While most development support resources to be found are simply asynchronous documentation websites ( e.g. APIs, forums, blogs, books, peers, and tutorials), there is one source that offers support in real time. There is a whole, wide world of programmers out there just sitting—WAITING—to help support you if you know where to seek them out. Deep in the bowels of the internets, a brotherhood of programmers lay connected via an antiquated protocol called IRC.
Using IRC (internet relay chat), you can participate in a chat with people all over the world, asking real-time questions and (possibly) getting real-time answers. IRC is the precursor to modern chat and chat rooms, and is something developers have actually been using for decades.
To download an IRC client, try out one of these:
- ChatZilla (addon for Firefox browser) | https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/16/
- Colloguy (standalone IRC client) | http://colloquy.info/
- MacIrssi (standalone IRC client) | http://www.sysctl.co.uk/#macirssi
Once you have these in place you just need to find the right “room” on an irc server. For those in this class, you may find the following to be useful:
- #corona on irc.freenode.net
- #wordpress on irc.freenode.net (check out their official IRC info page at: http://codex.wordpress.org/IRC)
- #codeacademy on irc.freenode.net
And finally, once you get into a room, it’s nice to know the commands for doing more than shouting out everything to everyone in the room. Here’s a quick resource on basic IRC commands: http://www.ircbeginner.com/ircinfo/ircc-commands.html.