At the core of every user group is a desire to help others. It is to empower and inspire the next generation of tech professionals and enthusiasts for a given field of interest.
As someone fresh out of college back in 2016, I really didn't know what's next. There were so many subfields in IT to choose from and I needed time to appreciate them before I can choose a specialization. By showing me what's possible, the AWS User group inspired me to take my first AWS certification two years later and pursue a career in AWS.
As a community leader for the AWS User Group, I got to meet a lot of people who were just starting out in their journey. At this stage, support is crucial for them in order to build a career in AWS. Seeing them start out as pure beginners to having well-paid jobs in AWS truly makes me happy.
When I first started attending AWS meetups, I didn't know anyone but my officemates. It was awkward to start conversations with people I didn't know, but I did anyway. I was able to get different perspectives on things and know what other companies are doing. It helped rid me of my own biases of technologies I don't understand.
In the time of remote meetups, it’s just not possible to get to know people as you would in a normal meetup. Being a volunteer, however, you get to interact with leaders in the community. You also get to chat with the speakers and connect with them even after the event.
Being part of a community, you instantly get an audience for ideas you want to share. As a volunteer, you can help shape the events of the community and feature certain ideas that you might have.
I probably didn't know it at that time but the best connection I made in the AWS User Group meetup was the sales director of my current employer, eCloudValley Philippines. We chatted about the topic and he encouraged me to apply to ECV. I told him that with just one AWS certification, I'm not ready yet. But I kept his calling card, hoping for the day that I would be ready. Two years later, I sent my resume to him with that same calling card. Now, I'm one year into eCloudValley and I'm managing a team of 4. The rest, they say, is history.
As a community leader, I am also in the loop for other events in AWS. Recently, I applied under the Community Track and got accepted as a speaker for the AWS Summit ASEAN 2021 happening this May 2021.