10 Ways to Contribute to Tech communities
6 min read
Give back to the community.
The active participation of community members is the fuel that fires the life of a given tech community.
To contribute to a tech community, provide volunteer assistance where you can. You can do something that will help others.
Below are examples of ways to contribute to a tech community.
(They are in alphabetical order).
Programming is the building block of all software.
Many communities have open source projects. Usage of Free and Open Source Software keeps increasing by the day. Open Source needs more coding hands for innovation and maintenance.
Coding is one way to help the community. At times, you might be involved in coding for hackathons (competitions), aimed at building real-world solutions for your local community. It is still a way to contribute.
If you are a good programmer, you can help grow the community by doing what you already know how to do well, coding.
Communication is underrated.
Communication accounts for a greater part of a team's success.
Communication in a team should be detailed and very often. The details help context and the frequency ensures that everybody is at the same pace.
In your community, you can actively communicate about events, community projects, or local happenings. You can discuss your problems, progress, or what you want to achieve.
You can also get involved in discussing others, where need be. Just ensure you stick to community guidelines, and that you interact in ways that do not discriminate against others.
When communication slows down or gets absent in a community, the community gradually dies. People lose vibes and get bored.
Communicating ensures that your beautiful community remains alive. Actively communicating is something every community member should at least do.
To design is to plan
There are different types of designs. For example Graphics Design, Product Design, UI/UX Design, ...
You can contribute to the community by designing event flyers or banners. In turn, people get to notice your nice designs and could reach out to you for jobs.
You can also get involved in the design process of apps or products that your community could be built.
When things are not designed (are not planned), they don't turn out well. Your designs can save the day (and the community as a whole), if only you design them. Please assist your community today by designing where you can.
Most tech communities start with a lead or an ambassador who organizes the community.
Anyone can take this role. Especially if you are good at people management and you can be patient with people.
Leading is naturally rewarding because the persons you lead will be loyal to you (that is if you are a good leader).
If you are not all that social, or you don't have leadership experience, tech communities give you a good platform to get good at that. You could be a team lead or a tech community lead.
Consider maintaining your tech community by being available for leadership when the need calls (leads are not always needed).
Now you have learned a skill. You are well known in that domain. Your opinion strongly matters when questions arise on the subject.
Guide persons who need help.
There is love in sharing.
Don't keep it all to yourself. After all,
You learn better when you teach!
Tell your story. Let them know what they should avoid doing so things will be easier for them.
Mentor community members so that their growth will be a smooth one.
Hype is necessary. In fact, in every community event, there should be a social media break. Attendees should post/tweet with some hashtags for the community or the event.
Improve the community by telling people it. Invite persons to upcoming community events. Tell people about community programs. (Unfortunately, many don't actually know that these programs exist).
The more a tech community is known, the more its members, and hence the more its growth.
Be influential. Share about your tech community. Make it popular.
On average, we speak more than 5000 words a day.
Speaking here is not day-to-day interactions. Speaking here refers to Speaker Sessions. Events where you are on stage talking to others. (The stage could be virtual: virtual events).
If you are well-informed on a given subject, you can speak on it at an event.
If you are not versed in that topic, you can still do some good research and rehearse before the event day.
Speaking requires you to keep the audience engaged. You should be interesting. You should inform and marvel your audience.
Speaking is learnable. In fact, everything is learnable. Whatever!
Speaking at community events is one way to contribute.
Stackoverflow is underrated.
It is a community where programmers just support others.
Sometimes you just get stuck at some logic flow or implementation detail and you need help. You might need help with other things, not necessarily programming. Maybe laptop repairs, or how to use software, ...
Supporting people is one of the main features of most, if not all tech communities. We help each other and sort out problems. We learn and then grow from there too.
Please don't hesitate to offer support where you can. And please be kind when helping. The person being helped doesn't know their way out, that is why they asked in the first place.
Everything on this list is volunteer stuff.
It makes sense that everything community is volunteer-based. If there were payrolls, how will they be arranged around the different things community members do? Because not only do leads deserve rewards, every other person does.
See the volunteering as some sort of advocacy for digital stuff. That, people, should be moved towards doing things freely. After all, they will equally obtain things for free.
Community events are usually free. When they are ticketed with some price, the price is to keep up with the expenses. Tech Communities are not for profits.
Volunteering shows up everywhere in the community. Most especially, organizing events require a great deal of volunteering. For example, getting speakers, preparing event venues, promoting the event, ... are ways you can volunteer in your tech community.
Documentations are life-savers. Many times, programmers didn't document the code and the docs will have to be created. Writing docs also need some level of content development or technical writing.
You can contribute to your tech community by writing documentation for community-built projects. The docs could be doc comments or docs and examples of a docs site on its own. Of course, documenting will require that you understand the product being documented.
Writing could also be for articles just like this one. You could publish books too. Anyone can write and everyone should write. Because we spend the greater part of our time reading anytime we are on our screens. So yes, write.
Please contribute to your Tech Community, in any of the above or more ways. Thanks for reaching here.
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