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Growing Together: The Impact of Community on Career


Presented by Women Who Code Mobile Tech Summit Playlist link:
Join us to hear from industry leaders on how contributing to and being visible in the developer community can have a meaningful impact on your career. Supporting your community can take many forms from acting as an organizer, conference speaker, developer mentor or more. Meet Sumayyah Ahmed, Android conference speaker and mentor, Devanshi Modha, iOS developer and a member of the Diversity in Swift workgroup, Mikaela Caron, iOS developer and organizer of the iOS Happy Hour, and Dinorah Tovar, Android GDE and blogger to hear ideas for leveling up your own career by getting involved.
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Hello and welcome to our final closing panel and keynote of the day, growing Together the Impact of Community on Career. I'd like to quickly welcome our Steam panelists. Sumayah Ahmed, Android developer conference speaker and mentor. Devanchimota iOS, developer and a member of the Diversity and Swift Work Group. Mikaela Kieran, iOS developer, content creator and organizer of iOS dev Happy Hour and Denora Tovar, head of Mobile Android, Google developer expert and blogger. Today's panel is also going to be moderated by Madonna Wamba, android engineer, android Google developer expert and women who code lead. I'm so excited to learn from all of you about how community has impacted your careers. Thank you very much, Sierra, for introducing us. And I'm very excited to actually rejoin our amazing panel today. And just to kickstart the conversation, I do know we have a tight timeline, so we're going to be pretty quick to introduce ourselves again. If you want to mention something about yourself, please feel free to do it now and we can do it in any order. So please, Sumaya. Go ahead. Please introduce yourself. Hi, everyone. I'm Samaya. I've been making Android apps for nine years now, so I've seen a lot. Things have changed a lot. Android has always been so much fun to keep up with, and that's what got me into conference speaking and mentoring, and that's why I'm here today. Amazing. I think I'm going to call on Papers nips so we don't have that. Dinara. Well, you have to. My name is Dinara. I'm Gold, developer expert on Android. I've been doing Android for as long as Maya has been really fun. Probably all my adult life has been focused on Android. But especially I believe that today that we are going to be talking about community. It's quite meaningful for me. My first conference was in Women Who Go. I know, Sierra, I always repeat that, but Community has given me everything from friends to knowledge to love and maybe some difficult times too, but have been the most incredible part of my life. Amazing. Devansheet. Hello, everyone. I'm an ass engineer at Adventure and I've been making A for almost four years now. I'm also part of the Work group of Diversity in Swift. Apart from it, I enjoy origami like doing shape to the ideas and things that programming and origami follow the similar concepts to follow the set of instructions and you can see the things building up. And I'm grateful for the community. I've been learning a lot from the community. As dinner I mentioned, it is everything. Like we get to learn a lot, contribute a lot, network, meet new people, and grateful to be here. Thank you. Thank you very much. How about you, Mikayla? Hi, everybody. My name is Mikaela Karen. I am an iOS engineer at a company called Lickability. So back when Mac OS first came out, steve Jobs had said, the windows will look so good, you'll want to lick them. So they took that phrase and called their company Lickability. So I worked there and actually the community has really impacted me because I found them through Twitter and through just knowing other people as well. So I'm excited to chat with everyone. Wow. So the keyword, as you've heard today, has been Community. And I think the first question actually is going to be geared towards that. Can you all say that the community has had a positive impact on your career? Anybody can take this? Yeah. I'll take it because I found my job through Clubhouse originally, because back when Clubhouse was super popular, they were doing like a mobile Clubhouse corner thing and they were just speaking about iOS development. And I found it through that. And then from there I ended up following them on Twitter. And then a couple of months or so later, they posted that they have a job opening. And I was like, oh hey, I know them because I found them online. So then I was looking into the job posting itself and then that's pretty much how I ended up finding the job that I have right now. Wow. Anybody else? Yes. I think Community has impact the life of many persons in the Android, iOS, even other platforms, especially for me, has been the most incredible experience I have ever did not expect to create. The community has been with friends, give me space to share my ideas, to share all the talks I give, and especially my blog. Right. Tibbean. Community has given me the position I have now, has given me a lot of knowledge, a lot of places to be here and to be listened. I believe that Community has been incredible. Well, I think that is super true and I would say the same too. I don't know if she mayya and if I should have anything to add on to that. I do feel that Community has helped expand my job from just being a job into a career. Because at work, you work with the same people, you're working on one product, you're dealing with a certain set of business objectives over and over again. Right. And just by branching out into online