The Power of Tech Communities

Author profile picture

@gargekta65Ekta Garg

I don't just want to use softwares, I want to create them!

And how it led me to a Software Engineering job at one of India’s largest online grocery company.
“Community is much more than belonging to something; it is about doing something together that makes belonging matter” — Brian Solis
When I was in college, I had a clear agenda in place. I had decided to spend less time figuring out the next class I had to attend and spend more time building my network. 
I was always of the opinion that college was more than just courses. For me, college was an institution that allowed you to find cool people and create cool stuff with them.
So right when I joined, I started participating in various tech communities by the means of workshops, events, and meetups.
Tech communities not only help you upskill your technical skills but also provide high visibility among recruiters. 
These communities are driven by a group of people with a shared code of conduct to help and respect each other. By nature, these communities are also sustainable, intellectually stimulating, and help you grow in your career.
And one such meetup community helped me grow mine.
Hi, I am Ekta Garg and I now work at Grofers as a Software Development Engineer. This is a short story of how all of this came to be.
Finding your network
About a year ago, I started learning the Go programming language. Most of you might already know that this language is relatively new as compared to languages like Python, Java.
As a part of my learning process, I decided to join multiple groups and GO communities to get quick solutions to my problems and get more information around tools being used and best practices to follow in Go.
While going through public GO slack channels, I came across Golang Gurgaon.
    As I went through this channel, I got to know that Grofers organizes Golang meetups where you get the opportunity to submit a talk, meet experts in technology, learn/understand concepts of Go programming language and ask questions. And I found this to be incredibly useful, because:
  1. I could be a part of the growing Go community
  2. I could network, ask questions, and be on top of trends
  3. When ready, I could also present my ideas by submitting a talk.
    So, on the slack group, I reached out to Kasisnu — who leads these meetups — to ask if I can submit a talk.
I shared my work experience in Go and my proposal for the talk got accepted. This was the response:
Kasisnu also helped me prepare the talk.
When you see someone as involved in the process as you are, it results in an intense drive and motivation.
A quick note on how I prepared for my talk:
- I created a basic TODO project on the topic I was going to explain. 
- I went through the entire documentation of that particular topic so that I can understand the topic thoroughly and be able to answer any question if anyone asks.

The Weird Turn of Events

Here’s the kicker: due to a personal emergency, I could neither attend the meetup nor present the talk. I was pretty bummed out, to say the least.
However, I was still keen on sharing what I had prepared anyway. So I wrote a comprehensive blog post on it: Golang: A Todo App using GIN — Ekta Garg.
I wrote the post and shared it with everyone on the slack group — highlighting what I had done and what I was planning to do next with my career.
And that’s when I got this message.

Hey, Ekta. Could you send your resume?

Kasisnu had seen my post and what I planned to do next and he reached out to me for the opportunity of working with Grofers.
I had no time to contain my excitement because the rest of the process happened fast. Here is the specific timeline:
  1. It took 4–5 days to process my application before “Hola Amigos! I got a very first call from Grofers”.
  2. I had a small discussion around my experience and they scheduled my first skype interview.
  3. The next day I had the skype interview around the projects I have done, DevOps concepts, GO concepts and everything else I had mentioned in my resume.
  4. 2 days later, I got a call for a coding test link to Hackerrank coding challenge from Grofers which I had to attempt within 1–2 days.
  5. I had two more technical rounds, majorly focused on data structures, competitive programming, real-world architectural problems.
  6. At last, the final round was with the manager of my team and it was awesome where I was asked about git workflow, working in teams, working as an individual, code optimization, following coding standards, etc.
  7. Later in the evening, I got the “Congratulations” call.That’s basically me after the last call
The Golang Gurgaon meetup and the chance of submitting a talk to it really pushed me to work on things I might not have done otherwise in such a short span of time. 
And all of this would not have been possible without the magic of a tech community.

Conclusion

If you aren’t already an active participant in any tech communities, I invite you to belong, to contribute to open source, to attend meetups, to develop a habit of giving back to the community in any form (blogs, vlogs, etc).
I invite you to share what you have created so you can together create technology that solves some of the world’s biggest problems.
Tech communities changed my life for the better and they can change yours too. All it takes is going out there and saying hello.

Tags

The Noonification banner

Subscribe to get your daily round-up of top tech stories!