Some people think that volunteering requires a lot of effort. You apply to a program; they accept you; you train for a few hours, and then you commit to volunteering a couple of hours every week.

In my opinion, though, volunteering in a city like NYC — with its large and ever-growing tech community – doesn’t need to be so difficult. If you identify as a developer, or if you’re even just learning to code, you don’t need to look too far to engage.

Below is a list of my favorite spaces to “volunteer” with (in no order of preference) in NYC.

In general, my philosophy is that volunteering is about being present. You volunteer by going to a meetup and asking thoughtful questions. You volunteer by helping a stranger solve a technical problem that they were struggling with. You volunteer by exchanging advice and resource tips with the team you work with at a hackathon. You volunteer by talking to newbies about your own learning path as a developer.

Often, what you’ll come to find is that in the act of “volunteering,” you learn a lot too. New friends give you professional or technical advice. New mentors help you when it’s your turn to get stuck on a new framework you’ve been learning for your personal project. You serendipitously discover a lot of free stickers you can put on your laptop.

If you’d like to add to my list by offering a recommendation, please leave a comment below!

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  • Hi, I'm Linda! I enjoy going to tech meetups, learning web development, and blogging about the learning path. Follow me @LPnotes

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