When you think of networking, you think of a crowded room, business cards and hand shaking. Everyone talks quickly, exchanges elevator pitches and rushes to the next person to flick their card at. These events exist, and I’m sure they’re great for something, but they will not help you to land your next software role!
I prefer the term relationship building, here are 8 ways you can build relationships in the tech community to improve your circle:
Because of the close working conditions and reliance on teamwork, these are really good opportunities to meet other programmers, designers and entrepreneurs, plus they are a lot of fun! Some hackathons are even sponsored by employers, so if you’re looking to secure a new role it’s a great way to showcase your talent.
Reach out to a recruiter
Recruiters are often given a bad reputation, but you must remember that they are only trying to help. You should think of a recruiter as your own personal brand ambassador. Tasked with the sole objective of helping you take the next important step in your career, who’ll support you in reaching your ambitions and goals.
Attend a meetup
Attending a meetup is a great way of meeting people, improving your skills and keeping updated with changes in the industry. If you are looking to learn a new programming language it’s a great place to start, you can show others what you have accomplished so far and ask any questions you are unsure about.
Contribute to open-source projects
Github is always a great place to start, with over 100 million projects available and 36 million users, you’ll always be able to find something you’re interested in whatever your level. Contributing to open source shows that you like software development, not just the salary – that can make you more interesting to a prospective employer.
Attending a tech conference provides a great opportunity to meet new people and chat with other IT professionals about new technology and the latest business innovations. Stay around for a chat afterwards and compliment the speakers on their talks, ask a few questions on what they are currently working on and make sure they remember you!
After a conference or meetup, follow the attendees on Twitter/LinkedIn and pop them a message saying something like “It was lovely to meet you, I really enjoyed the talk on….looking forward to the next one”.
Online tech community
Join a forum like Slack to build relationships with other people like you. Most cities have their own Slack communities specifically for tech, and bigger cities usually have Slack channels for anything you’re interested in – from channels such as TechNottingham and #Startup there is thousands to choose from.
Participate in a code camp
A codecamp is a great way to get started in coding. Similar to a conference/meetup, you will discover new tools and tips whilst also getting the opportunity to chat to experts in the field. Furthermore, a codecamp is hands on – you will learn much more by practising, getting involved and asking questions. It’s a great addition to your CV!
Hakuna matata and stop worrying about trying the traditional ‘networking’ as it’s not the only way to grow your connections in your industry, keep these tips in mind!