If you’ve ever tried to get a job in software, you’ve likely been given the advice to go check out meetups—networking events where like-minded people go to meet others with similar interests. Some folks might be turned off by the term “networking event”, associating them with rooms full of strangers and uncomfortable schmoozing, but meetups are so much more than that. Let’s talk about the benefits of meetups, why we at CloudBolt love them, and what we’re doing to support the awesome people who make them happen.
Why go to meetups?
If you’re a developer looking to learn a new skill, a meetup can be one of your best resources. There are meetups for all sorts of tech topics, from machine learning to MySQL. Here in Portland, searching the “tech” category on meetup.com returns over 300 groups, so if there’s a specific subject you want to learn there’s probably a meetup for it. Many of these meetups involve presentations where you can learn from people’s real-world experience, where you not only get the chance to hear their expertise but also to ask them your own questions and enhance your understanding.
Meetups also offer a great chance to practice your skills. Instead of having presentations, many meetups are gatherings of people who want to work on their projects, but could use a place to do so and a community to help discuss ideas. Often you will find mentors who are experienced in the meetup’s subject and are willing to lend a helping hand with the work you’re trying to do.
Of course, we don’t want to imply that networking isn’t a reason to go to meetups. Meetups are full of organizers and members who are passionate about their subject and are welcoming towards those who want to learn more. Meetups can also be a way to connect for groups that are traditionally underrepresented in tech. Talking to people at meetups is a great way to learn about interesting work going on in your area and to learn about the other communities and organizations that people are involved with.
And yes, meetups can help you get a job. My first meetup was for a web framework I was just starting to learn in a town I had recently moved to, and I went in feeling extremely nervous. To add to my nerves, half of the members turned out to be people that had interviewed me for a job earlier that day. But meeting them outside the interview room, I saw how friendly they were and how much they enjoyed their work. I left feeling better about the job, and they must have felt better about me because I got an offer shortly after. My story involved coincidence and luck, but meetups allow for this kind of chance connection to lead to great new opportunities.
CloudBolt and Meetups
At CloudBolt, we want to support our community meetups, and the main way we do that is through sponsorship. CloudBolt has been a sponsor of the Portland Python User Group, providing food and drink for attendees so they don’t have to spend the whole time hungry. We want to help foster communities where people can learn, grow, and connect, and this is how we contribute.
We’re also looking for more ways to contribute going forward. In early 2019, our Portland team is moving to a larger office with space to start hosting meetup events. We’re also looking to contribute by giving more talks, and we’re thinking about how we can share what we’ve learned at CloudBolt with the local developer community.
We also sponsor meetups because we want people to know that we’re hiring! We have lots of exciting projects that we want to work on, but we need more engineers to help us do so. We’re looking for people with lots of different skills, and our list of positions is always updating.