How to Grow in Tech Communities

It’s not enough to just join; how do you harness the goodness of a tech community?

There are two categories of people in tech communities: those who get the benefits and those who don’t. Full stop. And most times, they are in their respective categories because of what they do or don’t. We often hear that joining tech communities can be vital to our growth as techies, but it goes beyond just “joining”.

You may have listened to someone talk about how much they got from a community, and you wonder, “Is it not this same community I’m in?” It may be that you’re not doing something right. In this piece, I’ll highlight some ways to significantly grow in a community. Let’s dive right into it!

Stay in Touch

Leaving messages unread or unattended days could make you lose track of what’s happening in your community. If like me, you really aren’t a fan of social media or reading messages, you can set reminders for every few hours to check the group chat and stay abreast of the happenings or upcoming activities.

Interact During Events

I understand that it could be a struggle for some of us to attend an event, whether physically or virtually, and a harder one to even interact with others.

Say you tuned in to an event to learn a particular concept, and somehow, something is still unclear. Imagine deciding to keep mute and hope someone else asks because you’re shy or do not want to appear dull. As “smart” as that may sound, it isn’t. It is a wrong move.

Rather than focusing on what people will think or whether your question is silly, focus on the good parts. You’ll finally understand that concept and do not have to spend extra time trying to get unstuck on your own. When you attend a physical event, try and meet at least one person.

Ask and Answer Questions: Speak up!

One of the perks of tech communities is that you get help and help others. Why spend an unnecessarily long period trying to get out of a problem on your own when there’s an entire group of people who can help you out of it or show you the way? There’s help available for you; you just need to speak up.

Who knows? Maybe by doing so, you’ll also help people who have nursed a similar question or are in a similar dilemma as you.

I have personally witnessed people who ask for help in terms of answers to a question, course recommendations, job application guidance, or even job referrals. And one thing stands out whenever this happens: they almost always receive help.

Don’t Be Everywhere

Yes, I did say that being a part of communities can aid your growth; however, it may be counterproductive to belong to too many at a time. It already requires so much intentionality to participate actively and grow in one community. Joining too many may be exhausting, giving the opposite of the desired effect.

I’d suggest you find a few that resonate with you and stick to them. You could do this by:

  • Reading or asking about the community,
  • Checking the official website or media pages of the community to see for yourself, and
  • Asking for referrals from experts or people in intermediate levels.

She Code Africa is, of course, a place for you if you are in search of a community. We’re always happy to have you join us. You can check the official website for more information.

Conclusion

Your community manager can try their best to carry everyone along, but in the end, it depends on you-you have to stretch out your arms too. I hope that using the tips highlighted in this piece, you will get the rewards of belonging to a community soon enough.

I wrote previously about The Importance of Communities to a Techie’s Growth. And if Community Management is a field you want to explore, Hafsah wrote something that’ll help you navigate the process. Read here.

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Olamide 'Pearl' Makinde

Olamide 'Pearl' Makinde

I kinda just like to rant here + I write tech stuff sometimes. I love hearing my readers’ thoughts; we can have a convo in the comment section, twitter, or IG.