Go Out and Network
This week there has been lots of discussion around the office about networking more and the value of meetups and conferences. This is something I have pondered a lot recently and felt it was time to shared my thoughts on the subject.
Today Zach Holman launched speaking.io, a resource for those thinking about speaking publicly. I first came across Zach last year when I had the opportunity to speak at the excellent FOWA (Future of Web Apps) conference run by Future Insights. FOWA 2013 was my first time speaking at a conference and when I was looking for advice on how to design my slides I found Slide Design for Developers. As a developer with little design skills Zach's advice was invaluable and the influence of his post cans be seen clearly in my slides.
Zach has many great posts from The Conference Circuit to What They Don't Tell You About Public Speaking, but it is his recent post GitHub's Public Speaking Culture that really expresses the same views I have on why speaking is good for you and your employee. I can't write it better so I just encourage you to go and read Zach's posts.
Speaking was great for me, and I can't wait to get the opportunity to do it again.
As well as conferences the other avenue we have to network more is meetups. In the last twelve months I have got involved in meetups a lot more. From just attending through to speaking at events, it has been a lot of fun. I have meet some interesting people and it has really opened my eyes to how powerful the meetup really is.
The best find recently for me has been the codeHarbour meetup. In Kent where I am based we don't have many meetups. You either need to jump on a train to London or just miss out. Wez and Keith have done a great job of getting web people in Kent to meet regularly over a beer or two and talk about the web and how we can make it better.
Just this week I have seen this meetup culture spread. I had an interesting chat with Natalie at work and it looks like Holiday Extras might be using the new Academy space in the future to run a new meetup. Talkshop Kent looks like it is going to be a great forum for chat about all areas of business and technology.
So to close I am not sure I know the magic answer to how you can get people to network more. All I can do it tell you it will benefit you in numerous ways and I encourage you to get out yourself and attend meetups and conferences. Who knows where it will lead, you might be a speaker on the rising stars track of FOWA 2014, as I was last year.
I will leave you with a few more of Zach Holman's wise words.
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"Doing something a little different is what keeps your people creative, fresh, and happy. So try it."