communities like women who code or just meeting people like all these women here, you start to feel that the world is bigger. And then you get involved in other communities like local mentoring or conferences like Droid. Con, and then your world gets even bigger, and then you're exposed to more people, more ideas, and it just gives you so much more outlet for doing different things and enjoying different things. That's just not like just a tiny scope that sometimes your job can have. Also, it is because of the community, due to which I was able to add on something extra to my team, I get to know a new perspective, which we generally work upon. A different perspective, a different take technical aspect, or how the team works. So it makes a lot of impact. Well, that is amazing and very true too. And actually that branches out to the next question, which is what motivates you to be involved in the community and what advice do you have to actually avoid burnout? Because I do know that really happens a lot too, because let's say you're working, you're also contributing to the community. How do you ensure that you stay motivated and you avoid the ban out? I have a good story for that one. I got really born out. Like really, I thought I was going to stop doing cold and maybe I was going to start doing maybe some management stuff. I even thought that I was going to become product owner, there's nothing wrong with that. But for me it was something I didn't want to do at the time. So I got really burned out. And to be honest, the community saved me in so many ways because what happened is that I stopped doing code. I even quit my job in that process. And the community pretty much take me under the wing of the community and they told me this happens to all of us. That's one important part of it, especially when you are pushing yourself really hard. This happens to all of us, even the best ones have ever probably getting borne out. But the community showed me that you can still doing things that you love and that at the end of the day is the things that you are doing that you love, that are the most powerful things that make you very in love of the things that you are using. Right. So at the end of the day, for me, sharing with the community is not a job. It's something I do as a motivation, as a personal win, a personal goal in the community. Same for that burnout, being very kind, very direct with me, that everything was going to be fine. You don't have to produce content every week. That's not going to work for the people that work in another company. But to be honest, they embraced me and helped me to go over my burnout without have to deliver something in change. Sorry, I think that's a very good point. Like you don't have to contribute to the community every week because I think that's what maybe make other people feel a little bit burnout because you feel like you need to push a lot of content out there. Okay, anybody else want to add something on that? Thank you for sharing, Dinora. Go ahead. I was going to say I understand Denora's point that you don't have to push out content because when I was doing a lot of conference speaking, I actually added up all the hours that went into it. It's around 50 to 60 hours of unpaid work that you're doing in the evenings or on weekends and that really eats into your energy even though you get so much back from these communities. What I learned was just to sort of figure out where my energies are going and instead of trying to do 100% everywhere, 100% with my mentees, 100% with all my personal relationships, or 100% in conferences and my job, I started to strategically prioritize. So I also quit my job this year so that I could just relax and pull back from being 100% all the time. And this was the year that I really started to do what I was just in love with and explore all the stuff that made me curious and do conference talks on the stuff that I cared about and the stuff that I wanted to hear more about and that really helped reset my energies a lot. Building on it, what motivates us community kind of creates a ripple effect that comes with either knowledge, education, or along with the motivation itself. So the effect it creates kind of hits everyone out there. Even if we are not contributing, we have at least at some point of time contributed which some other person might be carrying it forward, which helps us to keep going on. Very well said. And I think that I'm going to jump straight ahead into the next question actually, which ties still back into the community and there is a lot of ways to get involved in the community and I'm wondering how do you decide where to spend your time and energy? And I feel like somaya touched on this. So maybe we can start it by Mikaela giving us a concept on how she does it. Yeah. So what I have done for where to spend my time was back when the Pandemic had first started in 2020, was when iOS Dev Happy Hour first began. And at this point I wasn't part of the admin organizer team just yet. But it was just like it's only once per month. So I'm like, okay, that's not that hard. Other things happen like once a month. So it's just one thing that I will have to go to per month. So it's just that consistency. So I would go to that once per month and then eventually became an organizer which will take up a little bit more time. But the benefit that so many people get out of that single one event is just astronomical as opposed to the specific time commitment that you spend in all different kinds of ways. So having just like one thing that I consistently go towards that is like the first step of really deciding how you want to spend your time. Because if you start