How to Network Online (as a Software Engineer)

Watch the YouTube video about this topic

If you’re anything like me, you have a strong dislike for networking. In 2020, we have all had to pivot to virtual everything, including networking. You may think that it would be easier to talk to people since we’re all online however since you’re here, you know that is not the case.

Half of the battle is knowing where to go to network and the other part is figuring out what to say. Let’s go over a few tips and tricks that will have you networking and building relationships in no time

Where do I Network?

Use the chat room

When it comes to meetups, conferences and other events: Use the chat room to connect. On zoom, you can send a direct message to people if someone says something interesting that you want to hear more about. On other platforms, the format may be different but you should have a chat window available to you. If not, leave immediately 😂 J/K

Be present and if there is a chat, ask questions to the speaker be sure to find out how to connect with them over social media or email.

It will definitely be more difficult to connect with participants unless the host does icebreakers that gets conversations started. If you do meet participants, you can reach out to participants to connect over social media if you all were chatting during the event.

I also recommend to find meetups that have to do with networking or speed networking which will make the follow up process is a lot more easier and its a great way to get to know people.

Use social media

Go on twitter or Instagram or other social media platforms and follow some hashtags #100daysofcode, #javascript, #learningtocode, #codenewbie. And other hashtags that are relevant to what you are studied or interested in.

Follow some accounts under those hashtags and reach out to people as they tweet things. Start up conversations with folks to see what they are working on. If you can answer a question, give your advice as you can. If you liked what they shared, tell them. If you want to learn more about what they are doing, ask them about it.

There’s also forums for websites and discords that you can connect with people on. For example, FreeCodeCamp has a forum. They even have a discord server. Discords are usually used for people that want to create a community where others can connect with real people. You can also join tech Facebook groups as well.

When it comes to the online resources you are using, look on their website to see how you can engage with the members of their community – Every resource is different in how they connect with their audience.

There’s also people on Twitch streaming coding and some of them have discord groups you can join so you can connect with other like minded developers.

What do I say?

Once you know where you can network, the other issue is what do you talk about. If you’re struggling with coming up with questions, then start browsing social media of people in the tech field and see what interest you about the things they are doing.

Questions to ask:
  • Ask people what they are working on
  • Ask them a question about something you can’t figure out
  • Ask them if they need help with something – if you have a certain expertise and you saw them post something you can help out with then reach out to see how you can help.
  • Ask them about something on their profile

Start a dialogue. Add value to others and seek others you can get value from as well – that’s what networking is about.

Follow Up

If you are following up with them, especially on LinkedIn – Be sure to write a message mentioning where you met them – This will clarify how you know them which is why I say this especially important for LinkedIn – If you’re anything like me, if you don’t include a message of how I know you, I feel less inclined to connect.

Now, go on out and use these tips to network and build relationships! If this helped you, I’d love to hear about your success – Drop me a line below or hit me up on social media.