Top 5 Networking Tips For Software Engineers
Do you want to network as a software engineer but don't know how to do it? Maybe you're shy, introverted, or afraid you have nothing to offer?
This article will give you some approaches you can use to create and expand your network.
Before starting, what is networking? And why do you need to network as a software engineer?
"Networking" means building long-term relationships.
Unfortunately, "networking" sounds businessy and "entrepreneurial", but it simply means meeting new people and creating new relationships.
Networking is all about giving.
It doesn't matter if you have a product to promote or not.
You certainly have something to bring to the table.
"Something" could mean:
Your curiosity (you ask good questions).
Sense of humour.
Tips you want to share.
Stories you want to talk about.
And much more.
Networking will help your career when you most need it.
Tech is going through layoffs. People find themselves with no jobs from one day to another.
Having a supportive network helps in these difficult times.
In what ways can you network as a software engineer?
Posting online means creating your brand.
Build a social media following.
Write blog posts.
Create a YouTube channel.
The most suitable social media platforms for software engineers are Twitter and LinkedIn, with the latter being slightly more formal.
LinkedIn is the only social media platform created specifically for professional networking. To increase your chances of networking on LinkedIn:
Engage in other people's posts.
Always send a personalized invite when connecting with other members.
Be active in the developer communities
The software engineering community is vast, active and friendly.
There are many online and offline communities where you can meet fellow engineers.
Some examples are:
Attend networking events
Networking events are events where you can meet like-minded people.
They're excellent for:
Expanding your network.
Finding new clients (if you have a business).
Meeting new friends.
People are often scared of attending networking events because they don't know how to make the most of them.
Here are some tips that I hope will help you:
First impression counts.
Smiling makes you appear more approachable and friendly.
Be present and truly listen
People love to feel heard.
Therefore, truly listen to the person you're speaking to.
Ask questions if you want to know more about them.
Make eye contact with the speaker.
Ensure your body language conveys that you're fully engaged with the person you're speaking to.
Avoid checking your phone.
This attitude will help you create trust and convey a sense of caring.
Where can I find networking events?
Become a mentor or mentee
Becoming a mentor means helping other people succeed in their careers.
"Mentor" sounds businessy, but it doesn't have to be.
A mentor is someone who genuinely cares about you and your career development. Ideally, they're someone a few steps ahead of you or, in general, someone who's where you'd like to be.
A mentor-to-mentee relationship is a two-way connection. The mentor learns from the mentee and vice versa.
A good approach for mentees to create a long-term relationship with any mentor is to adopt the mindset of a giver, always show up on time and prepare robust questions/topic conversations to discuss.
A mentor will be part of your network forever.
Volunteering is an underrated way to expand your network.
Volunteering helps you:
Learning new skills for free.
Give back to your community.
Expand your network.
It's also excellent to use your time wisely.
You can volunteer online or face-to-face.
An example is volunteering at Coding Dojo.
Related: 4 Easy Ways To Get Coding Experience
Key Take Aways
To network as a software engineer, you can:
Be active in developer communities.
Attend networking events.
Become a mentor or mentee.
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