saying yes to everything, then you're going to get nothing done. So that's how I've decided to start really with iOS dev Happy hour and then slowly expand from there. I love that. Anybody else? I have a special method. I usually go for a set of serials in my blog post so I ended up doing a couple of sets of articles that are addressing some stuff. I'm working at my daily job, and I go from there and I try to dismitify some doubts, some problems that I face as a developer. So I go for that. I pick a specific topic and then I go over a couple of sales, and I usually ended up doing a conference talk. For me, that's the best method. I know some people are doing Company and TikTok and Juice and things like that, but I believe that's not for me. I'd be thinking about it, but I think that's not something I will be very good at doing it. So pretty much I pick a topic of the things I'm working, and I ended up doing a cereal in my blog post or maybe a conference. It depends on how deeply I know the topic. That is very well said. I wonder if Somaya has anything more to add on to that topic. But I do feel like Dinara, that is a good point, but we do need you on YouTube, and TikTok too. I think TikTok is going to be reaching out to the new desk. So I'm going to be cheering on you to try the TikTok one, and I'll be the first one to actually subscribe. Okay, Dinora is ruining my point because I was going to say that we all have something that we're really going to be strong at. That's a great place to focus, right? I hate writing and that SAPS my energy, whereas speaking to people, I love it. So conference speaking was a natural jump for me. But Dinar can do everything. We know that. So that's also the great part because there's so many ways to be involved. And even something as simple as just having a coffee with somebody who is asking for advice or who's just exploring a career option or has questions, that's community involvement, and that's a very small step and it requires very little energy, but it has a huge impact. So the great thing is there's so many different ways to contribute. It doesn't have to be as big as getting up on stage at a conference. That's a very good point. That is how I actually started. So I'm more comfortable by focusing on connecting offline and mentoring offline. So that is how I started. And then I help them to navigate as far as I can and then point them towards the better resources I know online. So that is where I excel and have started by doing those things. Speaking into that division, I'm wondering, what do you all think about the people who've never joined communities before? What would you tell them? People were not involved and also have seen a comment, actually that came through. That is the first conference to attend. So what advice would you tell to such people? So initially, I would say start by interacting with someone around you and is involved in the community and try to work with them initially to see how everything works and to know the possible options to be involved and contribute further. Like just be involved, take part or just listen how that particular community works and handles everything and then maybe find your interest area accordingly and check out. One of the first things I did within iOS development specifically was I used to listen to a podcast. I think it's no longer on there anymore, but it was a podcast and he would always have like a meeting, iOS dev kind of chat. So it's like how they got their story started. And I would start following everybody who was on that podcast and they always have iOS dev in their bio. So from there you get suggestions and everybody who said iOS developer in their bio, I would just hit follow and just start following everybody. So from there, that's just how I got started and starting with chatting with other people because it's like, well, if they put iOS developer in their bio, they probably want to talk about iOS development. So that's just how I would start again, chatting with a bunch of other people virtually when you don't have somebody to chat with in person, that's a pretty great strategy. I've never thought of it like that, but that's pretty cool. I also believe that the communities of Twitter are quite huge for iOS and Android government especially. I believe a lot of us have known each other over that platform. And now that we are trying to reach more people, we also grow this community. And I believe that you can always ask a question to any Android developer or iOS developer over Twitter and they probably are going to answer you. There is also a lot of confidence in persons that I know it's quite difficult to go, especially because there are places you have to move to one place to another. But there is also a lot of community that is happening fully online. Like for example under Worldwide or any other type of conference. And this conference is about the community and solving the problems we have with the community and trying to reach everybody around all the club. Yeah, that's a very good point. I think that is something we overlooked to sometimes that there are companies that are actually catered just for the online community like the Android Worldwide. I don't know if Mikayla or device you know of any iOS one that's similar where it's fully just online at the moment. Ios dev happy hour is in a monthly online meetup. I'll drop the link to that in the chat. And that we do have. We previously had our first in person event was at WWDC. But other than that it's primarily always going to be online or always online at the moment. I would say never say nothing about being in person. Yeah, cool. And we do have ten minutes left and I wanted to