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1, 2, 3 to building a Thriving Cloud Community

1, 2, 3 to building a Thriving Cloud Community

Three steps to building a thriving tech community without breaking a sweat

Published Jun 19, 2024

Introduction

People aspiring to break into tech focus greatly on acquiring knowledge and skills while ignoring the importance of building a thriving community around them. Someone may ask, why should I be an AWS Community Builder in the first place? I am already part of cloud communities, why do I need to build it yet I am not one of the leaders? This article discusses three key actionable strategies to build thriving tech communities (without a title or breaking a sweat). You will also get access to resources to get you started.

Three Steps to Building a Thriving Tech Community

Step 1: Build in Public

Share what you are currently learning/projects you are undertaking
When starting, you might be tempted to learn privately and out of the blue come out sharing that you have gained a particular certification or completed a certain course. Often, this works against you because you cannot validate that your course completion or certification translated into skills.
Patrick, a fellow AWS community builder calls it the matrix: Knowledge, Skills, and Certifications.
If you have only one of either then you are doomed. e.g. If you only have a certification but have no knowledge and skills to show for it, then it counts for nothing.
To build in public there are two non-negotiables a Technical Blog and a Projects repository. You may optionally decide to have a portfolio website however I currently find having a professional profile on a platform such as LinkedIn is usually more than enough.
🚀 You can start a blog on websites such as Community.aws, Medium, Hashnode, or DEV.to ✨ When it comes to building repositories of projects as well as contributing to open source we have popular repositories such as GitHub or BitBucket

How do you know you are building in public in a thriving cloud community?

The Community is there to cheer you on and to help you when you get stuck. When a community is buzzing with activities of people assisting or applauding one another as they build in public, that community thrives.

Step 2: Select, join, and be active in a Cloud Community

Joining any and every community on the internet harms you more than it helps you, you need to develop discernment to check whether you are actually joining a community or just joining a group of people who have no idea why they are together. A community that has what it takes must meet the following in your checklist:
  • Has a clear mission and vision
  • Is non-discriminative and welcoming
  • Is focused on a particular technology or domain
  • Has a supportive leadership, no one man/woman show
  • Is active and innovative
I know the list is non-exhaustive but those are the bare minimums when selecting a community to join. Once you join, play an active part in growing the community. How you are building a thriving community
When you showcase your participation in an active tech community through your profiles from step one, you support these communities to bubble up from the pile of "communities" and grow with increased membership.

Step 3: Contribute to Open Source Projects

This is one of the best ways of showing that you have the skills and ensuring that your skills are contributing to something meaningful in the world. There are several Open Source Projects you can contribute to with one of the prominent ones I know being All in and Google Season of Docs.

How do you know you are contributing to Open Source in a thriving cloud community?

You have created or are part of a team of builders to contribute to open source projects to continue to build your profiles from step one and are active in the community you joined in step two.

Wrapping up

You have reviewed three steps to building thriving tech communities:
Step 1: Build in Public
Step 2: Select, join, and be active in a Cloud Community
Step 3: Contribute to Open Source Projects
I also shared some of the resources to get you started along the way. Remember there is no one shoe fits all when it comes to building a thriving cloud community but as easy as 1,2,3 you will be well on your way. Remember it starts with you before any technology or tool.

Resources

All In Open Source - https://allinopensource.org/
About the Author
I am Kevin Tuei. I am on a mission to make the world a better place through technology. My focus is Cloud and Cybersecurity with a mission to upskill 100,000 young people across the African Continent and lead IT projects that avail local solutions to local problems.
Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter/X
 

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