Participate in popular IT forums such as StackExchange (https://stackexchange.com) and GitHub (https://github.com) to build your knowledge and skills and meet people with shared interests.
Participate in programming competitions to test your skills and interact with people who share your interests. SkillsUSA is a national membership organization for middle school, high school, and college students who plan to pursue careers in technical, trade, and skilled service occupations. It offers several computer-related competitions. In its programming competition, contestants must demonstrate their knowledge of computer programming, describe how programs and programming languages work, detail the purposes and practices of structured programming, and develop a computer program from design notes and instructions. Visit http://www.skillsusa.org for more information. Here are a few additional programming competitions: