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dev.to staff for The DEV Team

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Developer Branding: How Does It Shape Your Path?

What steps, if any, have you taken to establish a strong personal brand within the developer community? How has it impacted your career?

This week we're exploring the experiences of seasoned developers: their stories, hurdles, and successes. Like what you're reading? Follow the DEVteam for more discussions like this!

Top comments (9)

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abhaysinghr1 profile image
Abhay Singh Rathore

Engaging in the developer community has been instrumental in my growth. I've consistently contributed to open-source projects, maintained a dev blog, and given talks at local meetups. This not only expanded my network but also solidified my understanding of various concepts. The exposure has led to collaborations and job opportunities I hadn't imagined. Building a personal brand, I believe, goes beyond just self-promotion; it's about sharing knowledge and fostering collective growth.

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khairunnisaas profile image
Khairunnisaas

it's true... sharing knowledge is not just giving what you know to other people. you might get a feedback that led you to learn something new!

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Michael John Peña

One of the key steps I took to establish my personal brand was to become a lifelong learner. I made it a point to not only learn from experts in the field but also from individuals at various skill levels across dev communities. This approach helped me gain a well-rounded understanding of different perspectives and problem-solving techniques. By engaging in conversations with developers from diverse backgrounds, I have been able to broaden my horizons and enrich my knowledge base.

Another essential aspect of building my personal brand has been my commitment to helping others. I have actively participated in conferences, meetups, online forums, social media platforms, and local meetups, providing assistance and guidance to developers in need. This has not only allowed me to showcase my expertise but also enabled me to form meaningful connections with other professionals in the industry. As a result, my network has grown significantly, and I have received recognition for my contributions to the community (Microsoft MVP - Azure).

Lastly, establishing myself as a thought leader has significantly impacted my personal brand. To achieve this, I have consistently shared my insights and experiences through articles, blog posts, and books. The tech landscape is always changing (fast), and the world needs more thought leadership on making profound messaging on these technologies. By openly discussing the challenges I have faced and the lessons I have learned, I have been able to connect with my audience and position myself as a listened voice in the field.

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datadeverik profile image
Erik Anderson

Thank you for your response. I especially like this part:

I made it a point to not only learn from experts in the field but also from individuals at various skill levels across dev communities.

It reminds me that there are lessons to be learned all over the place.

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mjtpena profile image
Michael John Peña

Yes. Otherwise we should all just be reading documentations and product specifications.

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Calin Baenen

It shapes my path by making me more recognizable.

You see, this is why I like being a furry and a programmer, and why I like that a lot ov programmers are furries — I can advertise myself as this adorable tabby cat and mak fun cutesy art while simultaneously making serious, innovative projects.
In all ov this, whenever someone sees my (almost flagship) emblem, they will recognize that content pertains to me.

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theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring

What steps, if any, have you taken to establish a strong personal brand within the developer community?

Personal Branding is something I invested heavily during the 2010s when I was making the transition from IT to Engineering and didn't have an established network of professionals in the industry. Today I have put less emphasis on personal branding, but I still leverage communities like this to establish a public-facing reputation.

How has it impacted your career?

The impact has been significant and has afforded me many opportunities above and beyond the average technology career. Some highlights:

  • Joined a startup which had a successful exit, I stayed on after the acquisition to help grow the business into a mature, international company.
  • Opportunity by a major publisher to author a book on HTML5
  • Opportunity to create technology-based art installations for a museum
  • Numerous speaking opportunities on both technology and personal branding
  • Numerous consulting opportunities leveraging my some niche skillsets I picked up along the way, specifically Cordova/Hybrid mobile apps
  • Most recently, I joined the investment team for a billionaire as a consultant to help vet external-facing deals as well as conceive new companies the team develops internally.
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datadeverik profile image
Erik Anderson

I have given a lot of thought to my personal brand within the developer community, and in some ways I've been building it since I posted my first Codewars solution video on YouTube in 2019. Since then I've made quite a few YouTube videos, done some blog posts, created some projects in public, and tentatively contributed to a few open source projects.

Has it impacted my career yet? I know it has helped me land at least one job on Upwork, but I don't think it has helped with any full time jobs.

Replying to this post gives me a chance to evaluate where I've come so far, and how I would like to improve my strategy for establishing my brand. I'm not sure what that will look like in the coming months, but I know I will keep thinking about it. Step one will be accounting for where I've spent my time, and which activities have been the most impactful.

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James Lau

A bit late to the game I would say, but I restarted my networking recently within the WordPress community and my level of knowledge and confidence has grown exponentially. The amazing amount of people you meet who has made it to the levels you want to be is inspiring. It emboldens you to achieve the same, branding like goals, for yourself.

Another contribution is blogging. I have kept a low volume of articles in the past, but every time I redid my site, the articles were deleted. I now try to blog about upcoming things, as much as I can, but I also have considered blogging about some personal things as well. Mostly inspired by recent articles that I've read from Johnathan Bossenger: jonathanbossenger.com/

If you go back to his early articles (as early as 2016), he mentions his trials and tribulations with code and life. This shows he's knowledgeable, but also a human.