One of the biggest buzzwords around nowadays is ‘social networking’ or ‘social media’.
The older generation shudder at the words as they usually link them with the bad press they get.
The younger generation think of Facebook and telling the world that they are eating a pizza or they’re thoughts of the last act on X-Factor.
But I genuinely think that in the programming/development industry, social media is a key tool and anyone in this industry MUST learn to use it in order to advance their career.
Simple fact: the more people you know the more opportunities you have. Easiest way to get to know more people? Social media.
But where do you begin? What social networks do you join?
Well, one thing that I have done is joined Twitter. There are a lot of Tech blogs and companies who now use Twitter to get news out. If you follow them, you will be doing the same as many others of the same interests are you. Don’t just be an absorber of information, give some back! Re-tweet, or reply. Let people see your name attached to these companies.
Linkedin is another site that has been around for ages and is one that I have only just recently joined. The idea is that you build up your professional portfolio on here. The good thing about this site is that employers are constantly looking on here for workers. Furthermore, it is a good way to show case yourself to others. The easiest way to network here, is by adding your colleagues. As you move from company to company, you add more and more and build up your portfolio. Another good thing is that there are personalised ads on the side. These look at what your skills are. This has already become useful for me, because it showed me an Android App conference which I am now attending! I would not have known about this without social media!
Which leads me to another point. Conferences. Go to as many as possible. These can be in the field you are in or a field you are interested in to expand your knowledge. But most importantly, get to know people. It is a great opportunity to meet people who have the same interest as you. Once you have spoken to them, add them on social media to keep in touch and expand your network.
The final website I want to talk about is Coderwall. Coderwall, is for programmers. You basically record the programming languages that you are competent in and gain endorsements to ‘unlock’ the badge. It also encourages open source. So if you have an open source project (it links with github) in that language, you can unlock it. It also allows you to share Pro Tips.
I think this one is great because anyone can view your profile. If they like it, they will follow you! The more tips and projects that you share the more visible you will become.
So in conclusion, you can see that there are some great social media tools out there. Don’t try and hide from them, embrace them! The opportunities will come flooding in.