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Seven Social Networking Resources For Engineers

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Social networks aren’t just for the kids these days. Professional online communities today offer unprecedented opportunities to connect with peers, stay up-to-date on trends and best practices and find solutions for your toughest occupational challenges.

And even if you’re in a specific field (like engineering), there are a growing number of industry-based networks that can be great resources.

Below are seven engineering networking sites that we like, and think you will too.

1. Design News

Design News owns one of the largest trusted communities of design engineers. Their website is always up to date with current news, blog posts, and videos. They have an active community that posts on their message board.  Check out their webinars to get an in-depth look into some recent industry trends or sign up for one of their 3-part courses sponsored by their industry partners.

2. The Engineering Exchange

The Engineering Exchange is a social network that connects over 11,000 engineers around the world. You can use the Engineering Exchange to view and share videos or blog posts, and participate in forum discussions about the topics that matter to you. The Engineering Exchange also lets you connect with engineers in similar positions, locations or industries and browse a resource section full of 3D CAD models, job listings and content leaderboards.

3. Engineering.com

Engineering.com offers a variety of free tools, an extensive engineering library and several subject-based directories—geared toward engineers of all disciplines. And recently, Engineering.com launched Electronics Design, a microsite that covers industry news and commentary specifically for electrical engineers.

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is well-known as a professional networking site where individuals can connect with peers and business partners and look for jobs. But with LinkedIn Groups, industry-focused professionals have a designated place to gather and ask questions or share advice and articles. There are countless LinkedIn groups that appeal to engineers, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Engineering Talks -Engineering Talks) is the dream of ours to contribute to engineers and engineering disciplines and provide a free platform for young and experienced engineers to show their passion in the field of engineering.
  • Computer & Software Engineering Professionals With over 181,000 members, Engineers World can share and discuss topics of interests to further their careers and education.
  • Engineering Collaboration for PLM  This group is designed for engineers tasked with using PLM to manage the full product record, bill. of materials (BOM) and CAD data. Come here to learn from other companies who are using PLM to manage the engineering designs.

5. Twitter

Twitter is an easy way to pick up the latest engineering top news and headlines. And by following the tweets of industry leaders, you can get quick insights into what’s trending in the product design and engineering Twittersphere.

Here are seven Twitter profiles that tweet interesting engineering content every day:

6. Open Source Platforms

Open source sites are a great place for open collaboration and learning. The leader in open source design is Arduino, which has a website that encourages social networking through its blog, a publicly editable Wiki, and a forum where you can post questions and share experiences.

Another great open source platform is CodePlex, Microsoft's free open source project hosting site where engineers can create and share projects, collaborate with others, and download open source software.

7. Quora

Quora is an online question and answer community, where users can post and answer questions, collaborate and respond to answers posted by other users. Answers on Quora feel more like conversations, and often represent a diversity of thought on a given topic. Here are a few engineering-focused Quora boards to follow:

These are just a handful of valuable resources online today that help engineers keep up with new innovation and trends in the design world. Which online communities do you use to stay connected?