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I'm SOLD on Meet-ups

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Ampatch

Contributor
Mar 6, 2019
9
24
United States
I've been going to developer meetups in my city since the beginning of this year (2019). Up until that point I had been teaching myself to code using books and online resources like stack overflow.

Going to these meetups has proven to be the best decision I have made after making the commitment to learning Android development. There is a lot you can learn on your own, but making friends with other people in the industry is so valuable. This is especially true if you are changing industries.

I have made it a point to be as friendly as possible to everyone I meet, and because of it everyone has been very supportive and helpful to me as a new developer. I have had people offer me suggestions on what to focus on and what to avoid, advice that could possibly save me years of wasted time. I have also had senior developers review my code and straight up offer to mentor me.

The biggest thing for me was overcoming the fear of having started "too late", when a lot of these guys have been coding since they were young teens. One of the guys I met admitted that he didn't consider himself the smartest developer, but he attributes his success to his drive to produce and participation in competitions, hackathons, etc.

For anyone on the fence about the value of meetups, just do it. Especially in software development, most people tend to be introverted, so going to meetups sets you apart from the keyboard crowd and lets you connect with the top performers in the field.
 
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reedracer

Silver Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Jun 2, 2019
371
621
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Kansas City
What a great post! I avoided rreading it because I thought someone was hitting you up with Amway at the meetups! No, you are just sold! I'd replace Getting with I'm you might get more views.

On topic, I used to love doing meetups. I need to revisit some!
 

Ampatch

Contributor
Mar 6, 2019
9
24
United States
What a great post! I avoided rreading it because I thought someone was hitting you up with Amway at the meetups! No, you are just sold! I'd replace Getting with I'm you might get more views.

I like your suggestion, I changed the title.

I'm going join another group soon, I just have to make sure I devote enough time to actually writing code.

On topic, I used to love doing meetups. I need to revisit some!
Do it!
 

FierceRacoon

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 1, 2019
207
282
If you need to convince people to mentor you, explain to them that senior developers get ahead when they start to actively mentor their colleagues; that's an essential skill for being a team lead or just a "principal" developer in a big company (a high level individual contributor). So if they have no teaching / mentoring experience, by helping you they can also make themselves more marketable.

Also, please, learn some real basics of computer science. Yes, some of the best people are self-taught, but the majority of self-taught developers are just unskilled :) Learn some foundational computer science (at least computational complexity and the big O-notation, binary arithmetic, classical algorithms such as sorting and binary search), how computer works on a basic level (e.g. that sequential access to memory is faster than random access), basic unix terminal skills.
 
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Ampatch

Contributor
Mar 6, 2019
9
24
United States
If you need to convince people to mentor you, explain to them that senior developers get ahead when they start to actively mentor their colleagues; that's an essential skill for being a team lead or just a "principal" developer in a big company (a high level individual contributor). So if they have no teaching / mentoring experience, by helping you they can also make themselves more marketable.

What criteria would you consider when seeing out a mentor? I'm looking to further expand my mindset from the technician to the manager and entrepreneur. I heard some good advice on this forum, which was to seek out an entrepreneur to work for when starting out.


Also, please, learn some real basics of computer science. Yes, some of the best people are self-taught, but the majority of self-taught developers are just unskilled :) Learn some foundational computer science (at least computational complexity and the big O-notation, binary arithmetic, classical algorithms such as sorting and binary search), how computer works on a basic level (e.g. that sequential access to memory is faster than random access), basic unix terminal skills.

This is great advice I've heard from several others, and I have been studying these concepts just enough so that I am aware of them. Although, I want to avoid going too deep into CS concepts if I have no immediate use for the information.

Thanks for the response.
 

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