Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Networking, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
(dramatic music) - I think you've really got to get out there. Developers, in particular, don't tend to be the most extroverted, outgoing people. And that's fine, but it's going to take some effort if you're that way. But it think that that really, really pays off, to be able to put yourself out there. I can't tell you how many times I've really liked an app or a website or even just the company and written them and told them, hey, I really like your website, I noticed you don't have an app, you know, let me know if you'd want to talk about it.
I've been emailing with the CEO of followupthen.com because I just liked it. And I wrote him and he wrote me back. And I did the same thing with a children's DVD series, BOZ the Bear. I wrote them and said, hey, really like your content, do you want an app? And we met and we're talking about doing an app together with their content. And so really putting yourself out there and go to conferences, go to conventions, walk up to people. When you're at a developer conference, especially in your realm, like, for me, iOS development, and I'm among my people, and I can walk up to anybody and know that we can relate on something.
I can just say, what you workin' on? Or what's something that you've learned? Or what kind of apps do you develop? Anything, and they're going to have an answer that I can understand and relate to. It's not like I'm going to a, you know, a lawn care convention, where I just don't speak the language. And they're probably going to appreciate it. Everybody loves talking about what they're working on if they're passionate about it. So really putting yourself out there, make connections, and expand that network and develop those relationships. And, again, it may not be something that comes natural, but it's so, so valuable.
- I think the best thing you can do is to spend a lot of time networking and get to know other people who work in the industry. And, depending on the size of the city you live in, there's probably a lot of meetups, other events where you can also learn new things, but go there and meet other people that are interested in the same things you are, professionally. And then when it's time to look for a new job, you might be able to network to these people and see what they have available. Or if you apply, a particular company, you might already know somebody who works there. And not only go out and meet these people, but keep track of who you've met.
Like use LinkedIn, or other ways of keeping in touch with people so you'd, you know, five years later is when you remember that somebody worked at a particular company, it's easy to get in touch with them and find them. And if you keep going to different events in the same city you also get to know a lot of people. And, not the city I live in now, but before that I lived in the same city for about 10 years. And I went to networking events all the time. And I'd go to events and realize I knew almost everybody in the room. And that was a really great feeling, to know so many people and have connections with so many people that did the same type of work that I did.
- What I realized is, really, that you can get probably much, much more out of your conference experience by being able to connect to your peers or like-minded people who are also participating in the same conference. And I'm thinking that you can probably get much, much more out of your conference experiences, especially when you focus on the networking aspect of it, rather than somehow the technical aspect of it, where you try to simply talk about, you know, what you have in store and try to get this very narrow feedback from the audience, who may be only interested in what you're doing as a professional.
- One of the things I count myself very, very fortunate is I've had a lot of those kinds of opportunities to, you know, to meet folks, to engage with some of the industry luminaries. I mean, it is absolutely astounding to me. If you had told me back in 1995 that someday not only would I have had the opportunity to sit down and talk Bjarne Stroustrup about programming but that I would be able to call Scott Meyers a friend, that I would be able to, you know, sit and hang out with some of the people who are defining the languages.
You know, Brian Goetz, who's currently the Java language architect over at Oracle, he's a close friend. I mean, you know, I have the man's phone number. I could call him if I really, really wanted to. And they actually call me friend too, which is, you know, that's the other part of it, right? You know, I can call anybody I want a friend. It's whether they consider you a friend that's actually. I've been extraordinarily lucky. And sometimes people will ask me, well, you know, how did you get to where you are? I got lucky, I took a few chances, I made some calculated risks.
That has helped. But, you know, ain't going to lie, some of it was just straight-out luck. And it's awesome, it's great, and I try whenever I can to give some other people those opportunities as they come up, but also tell them, look, just take a shot. (dramatic music)