Everyone wants to belong, whether it's in a relationship, household, family, or any place in particular. The sense of being safe in a space without struggling to fit in. It is always nice to be in a space where everyone shares common interests and is willing to help each other achieve their goals. A community is that space, especially in the tech field.
Communities have proven to be the best starting point for any beginner in the tech industry. Many people transitioning into tech have a hard time figuring out where to start, what direction to take, or even who to reach out to for help. Being in a community can help ease this tension and provide a safe place to ask for help without any kind of judgment.
Communities play a major role in the success and growth of products, services, and even us as people in the community. Many tech talents have thrived through communities. Over the years, we have seen that communities are a great source getting help related to our different tech fields, such as internships, jobs, hackathons, events, and knowledge.
5 Ways Communities Can Help You Thrive as a Developer
Providing a Mentorship and Supportive Environment for Devs
Every community has guidelines, which include how to treat others. This ensures that the community is safe for every member and that everyone is welcome and free to actively participate without feeling inferior. This opens up room for a supportive environment where people work together at any given time.
Communities also have members with different levels of expertise in their different fields, which offers room for mentorship, especially for beginners who need guidance as they transition into their tech careers.
Collaborating on Projects
Communities always give me the Liverpool football club motto: ' you will never walk alone.' Look at it this way: in a community, you don't always have to struggle alone. There might be a bug that has been troubling you for days, and someone in the community has probably had the same issue before; once you share your problem, voila! You get a solution in the fastest time possible.
Also, getting to meet and interact with new people in the community opens up the probability of you finding a partner to work on an epic project with. Who knows, the person helping you fix that bug could be your co-founder in the future.
Getting Honest Feedback
One thing I learnt from being in a community is that you have to be ready for feedback. People will read your work and give you feedback based on their thoughts. Sometimes the feedbacks are raw with no sugarcoating, just the honest truth, so you have always to be ready for criticism. However, these kinds of feedback are not to bring us down or discourage us but to help us realize where we can improve and make our work better.
Learning New Skills.
In this ever-changing world, there is always something new to learn. Communities give room for learning new skills through the resources they offer, such as boot camps, events, and even hackathons.
For example, our GDSC community at Mount Kenya University offers courses in different tech tracks every week, like web development, cybersecurity, data, and many others. However, your dedication to learning is what will drive you to learn more and more skills. You have to be wise enough to utilize the resources offered to them.
Finding Jobs, Internships, and Networks.
A wise man once said; our networks are our net worth. Communities are like large rooms full of networks. You might meet your future employer, colleague, co-founder, or even your biggest cheerleader in that same space. A good community always has updates on job vacancies, internship offers, and more opportunities for its members to benefit from.
Tips on How To Benefit From a Tech Community
- Choose a Platform You Are Comfortable With
Find a space where you feel more at home, don't just join a community because it has more people or because someone else thought it's good. Go with your gut feeling and join a community that you know will be very beneficial to you. For example, if you are into data science, don't join a cybersecurity community since you won't gain much from that particular space as your interest doesn’t align.
- Be Active
Take part in the different activities that are present in the community. Be open to trying out new stuff and taking up opportunities. Whether it's challenges or workshops, there's so much you can gain from that. Take part in volunteer programs and projects, as there is always someone watching. Your inclusion alone can give you more advantage over others.
- Collaborate and Work With Others
Be open to collaborations, make friends, work on projects, and brainstorm ideas. You can learn so much from others by working together. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
- Be Kind to Everyone
It doesn't hurt to be nice to people. Most people give back the same energy that they get from others. If you are kind to people, they will reciprocate the same kindness. Help where you can, and never be selfish. A community is for everyone, not just some specific people.
Platforms You Can Get Different Tech Communities
Online (google or any other web browser)
Find Your People: Different Tech Communities You Can Join
There are so many tech communities that you can join that might be really helpful in your tech career. Here are just a few that I know of:
Tech communities have really been a great help for me when I was starting out in my tech career. I have gained so much knowledge and very exciting experiences. I have also interacted with very amazing people in the tech industry through these communities. Any newbie trying to transition into tech should consider joining a community that will be a key resource in their journey.