Published: June 17, 2020
I believe there is not alot of it is talked about in the developer community. As the general advice that I had seen so far. Has always been a focus on honing your technical skills, working on your blog, creating a side project and contributing to open source.
It is the same for some of my ex-colleagues, they do not even go to any meetups, events. Because they want their own downtime off from work. The problem with that, you might never know that you would somehow be tapping on them. To help you in your career or worst, when you are retrenched from due to economic crisis & global pandemic we are undergoing now.
I would not discourage you from doing it because everyone is entitled to do whatever they want with their free time. Here is the reason why you should do it is because of these two things.
The first is that having a professional network wins over technical brilliance. When you are searching for a job because you might have build up a reputation within your company for yourself. But everything is gone when you leave the company. Unless you have colleagues or superiors who are there to open the doors for you in your next opportunity. But I would not expect them to do it for you by leaving it as luck.
The second is that you build your own social skills in a safe environment. Where you can afford the luxury to stumble and learn through your own failure. This is sorely lacking among developers, especially if you plan to progress onwards becoming a leader. You command a higher salary through your focus on it to work with a team. Interacting with non-technical people and building rapport with them to get things done or land you the next job/business.
Well, there are multiple ways to build your professional network. I will be listing what I believe has been proven useful for me when I had started my career.
I hope the above could help you in building and deepen your relationships for yourself when you need it the most. I believe that building diverse and deep relationships with people from all walks of life. It helps you alot to offer you a world view and tap on their weak ties in their network whenever you need help.
Think of it as a social bank which you invest in it through your actions when you are providing value to your network. That you can call upon when you need it the most. But you do it because you are sincere and not expecting anything in return. As it is harder to build or deepen a relationship with that mentality.