How to Become a Part of the Tech Community

Hanging out at DevFestSW

Yes, I know the title sounds weird. Why would we need a guide or post on how to be a part of this rapidly growing tech community we have here? Funny, but it’s needed to debunk the rumors that it takes more than it actually does.

Exactly a year ago, I attended my first meet-up in Lagos, Nigeria — GDG DevFEST SSW Lagos 2016 where I got to put a face to many of the accounts I had been interacting with online including Prosper Otemuyiwa and Femi TAIWO. Ever since then, it has been a continuously awesome experience and the community has continued to grow.

However, this post is as a result of questions from people who believe there’s more to being actively involved or that it involves some form of sacrifice taken to the T-junction at midnight.

Wanting to help others

I believe the moment you are interested and become willing to help people when you can already makes you a member of the community. As you are already contributing to the development of not just yourself, but others as well. In the long run, this is usually a trickle-down effect as the people you help would help others and it goes on.

Imogie Mubarak at the Product Hunt Meet-up earlier this year.

This can be done via any platform of your choice, Twitter and Slack channels come highly recommended. Some Slack channels that promote this to the best of my knowledge include DevCenter Square, Consonance, Laravel Nigeria and many others.

Attend Meet-ups

If you want a more physical presence, the best thing to do is to take the step out and attend a meet-up close to you and preferably related to your areas of interest. These meet-ups are a great way to network and most especially find out best or latest tools & techniques that you can check out at your own time.

Some communities organizing meetups across the country include forLoop Nigeria (organizes events in multiple states and campuses across the country), WeCodeNG in Abuja, GDG groups all over the country and even Ingressive Campus events also in campuses across the country. We also have groups focused on particular tools and technologies like the AngularNG, Laravel Nigeria, Fronstack.io, Usable and many more.

A cross-section of people at forLoop Lagos earlier this year.

Meet-ups are no longer limited to just Lagos as they are happening everywhere across the country, all you need to do is find them :)

Do Stuff

Doing stuff goes from building or designing tools that might directly or indirectly impact members of the community to organizing events and meet-ups and to simply attending or speaking at them. Everyone has a quota to contribute and this is probably the most practical way to directly influence the community.

Be creative about what you do, be yourself and Ace shii up! The community is ours. So if you know anyone asking or finding it difficult to take that first step, share this article with them.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to share :)