ask today one more question, and that is what are some of your hidden gems resources of Android iOS that should be shared with the community? This is for everybody. That's a nice one. Hiding gems, well, complex because when you want to do it with the community, you go for the community. It's very open, right? So my hiring gems are probably right now two blocks. One of them is the block of Joe Birch. I will leave the link here. Joe Birch is one of the most incredible engineers of Android. Bowman I believe he's amazing. He always do a lot of content and things like that. He's also a Google developer expert and his blog posts are probably one of the most incredible blog posts you can ever see because they are very straightforward to the point and even when you are really new on some stuff, he probably already explained that and he made it really great and really awesome. And I believe there is a lot of block and code labs of Google, Android and even Kotlin. So you need to check that because I know they are very straightforward and very simple, but they solve a problem that maybe you have and that's very straightforward. So, yeah, leave that the link in here below because that's probably my hiring gems. They always make my life easier at less. So I will leave the links in here. Nice. I would say on the iOS side, a hidden gem is just like the Twitter community itself. Because the only people I talk because my Twitter is purely for programming and iOS development. So the only people I talk to are like iOS devs. But the community is so welcoming. Like the first thing, if somebody tweets out like, hey, I'm a new iOS developer or something, people will just respond being like, welcome to this imaginary community that we have on the Internet that nobody knows of unless you decide to comment on this thread. So just talking with other people within just community of people is very welcoming. So if anyone wants to follow me on Twitter and I'll literally just add your name and say, hey, they are new, go follow them. The community is so welcoming. And so that's a nice little hidden gem there. That's like virtual, but you have to find it to actually see it. But other than that though, 100 Days of Swift is a really good resource if you want to get into iOS development and you've never programmed before. It's just a 100 day series by Paul Hudson and he just goes through all sorts of stuff related to iOS development. Nice. We actually had him today. And also on that note, Mikayla, we do also have like an Android community for the Android community. And it's on Twitter too, if anybody wants to join it too. Like you mentioned, I think it's hard to find them. I don't know how you find them, but please just follow Sumir or Dinora or me and then we'll tag you and add you to the group. It's cool. Maya and Devancies. Oh, man. I haven't written Android code in over six months, so I'm trying to remember all the blogs I used to read. But then the great thing is I got a lot more involved in community stuff. So I'm going to just say that women who code Community has been really great in supporting people who are curious about Android, who are open to Android and iOS and mobile development. And it's been a great place to be without the objective of, hey, I have a deliverable I need to work on or there's a framework I need to learn for work or something like that. Just a place to be curious and to connect with people. And my second hidden resource are actually my old coworkers, which we used to connect over work stuff all the time, and now we connect over career stuff and we connect over just looking back on many years of working on Android and seeing the trends that have come and go and the work that we've all done. And I think that even the people that we work with every single day are just really great resources to connect to personally and professionally. And that's why it was such a hidden gem. Like, I had known these people for years and it's only in the last year after we stopped working together every day that we had really great conversations. Well, that is amazing. We do have five minutes left, and before we actually wrap everything up, I wanted to ask all of you today your attended summit. What do you think about it? In three words, everybody. In three words, eventually. This was great. Cool, exciting, and eye opening. Honestly and also very motivating for me. Yes. I'd say resourceful. So everything that we've talked about, you'll find all these different resources that people drop. So that's definitely for sure. Resourceful would be the big word. And I will go for growing together in community. I love that. I think somebody just mentioned accessible. Welcome in. And something else that I forgot, but that was pretty cool. I've seen an explosion of knowledge. I love that. So I don't know if we have any questions. Inclusive. Yes, I love that. Please send them all in. I love to see it. Courage, inspiration, enjoyment. That's pretty cool. So that's super awesome. So I don't know if we have any questions for the panel today. Wow. Even more coming motivating, encouraging home. That's amazing. If we don't have any questions, maybe I would ask our panels to give us part in words before we leave and to go a closing ceremony rater. Any potting words, I believe. Thank you so much for being here. Just telling everybody for older and I know it's quite complicated to do this kind of conference, but we grow together as a community when we share our knowledge and we learn from each other. So keep sharing and keep learning. That is true. Just grateful for the community. And thank you, women who code and all the volunteers and moditors and everyone, thank you so much.