How to Network And Meet Other Software Developers | LoudProgrammer

How to Network And Meet Other Software Developers

 

Group of Business people networking

The job market has become so dynamic.

You will mostly likely have success getting a job by relying on your network than by frequenting job listing websites.

Some people have had success by just approaching a company that was hiring and got a chance, but just an exceptional few.

Competition for jobs has gone high though.

You will need to have someone who can recommend you for a job, someone who can back up your claims.

This will give you more credibility in the eyes of an employer than if you only had the skills but lacked a recommendation.

Networking with buddies will form a great part of your software career.

And once you get started, there is no stopping you.

Quite often job opportunities are not advertised to the public. If you have the right connection at the right time, you might get alerted about an opening at a startup so that you could go give it a shot.

Your job search with a company will be easier if you also know an insider: someone who already works there who could put in a strong word for you in order to back up your application.

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This is not a race to pile 3000 business cards on your desk by the end of the month.

Only focus on relevant connections.

You might want to broaden your reach by networking with anybody who has any position at any company.

But remember networking is not that easy. Your focus should be on building relationships other than just exchanging business cards.

In order to build meaningful connections in this manner, you need to put in effort and time.

Quality of your connections will work well against quantity.

However, you should not just focus on networking as a tool for the purpose of a getting a job.

It should be a way to

  • make friends,
  • share ideas and
  • make your professional life fun.

You might not get a job directly from your network but your network will play a great role in shaping your profession as a software developer.

Programming and software development in general is all about providing solutions to people.

So you need to have people skills.

You need to know how to communicate with people and put your ideas across.

This is what amounts to great software.

Just after you are able to communicate with and understand customer needs, will you be able to design software with the end user in mind.

There are various ways through which you could network and broaden your reach.

1. Tech Meetups

Using a website like Meetup.com will help you locate nearby relevant Meetup groups in your locality.

Only join MeetUps where there is a great likelihood that you will meet likeminded people.

Joining a Meetup group about Yoga and expecting to meet programmers is spreading your chances too thin.

Networking and building real connections takes effort and time so only focus on making relevant connections that will be of real value in shaping your career.

If you are a JavaScript developer and you don’t intend to venture into back end languages like Ruby or PHP anytime soon, then your best bet would be to join a JavaScript-only Meetup group.

During these Meetups guys get to share best practices in that particular technology.

You get to learn from others how to implement particular features in that language or framework or technology. You only want to learn what you really need as a budding programmer. It will ease the learning burden on you.

People also frequent these Meetups to find passionate programmers who could collaborate with them on a project.

Some programmer you might meet here knows a startup that is hiring or someone who is in need of a programmer.

So it would benefit if you had the right skills needed.

2. Online Support Groups

Don’t limit your reach to only your physical locality.

Even distant connections have proved resourceful to me in my career.

Besides, with the on sprout of online work and companies outsourcing development tasks, you have high chances of landing a gig through a remote connection.

As a software developer you need to continue learning new tricks in order to be more efficient at your job.

These online groups that you join are a great place to get to know

  • What challenges others are facing,
  • How they tackled them and
  • The best ways to approach certain problems.

This will save you a great deal of frustration in trial and error and possibly annoying the management at the company where you work.

At these online groups you could

  • Ask your buddies particular questions about your work.
  • How to respond to certain situations at the work place.
  • Which libraries are the best for accomplishing certain tasks.
  • How to write efficient code and boost server response time among other things.

3. Alumni groups

Your previous classmates will be a very easy place to start networking.

They already know you in depth.

You shared much together so they wouldn’t be hesitant to want to catch up and get to know what you are up to.

There are various ways you could catch up:

  • You could look up your particular alumni Meetups.
  • You could as well use a tool like LinkedIn to find which of your previous classmates are on LinkedIn platform and then connect.

This way you will be able to get in touch.

Ask to know what they are doing first.

This will put you at a better position to know how resourceful they could be to you in terms of taking your career to the next level.

When you seek to know how somebody is faring on first, it comes out as genuine and the person might be open to sharing more with you.

Then let them know

  • What you currently do.
  • What skills you currently have, and
  • What you are looking for.

Go ahead and let them know how you could be of help to them and how they could be of help to you too in both your careers.

4. Tech forums

These are as well common depending on your locality.

These have a broader outlook, attracting a wider range of both technical and nontechnical people.

You are as well likely to meet people of varying ages and interests.

There are chances you could meet that one right person from these forums.

Go with an open mind and be open to those you meet so that they can open up as well and share more with.

Mostly you will find entrepreneurs who want to invest in the tech industry frequent these forums as they want to learn more about the risks involved as well as meet geeky developers.

Getting hooked up with the right individual from these forums could open doors of opportunities for you.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that connects you with likeminded professionals regardless of their geographical locations.

It’s a great way to keep in touch with buddies, check out their recent developments and activities in a non-intrusive way.

While you are networking, create a professional LinkedIn account which you can then share with your new connections as a way to keep in touch.

When there is a connection you need to get in touch with, you could simply log into your LinkedIn account and search for their profile, say based on their first name, location or any criteria you’d like to use and send them a message.

LinkedIn makes it much easier to reach out to your connections when you are separated geographically.

You could simply drop them a message or share with them interesting materials and opportunities.

This constant communication will keep you in their radar which might be very useful when the right opportunity surfaces.

Networking tips

  • Focus on making connections that are relevant to your career
  • Focus on making a few quality connections other than piling a list of business cards of people you might never talk to again
  • Don’t be pushy or appear needy. Relationships need time to grow

 

Which is your favorite networking platform?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Found this article useful? Please share.

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download my book on How to Become a $50/Hour Software Developer in 7 Simple Steps and jump-start your software career today.

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Geoffrey is a lead software developer, author and writer. He writes code from scratch but frequents GitHub. He also writes and talks about technology trends, small business tips and developer productivity hacks. He is no coffee addict.

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