Be part of the community, share knowledge and use the experience of others.
As developers, we often stay in our own comfort zone, we have knowledge that is enough for us to perform our daily tasks at work and we do not see the need to develop ourselves. Due to the very dynamic development of our industry, it is very short-sighted thinking and from a long-term perspective, it can cost you a lot. How to bring together lack of time with the need for continuous development? Attend local events! Let me explain the benefits that this may bring from the perspective of the participant and the presenter.
Time is money
Time is the currency of the 21st century. Despite the greater automation of all activities, people are still busy and cannot find time for themselves. Very often, we do not want to try a new approach to the problem, because we are afraid that we will lose our valuable time. By attending the local meetups, we gain experience and can use the speaker’s time. Very often an hour-long lecture is the result of many hours of research and many attempts to solve the problem. This way we are able to learn new things with less effort and in a shorter amount of time, which we as participants get for free during the presentation.
Participation in meetups will not only save us the research time but also could help us simplify or automate things we are working on ourselves. This is a great thing because programming is becoming much easier and the community of developers is growing. It is also worth noting that mostly there is no additional fee for participation in the event, this is why local meetups may turn out to be a good alternative to often expensive conferences.
I do not know what I do not know
The vast number of libraries and tools currently available leads to the fact, that very often even the programmers themselves have no idea about the existence of new tools or technologies. During “Let’s Swift” — the local event in Wrocław, I was able to get to know the Lottie tool, facilitating work with animations and allowing to transfer some of the programmer’s work to graphics. This library allowed me not only to save time spent on implementing the solution but also the time that I would spend talking about minor bugs with the designer, resulting, for example, from the limitations of the platform.
One of the most important element of the programmer’s work is communication with another person: be it the client, another programmer or a manager. There is no better way to develop your soft skills than meeting a large number of people who share the same interests. I think that passion is contagious, and I think there is no better thing in life than doing what you like. We also have the opportunity to get to know people with great knowledge. Let me just mention the last swift.map event in Poznan, where I had the pleasure of watching the presentation of Chris Eidhof about the new approach to creating responsive views which were very interesting. Seeing Chris live and his way of presenting was also a great experience and lesson for me.
Monotony of everyday life
There is nothing worse than monotony and this applies to every aspect of our lives, whether it’s private life, family life or a professional career. The beginnings of learning computer science, although very difficult, often provide a lot of satisfaction because we learn something new every day, and we can learn from other experienced developers. With time, however, in our work, we start to do similar things in a very analogous way. Implement log screen in the application once again. Unfortunately, job burnout can often be observed in our industry. Thanks to the fact that topics on such events very often are not directly connected to our daily job experience, it allows even experienced programmers to enjoy learning new things. Changing the place of acquiring knowledge is an additional plus, which reduces the chance of occurrence of the problem of burnout.
I often meet with the statement that the junior does not know enough to go to such meetings, and the senior will be bored at such a meeting. As an inexperienced developer there is a good chance that you can not understand certain things, but if you want to read this topic later, it will be easier. For me, such a presentation was the presentation of Piotr Tobolski “Introduction to CoreML” from in_iOS event. The presentation gave basic knowledge in the field of machine learning, so it will be easier to do something in this technology in the future. I am sure that a variety of topics discussed at our meeting will also allow experienced programmers to learn something new and expand their horizons a bit.
Strategy winning for poker
Perhaps the topics that were discussed at the event will not be useful in the near future. However, as programmers, we can not predict what knowledge will be useful to us. That’s why I recommend one of the strategies in poker, which is the percentage calculation of the chance to win. Each event does not guarantee success, but it increases our chances of success in a professional career. Making good decisions, in the long run, pays off, although in the short term it may not be so obvious.
A double-edged sword
Unfortunately, due to the ease of publishing materials on the Internet, everyone can now publish as an expert in a given technology. Independent analysis of materials on the Internet in terms of correctness can be time-consuming. During the presentation, thanks to the fact that we are in the room with other experienced programmers, minor mistakes will be caught by other people, and the ambiguities explained during the question session after the presentation.
Learn by teaching others
The last aspect that I would like to raise is the preparation of my own presentation. Although my subject was based on the knowledge I gained at work, during the preparation of the presentation I managed to learn a lot of new things. The presentation itself in front of such a large group of people is a very valuable experience that I will definitely need in the future.
Are you convinced you need to attend more events? I cordially invite you to the next events coordinated by intive
Follow us on twitter: @intive_dev
What is in_intive? This initiative was initiated by intive passionate employees. Its aim is to share knowledge and networking. The form of meetings is open, tailored to your needs. As part of meet.intive, we have already conducted many lectures, workshops, and hackathons.
I recommend leaving your comfort zone and join our small community ;) If you have other ideas on how to encourage friends to go to local events, be sure to share in the commentary!