Understanding Tech Communities
4 min read
What are tech communities?
A tech community is a family of people who love digital stuff. It is a group of persons with digital skills (like programming, designing, content creation, etc.)
These communities are a space for techie persons to get help and help others. It is there that they express their techie lifestyles. They also brainstorm solutions to problems and build products (software) together.
Members of tech communities usually have day-to-day interactions across various social media and messaging platforms. Such communication among members keeps the community alive.
There are also tech events in which these interactions are usually at their max. Community leads usually organize these events for the community. These events could include speaker sessions, meetups, hands-on workshops, competitions, demo days, and others.
One important thing we find in communities is mentorship. The community brings professionals and newbies together. As such these pros can guide the starters in their journey.
A mentor is someone that has had experience in a particular path and would guide their mentee on that path and ensures that this mentee avoids the mistakes the mentor made.
Tech communities also keep the zeal around techie lifestyles alive. It feels good to have people of like minds around you; people with whom you have engaging conversations; people with whom you can collaborate on projects; people that help you solve problems.
Community members contribute in different ways and hence the community grows. Of course, they gain various benefits for being part of the community.
There is usually some person in charge of a given community. Different tech communities give this person different names. Names could be lead, ambassador, organizer, head, president, ... Irrespective of the name, this person oversees the activities of the community.
Community leads organize the events of that community. They oversee, control, and preside over the activities of the community.
Sometimes, there are two co-leads heading the community. Being two of them, the chances of mistakes are lower. Support is better and one can complement another's faults. After all,
Two heads are better than one
Community Leads are volunteers. They are not being paid for their work of bringing the community together. Of course, the efforts are worth it. Leads gain leadership experience they can add to their portfolio. They also have access to networks of other community leads themselves.
A group of persons in the community with different functions towards the maintenance of the community.
The Core Team is usually instituted by the community lead. It comprises volunteer community members that have various roles. These roles could include technical leads, graphics designers, mentors, social media managers, promoters, and public relations officers, among others.
Community leads can't manage the community all alone. They need assistance from core team members. The core team members take care of various departments of the community and report to the community lead.
Core Team members are invaluable. They help in event planning and execution. Together with the lead, they make community events worth attending.
If there were no members, there would be no community. In fact, the lead and core team members are still community members.
The community members attend the community events, participate in competitions/workshops, contribute to projects, and support each other.
As the community grows, the community members increase in number. The reason being more people are taking note of the community and are willing to join. Community members themselves invite their friends/colleagues to the community and so yes the community grows.
Code of Conduct
All communities have guidelines.
Community members come from different backgrounds. Tech communities have the widest diversities so far. In this space, you see persons with different religions, different political views, different races, accents, languages, ...
For the community to thrive, members have to stick to the community guidelines. Sticking to the guidelines makes the community inclusive. In other words, it keeps people from different backgrounds welcome.
The aim of tech communities is to provide a safe space where people can grow in their tech journey. As a result, we need to be sure that discrimination or bias are nowhere near communities.
In most cases, the code of conduct will involve the following:
- Communicating constructively.
- Not discriminating.
- Being kind, empathic, contributing, supporting,
We strongly hate all kinds of discrimination, whether based on religion, race, sexuality, ... When interacting, ensure you don't speak in a way that attacks someone's personality.
Members who violate community rules are usually reprimanded or asked to leave (if they don't change).
In Summary ...
Tech communities are spaces where beginners become proficient, members help each other grow in their tech journey, and techies have a lifestyle. Leads and core team members maintain the community. The support system is from the community members themselves. To keep the community as inclusive and as diverse as possible, everyone has to stick to the community guidelines.
Join a tech community in your locality today and watch yourself grow. If you are already a community member, participate actively and give back to the community.
Did you find this article valuable?
Support Obumuneme Nwabude by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!