I have spent the past several years working on WordPress and small webpage projects that have required me to flex my design,HTML and CSS skills. Two years ago I decided that I would start attending local tech meetups. Attending them helped open my eyes and I’m here to share why you should find your local community either in person or online.
I’m going to start with the online community. This could be locally or remotely it just sort depends on how you find the community. I’m going to focus on the local version but if you want a remote community the easiest way to find it is by going to the website of said community you’d like to join and usually in their footer they have a menu that says community or get involved with a link to their slack group.
Both of these groups have a slack group that you can join and are great to find a channel or niched group on a specific topic you’re looking for. Say you’re going through the FreeCodeCamp program. You can join that specific channel in the slack group and ask your question and people are there. You can even find yourself an accountability buddy or a study group to go to.
The key here is to be involved in the discussion. This just might mean you’re are asking questions or it could mean that you are in the general or random chat channel just contributing to the conversation. If there is someone who you think you’d like to get to know or have become “slack friends” try direct messaging them and maybe even connecting in real life.
The key to meetups is actually showing up!
It is super easy to get caught up in life and either forget or tell youreself that you’ll go to the next meetup because usually they are once a month. I’m speaking from experience that it’s so much easier when you just make the decision and you tell your significant other that it’s something you want to do. The expectations are set and the plan is made.
Once you’ve made it make sure you introduce youreself to people. This may sound silly but as somone is very much an extrovert and social I actually found myself not talking to anyone. I think it’s because of the imposter syndrome or even just feel shy because it’s something new and I’m still learning but so is everyone else so don’t sweat it.
Offer up the option to present something that you are learning. Just because you are new doesn’t mean everyone else in the room are professionals and even if they are it’s always nice to get feed from their end. It also helps you soldify the knowledge you are teaching in your own mind.
Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.