Tools are not just physical things which you put in a box, they come in all shapes, sizes, forms and even forums. The internet is all about connecting people so it comes as no surprise that there are many great community resources specifically for IT technicians. There are discussion forums, bulletin boards, social networks, groups, circles, tribes and more. An active community, packed with published knowledge and knowledgeable people willing to help, is itself an invaluable IT tool which will come to the rescue time and time again.
This article can’t possibly cover every such IT community resource online these days, there are simply too many but Google/Bing will no doubt turn up something that suits your particular requirements. However, below you will find some of the best of them with a bit of info about each..
Technibble is a community founded back in 2006 and aimed specifically at Computer Technicians (or those that soon will be, they say) and offers a wealth of expert articles, videos, kits and other resources as well as having active and very useful discussion forums. You can’t go wrong here if you’re in the IT services trade.
Serverfault is a great resource which is part of the massive StackExchange network of Q&A sites. Serverfault itself is for sysadmins and network admins and is a very active community.
DBA StackExchange is another good one from, well the clue is in the name, which is for database admins. But outside the StackExchange there are plenty of other places for the database challenged technician to get help such as dBforums.
SuperUser is yet another StackExchange community but this one is for “computer enthusiasts and power users” and provides plenty of info and answers for a troubled technician.
Over on the infamous “front page of the internet” (as they call themselves), known to the rest of us as simply reddit you can find a whole bunch of IT related ‘sub-reddit’ communities such as SysAdmin, Linux Admin, Network Security, IT Dept, Tech Support and of course Tales from Tech Support. There are of plenty more to be found if you dig around the subreddits but this list should be a good place to start – just don’t go getting sidetracked with the ever popular cat pics though!
If you’re still not satisfied and want MORE communities for tech guys, then check out the aptly named Tech Guy forums and if you’re over in India then perhaps the Tech Gig community will answer the call.
As with many things in life, you get out what you put in – as a quick source of answers to tricky problems, the above mentioned communities will certainly come in handy. However if you actively participate in such communities and contribute your own answers to questions from others then you will certainly benefit far more in the long run and they will become an essential IT tool that will always be there when you need.