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My main solutions to that over the past 2 years have been:

  • networking socially: I have particularly found that meetup.com is a great way to find programming groups in your area.

  • Using I initially used it for occasional questions. Now it is my daily companion for both giving and receiving advice. Also use the sister sites like http://codereview.stackexchange.com/

  • Working: Although probably not applicable for you (but good general advice for others) If you are good enough to get some kind of job in the area you want, seek out senior people, be nice to them and try to get them to mentor you.

  • Books. O'Reilly, Pragmatic Programmer and others still have good books and you can choose paper and/or digital versions

  • Tutorials. There are now some fantastic sites on the net such as , , http://code.google.com/edu/