Every journey is different, it might take you months when it took other people years and that's totally valid, but I think we can all agree on some fundamental steps that keep coming up when speaking to people already in tech and their journeys into tech from other fields and paths in life, that we need to talk about and they might speed up yours.
-This does NOT mean to disregard your learning journey; this shouldn't feel like a chore. Do whatever comes natural to you. Take whichever advice works best for you.-
- JOIN COMMUNITIES
You might be aware by now that this journey is a hard one, you'll find yourself stuck in a lot of places and you'll need someone you can talk to, that's where tech communities come in. You can start connecting with people going through the same things as you are, or even better, more experienced folks willing to help and provide guidance.
Where can you find those tech communities? Short answer? Everywhere.
Twitter has a HUGE and supportive tech community, all you need is an account and start connecting with people.
Discord, Oh Lord! There are so many! Almost every course online has a Discord community. Some that deserve special recognition are:
If you have more friendly communities leave them in the comments <3
LinkedIn, you can connect with people and start interacting with the content they put out, or better yet start posting your content on LinkedIn.
But don't feel burdened, you'll meet a lot of great people even if you feel like you're just a beginner, that's even better because you'll be documenting your progress in public.
- SHOW UP AND SPEAK UP
You've joined... Now what? Well, my friend you need to start genuinely interacting with people, be interested in their work. That's why you shouldn't force yourself to connect with people you don't want to, it's best if you're genuinely interested about what they're building, their journey or inspired by their trajectory. A good rule of thumb is to treat people like you'd like to be treated.
But let's get more specific: Why show up? You have to show consistency in the community you're in or even if you're occasionally on Twitter from time to time. Let people know you and that'll drive them to connect with you, even if it's out of curiosity because they see you everywhere and like your content or personality.
Why speak up? Let people know about your journey, your ideas, what you're struggling with, what you're proud of. That'll make people look at your human side and see that they're not alone in this journey. At the end of the day, you must keep in mind people just want to connect and feel understood.
This can take any form, it can be on Twitter spaces, blog posts, YouTube videos, Discord communities or whichever alternative makes you feel comfortable with sharing your voice and journey.
- OPEN SOURCE
Open source communities are ones of the most supportive and helpful ones I've ever been in. A great way to break into tech is to start collaborating to products you enjoy and use. Who knows! They might like your work and ask you to work for them instead.
Let's get something clear, you don't need to contribute with technical knowledge, it can be offering help in documentation, some accessibility suggestions, typos, you name it! You're making their product be better and also gaining experience working with teams, and also getting cute green squares on GitHub.
Want help getting started with GitHub? Use this repository
- CREATE CONTENT AND BUILD IN PUBLIC
It was my 3rd month on tech Twitter and I remember reading a tweet that said something along the lines of you need a good record to show future employers you've put in the work and know what you're talking about, and that stuck with me.
Like I said before, this shouldn't feel like a chore. You can share your progress on Twitter using the #100DaysOfCode hashtag and connect with a lovely community there, you might want to make Vlogs on YouTube about what is like breaking into tech, maybe short Tiktoks? It's up to you to decide the medium you'll use to post your content.
Me? I started using #100DaysOfCode on Twitter and met some amazing creators and developers along the way, then I decided to start sharing my knowledge through technical writing and I'm currently working on more YouTube videos and sharing tips in my Newsletter.
You don't need to solely commit to one medium, you can try multiple and see which one feels more natural for you. I also tried TikTok for a while, that's still on the works haha.
Building in public shares the same premise of creating content, you'll be sharing your progress while you work on your projects and how it keeps improving day by day. You'll be amazed by the amount of people who will love to be part of the journey instead of the destination.
- JOIN HACKATHONS
This is the best way to make connections WHILE also showing off what you can do. You'll more likely interact with likeminded people and even work on projects together, also we can shortly go over the prizes because they're always a huge motivator.
Where can you find them? Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities my friend, Hashnode has one every once in a while. It currently has one on building your dream project with AWS Amplify you might want to check it out.
- USE LINKEDIN
Like a friend of mine would say LinkedIn is so underrated. You can apply for jobs directly, talk to recruiters and connect with people who share the same views and knowledge. It's also a good medium to share your content and experience.
If you need a hand knowing what to put on LinkedIn to have recruiters reach out and make a good application whenever you're applying for jobs check out Danny Thompson's LinkedIn series on YouTube for good advice FROM recruiters themselves.
If you're going to take something with you from this article let it be to BUILD GENUINE CONNECTIONS not because of what they can do for you in the future but because you actually want to know more about that person's work and mentality. Something people seem to overlook is that everyone is a person behind the screen, treat them like one.
Be clear with your intentions, Networking is building meaningful relationships within your community that will help you gather information about the industry, tips, and advice on where you want to take your career.
It takes a lot of work to build those connections but you never know who you might end up being friends with, and let me tell you that when it's someone you admire it feels even better.
I have to tell you my friend, breaking into tech is a matter of resilience and persistence . You need to be prepared to be rejected more times than accepted, sometimes you won't even make it to the interview but all you need to think about is that you only need one Yes, you shouldn't care about the No's. This is where a good support system from your community comes in, and who knows they might even make a hashtag like #HireYuri for you when you're looking for a job, or even better, they might know about an opening you'll be a great fit for.
It's a tough process but it's doable, and you my friend, can absolutely do it.
Thank you so much for reading, my friend! :] I really hope you learned something new today and start applying those steps, if you have anything to add don't hesitate to leave a comment.
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