VirtualCoffee and my journey as a developer.
It's not always that you find something good on the streets of "Naija" Twitter. The usual would include the clichéd bants meant for comic effect and blaming of the government. I found VirtualCoffee, a gem of a community. It has had a significant impact on my development career.
I stumbled upon an old tweet where someone asked about platforms for networking. I had tried my fair share of those and honestly found them draining and unnatural in their approach. However, I gave VirtualCoffee a chance. I received an email invitation to join the twice-a-week virtual coffee chat. I was astonished that our discussions went beyond developer-ish matters and into things that make us human at different levels. I know for sure that you would feel very welcome when you listen to BekahHW say the usual "we are a community committed to having everyone's voice heard. You can use the chat if you don't want to turn on your video". These were real people working in different companies talking about food, relaxation and mutual respect for fellow developers. Whatever that was, I wanted in. Three months later, the decision to be very active on VirtualCoffee is my greatest in recent times. I am glad I joined. I got help with a code quality review that same night in an hour-long video call. Awesome stuff! Thanks, Nigerian Twitter.
While there is a lot to say, I'll limit my writing to the effect of VirtualCoffee on my job search. I wasn't seeking my first job when I joined VirtualCoffee. I was (and still am) looking for my first foreign software development job. I had sent out a lot of applications and had a few interviews. It was a case of "Different companies, the same story". The VirtualCoffee community helped change my approach to seeking a new position. I had a résumé review with a lot of constructive criticism and suggestions. Then had a mock interview. It was unlike any other that I ever had. In the space of two months, my resume went from a disastrous work of art to a result-oriented and professional one. "Anyone could have gotten that type of support from any random individual on the internet," others could argue. I know it would not beat the mentorship kind of atmosphere that I got with the VirtualCoffee community. I went from having
TBD in my
README part of my GitHub projects to having presentable documentation. From being afraid to send a PR to having multiple Open-Source contributions under my belt. From not knowing any data structure and Algorithm to understanding the basics (There's a long way to go here. Trust me ☺️). From a disastrous LinkedIn profile to a presentable one. A member of the VirtualCoffee community helped in all that I have listed above. I was having fun while doing all of those. Don't get me started on my first project Demo and co-working space collaborations with great developers.
I haven't been able to do justice to the impact that VirtualCoffee has had on me. VirtualCoffee is networking done right. You should join. Everyone should join. My job search hasn't stopped. However, I believe that will change soon. I'll let you know of the part that the VirtualCoffee community played in getting that to become a reality. Join VirtualCoffee today.
This is one of my daily write-ups. I have dedicated about 20-30 minutes of every day to write about anything. This article is an attempt at the publishing of one of the pieces.