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Can Communities Help You Land a Job?
“Can Communities Help You Land a Job?” before we get to the answer to this question, let us first understand what are communities and how did it start.
Note: Since I work closely with tech communities, my takes and experiences will be aligned with it.
To go by definition:
“Tech communities are groups of people with a common interest in technology and a shared passion for staying up-to-date with the latest industry news, trends, and developments. These communities exist both online and offline, and they play a crucial role in personal growth and career development”
What led to the growth of tech communities?
To know this, let’s go back to the early 1950s, according to sources, the first tech community was formed during the early days of the computer revolution. One of the earliest and most prominent tech communities emerged around the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. This community laid the foundation for what would later become known as the "Hacker Culture."
Why was it formed?
The main driver behind the formation of this tech community was the spirit of collaboration and curiosity. Early computer enthusiasts were passionate about exploring the capabilities of these machines and sharing their knowledge with others. This community was driven by the belief that information should be open and freely accessible, leading to a culture of information sharing and collective problem-solving.
How is it different from the recent day communities?
As computers evolved, so did the tech community. The advent of the personal computer in the 1970s and 1980s further democratized computing, allowing more individuals to become part of the community. This laid the groundwork for the thriving and diverse tech communities we see today, which continue to foster innovation, knowledge sharing, and technological advancements across the globe.
Now that we know what is a community and how it was formed, let’s hear from people who are in the present-day community and how they benefitted from it 👇
And there are countless others, including me.
How do you get these opportunities?
To be honest, there is no “roadmap” or “guideline” that can you follow to get an opportunity. What worked for me, may or may not work for you. I also know many people who never joined any communities and are still doing great in their careers. It is you who decides what you want for yourself.
Getting to the question of “How do you get these opportunities?”, let’s tell you my story:
Like many college students, I didn’t know what I want to do after my degree is over. My batchmates said “I want to become a Data-Scientist” and some said, “I want to become a web developer”. I would listen to them all, come back home, try going through some tutorials (yeah the tutorial hell), and end up learning nothing. This was me until I found the “Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador Community” (then known as “Microsoft Student Partner”). It was an eye-opening moment for me, I saw peers my age and even younger being so skilled and smart and having a vision. I knew this was an opportunity that I have to grab, I started going through all the resources the community provided, often cold DM’d folks from the community (almost everybody was very helpful and helped me learn), started participating in different events (as an attendee), made sure I am learning a lot and documenting my journey either on blogs or Twitter (this was before “public learning” was cool). I started upskilling on various Microsoft technologies and building with it, to my surprise, I received an email that invited me to speak at “Microsoft Build”
☝️ This was the push I needed to continue learning, collaborating, and networking with people. Fast-forward to 2023 (3 years since the above post), I have a full-time job where I am working closely with the community and helping many more like me achieve their dreams.
While the stories might sound like an easy thing to do, you must remember, that the road to it was bumpy, and had a lot of breakdowns, frustration, and failures. There is no shortcut to skills and consistency.
The answer to your question - Can communities help you land a job? Yes! Can it guarantee you a job? No!
Communities are a great place to learn tech + soft skills. A lot of times, we as developers, forget that people’s skills are equally important, along with tech skills, attending meetups is like a social gathering without nosy aunties and more folks like you. Embrace these opportunities to build a name for yourself, make friends, and learn from each other.
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