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Bea
Bea

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[On-Demand Talk] Tech & Social Impact - The Power of Volunteering

About This Talk

When we talk about tech careers, the conversation is typically centered around skills and practices that can help you achieve a higher salary and more clout. While both of these things are perfectly understandable motivators to pursue a career in tech, there is also a lot of social good that can be done with our skills. In this talk, we'll explore why volunteering is particularly important in the tech industry and how you can do it.

Takeaways

  1. The importance of volunteering in the technology industry
  2. Why volunteering can positively impact everyone
  3. How to protect your own energy to avoid volunteering burnout

Slides

>> Click here to download slides

🌈 Comment below and ask me questions β€” I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!


About Bea

Bea is a frontend engineer, who transitioned into technology with the help of coding communities. She is passionate about helping others and aspires to mentor others in the future.


This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2021 β€” a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on September 23 & 24, 2021.

Top comments (51)

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Heyo! Reminder that if you have any questions for @builtbybea to drop them here! We're gathering up these questions now for the live speaker discussion. πŸ“£

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ecureuill profile image
Camilla Silva

My fear of not have enough skills has prevented me to volunteer in some projects in the past.
Last year, I helped in a project assisting dev team with gathering accessibility requirements (WCAG) and how to implement it. After your talk, I just realize that these experience help me with my impostor syndrome.

Thank you!

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Where can we find ways to volunteer? I know of Ruby for Good -- does anyone know of other similar groups?

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builtbybea profile image
Bea • Edited

I would recommend using meetup.com or eventbrite.com to find local coding communities in your area and reaching out to the organisers.

This is a good article that has some coding communities you could reach out to: learntocodewith.me/posts/13-places.

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sabinevidal profile image
Sabine V

Great point that volunteering can help beat imposter syndrome! Such an awesome way to grow skills, confidence and social skills too! And also just a great way to give back to others.
Volunteering could also be working on non-profit projects who don't have the resources to hire paid developers

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jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

One of the best interview questions anyone ever asked me was "I want you to explain something that's complicated, but I want you to explain it as simply as possible."

Bea hit on this in her talk, and I want to amply the value of practicing to explain complicated things.

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rnandon profile image
Ryan Nance-Donaldson

Another thought on how this all adds value - better documentation and more information for future hires means there are less questions that the new hires need to ask! Not that asking questions is bad, but they can ask more specific questions rather than general ones about something that was poorly documented.

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builtbybea profile image
Bea

I love this thought! Good documentations helps everyone on the team, especially new hires. It makes onboarding much smoother. It also opens up a discussion amongst the team if someone wants to discuss creating process changes

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ujjwaltwitx profile image
Ujjwal Pratap Singh

I have a question. How can we get started with a open source project with a large codebase?

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

This is going to depend on the project in question, but I've noticed that some have either a designated location to ask questions and work with a more experienced developer or a discord/slack to get up to speed.

DEV's Twitch streams walking through the code base are the next step up from this (and I hope more Open source projects can start doing this in the future!)

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ujjwaltwitx profile image
Ujjwal Pratap Singh

I really didn't knew about the Twitch thing. I am surely going to follow devs on Twitch. Thanks for replying.

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builtbybea profile image
Bea • Edited

I've never contributed to open source projects, so I wouldn't be able to give advice.
However, if your a beginner to open source

Here's a repository on Github that has a list of open source projects for beginner, categorised by programming languages: github.com/MunGell/awesome-for-beg...

Also Hacktober is a great way to start getting involved in open source: hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/

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stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Thanks for the talk. That's a great point that the skills I've developed while volunteering can be helpful in my dev career. I'm wondering if those volunteer experiences are worth including in my resume, and how to present it...

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builtbybea profile image
Bea

If you have enough space on your resume, I would say definitely include volunteering. A big part of engineering is being able to work collaboratively and good communication skills - skills you gain by volunteering.

Also, if your looking for senior positions, I believe adding that you volunteer as a mentor/teach others to code shows you possess those skills to help juniors (if the company has juniors)

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stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Thanks!

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kaj profile image
Kajah

Is contributing to open source considered a part of volunteering?

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builtbybea profile image
Bea

I would definitely consider open source as part of volunteering. Here's a repository on Github that has a list of open source projects for beginner, categorised by programming languages: github.com/MunGell/awesome-for-beg...

Also Hacktober is a great way to start getting involved in open source: hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/

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mahyellaw profile image
MJ Torres

man, these sessions really have great topics and it's unfortunate that it's 1:00 am here in the Philippines, lol. might have to watch the next sessions in my own pace, happy viewing! <3

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ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle)

Absolutely @mahyellaw ! The videos will be available in the On Demand posts later on. We'll catch you on the flip side!

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deweyhammers profile image
Richard Dewey Hammers

Hello Bea and everyone else! How's everyone doing today?

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luiscastillokc profile image
Luis Castillo

Deweeeyyy! :)

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deweyhammers profile image
Richard Dewey Hammers

Luis! How are you!

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mohamadhanafi profile image
Mohamad Hanafi

Where can we volunteer as developers, especially for those of us outside the US?
Thank you very much! Awesome talk!

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builtbybea profile image
Bea

I would recommend using meetup.com or eventbrite.com to find local coding communities in your area and reaching out to the organisers.

This is a good article that has some coding communities you could reach out to: learntocodewith.me/posts/13-places.

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

Open source projects are a great way to volunteer (and Hacktober fest is coming up soon πŸ‘€)

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builtbybea profile image
Bea

I'm super excited, if I have time hopefully I can take part in Hacktober

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noviicee profile image
Novice

This talk is like a fresh wind of air! It was really needed! Thanks a lot Bea!!

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mahyellaw profile image
MJ Torres

here goes the first talk of my binge-watching session tonight. i really love how straightforward your explanations are, the idea of volunteering and initiating with the community clicked immediately in my head. i'm also grateful for the part where you mention self-care, as an aspiring dev, burnout gets to me easily because of thoughts that i should contribute to this and improve that. it makes me glad that stuff like this is normal with devs and that it keeps me certain that it is okay to take it all slowly.

welp that was slightly dramatic. :D
anyway, you could probably tell that i loved this talk so much! <3

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builtbybea profile image
Bea

Thank you so much for watching my talk and for your kind words

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austinxduong profile image
austinxduong

Bea, this is such helpful advice! I was a recent contestant for Esri's and TechCrunch's Hackathon (for my final project at a 6 month coding program). I was super nervous/scared, but joined their slack channel and learned so much from experienced developers & engineers. This volunteer experience helped with my confidence. I also came out with so much new knowledge :D (also shout out to Alchemy Code Lab) πŸ€—