If you're a self-taught developer or Bootcamp student trying to get a job in tech can be hard. It's a lot of people aiming for the same goal of becoming a developer. A lot of times your resumes get ignored.
resumes are boring
One of the best things I did was speak at meetups BEFORE I had my first dev job.
Speaking at meetups puts you in front of professional developers, but in this situation, you're the star, you're the expert. That's a different position to be in than when you're just blindly submitting apps. You now have a face with your name and a personality.
It's basically a cheat code to stand out in a sea of aspiring devs because not a lot of people like to speak in public and meetups are ALWAYS looking for speakers. You're giving them one less thing they have to worry about.
Some you might be thinking what can you talk about you're a noob speaking to professionals, There are two approaches you can take. I took both.
I was asked questions that I didn't know the answer to. I answered that I didn't know but that actually helped me make my talk better for the next time. I can add info about those questions.
Second, you can do "soft skills" talks that aren't tech-specific but can benefit developers. I did a talk on "Personal Branding for Developers" and a talk on "How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Job Search".
You can do talks on your learning techniques, bootcamp journey, what you learned from applying to 100 jobs. This list is endless because they come from your experience and no one can tell you your experience is wrong because it's yours and yours alone.
Speaking at meetups lets people come to you. Afterward, people will ask you questions about resources, you're background etc. Now you get a chance to craft a story and build new relationships.
From speaking at meetups people have approached me months later saying they enjoyed my talk and how it helped them. I even got reached out to be on a podcast from someone who was in the audience at my Svelte talk.
This also strengthens relationships with people you already have met on your journey. When people see you really exceeding your comfort zone they start to gain a deep appreciation for what you're doing and will find ways to support you.
That's definitely not a possibility! I thought every talk I gave sucked and I was being exposed as a fraud but the feedback I got was quite the opposite. I was told "I really enjoyed that you didn't talk like a walking computer" and one bootcamp student said "Thank you, your made me realize I can be a developer, you made it seem so easy.".
So your viewpoint might be just what someone in the audience needs. You never know who out there is watching and waiting for your perspective.
So go out there and show the world what you know. I looked forward to seeing it.
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