haven't had any chance at all to interact with actual developers. I'm in a few learning to code groups on Facebook, a couple Slack and Discord channels, but most of my interactions have been sparse.

People are busy. I try to only ask questions when I really am at the end of my road (which is rare.) Or, share useful interesting things.

I heard that meetups are really good for networking and also just learning from other devs in general. I live in Rochester NY, a small city, but was super excited to find RocDev.org, who typically hosts two meetings per month. I was lucky to have the first one be on React, the very thing I've been practicing day in and day out. I signed up right away.

The host of the meeting, Josh Kramer, is a Senior Developer with Measures for Justice. He went over most of React's new features since 16.8 was released or that are coming up, such as the various hooks, React.lazy, Suspense, and React.memo.

All in all, I learned a lot. He explained the way that hooks re-render, which was something I wasn't aware of through my studies. It also helped me figure out some of the weird quirks I've been noticing while building my current app.

He was even nice enough to talk to me a few minutes afterward and answer some questions I had. Something I was very grateful for.

I felt like a kid in a candy store, surrounded by these things I've been studying and pouring over day and night. I can't wait until the next one, which will be about Service Workers, something I haven't delved into. I bet I'll learn a ton there as well.

If your new to programming or React, I suggest trying to find yourself a Meetup. It's a great experience!