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9. Learn & Share
Written by Jenn Bailey

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In the last chapter, you explored ways to share your hard-earned coding skills. Now, you’ll continue to use your skills to make an impact on your community while simultaneously building your resume and network.

You’ll learn how to learn and share by keeping your skills sharp, then sharing what you learned with your community. If you think that no one can learn from a developer at your experience level, remember that no matter where you are, others are striving to get as far as you’ve already come. You can give them a helping hand.

Now, it’s time to lift while you climb.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why learning and sharing is a powerful strategy to boost your skills and network.
  • How to determine the next valuable skill to learn to add to your resume.
  • Simple tips to share knowledge with your community.
  • How to share your knowledge through technical articles, tutorials and videos.
  • Tips for giving presentations at conferences and other events.
  • How to find or create mentoring opportunities.

First, you’ll look at why sharing what you learn through mentoring is so important.

How Learn-and-Share Helps Software Developers

Think back on your learning experiences in tech. Can you remember a time you struggled to learn a fundamental coding concept? Did someone help you out by walking you through the concepts you needed to understand? If not, do you wish someone had? Well, now you get to be that person.

We Learn Better When We Teach Others

As the saying goes, to learn something, do it. To master something, teach it.

Building Your Resume by Teaching

As you learned in Chapter 1, “Evaluating Your Options”, eagerness to learn is an important hiring criterion, especially for junior devs. Demonstrating that you consistently learn new things and share your knowledge will impress potential employers. It’s a great way to flesh out your resume and gain exposure for your hard-earned skills.

Advancing Your Industry

As developers, it’s important to support one another in our communities so our platforms can keep moving forward. Mentorship is the opposite of gatekeeping knowledge, which is harmful to tech communities as a whole. By helping others learn, you promote diversity and inclusion, which can lead to a more robust platform.

Selecting a Programming Topic to Learn and Share

So, what should you learn next? Start with the skills and platforms you already know. Have they had a recent update or feature? What’s up-and-coming in beta that the community is buzzing about? Have there been any announcements from the vendor? If so, these can be excellent topics to dive into.

Where to Research Tech Topics

When selecting a topic, check if it has good documentation. If not, that could be an opportunity for you. Look for tech blogs on Medium, code labs from Google and educational materials from Apple. A topic is more difficult to learn if it doesn’t have good documentation or code examples — but you’re also likely to get more attention.

Learning and Sharing With Your Community

Sharing what you’ve learned with your community doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. In fact, you might come across ways to do so as you research questions or study interesting topics.

Publishing What You’re Learning

Publishing what you’ve learned gets your name out there, attracts people to join your network and makes you more attractive for employers. Here are some ways that you can do this.

Creating a Tech Blog

One way to share is to create a blog, which is also a great place to house your portfolio. You can register a domain and purchase hosting with a company like Bluehost, then use a tool like WordPress to publish your blog.

Writing Influential Tech Articles

Once you’ve set up a blog, you can fill it with excellent tech articles. The beauty of having a blog is that you can use it however you like. You can create articles about what you’re learning currently, the problems you’ve encountered and how you solved them or an overview of a technology topic.

Recording Tech Tutorial Videos

Few things capture the attention of a crowd more than a live coding demonstration. Today, it’s extremely easy to create interesting videos without a lot of extra investment in tools.

Find background music for your coding tutorial right within YouTube Studio.
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Instructional Video Tips

Some tips for creating a great video tutorial are:

Giving a Technical Presentation

Preparing a technical presentation is a great way to gain exposure while learning a new skill. It requires a degree of courage, but don’t worry, it gets easier over time — and there’s hardly a better motivator to learn a topic.

Creating a Useful Presentation

You’ll usually need to make a slide deck for your technical presentation. You can use tools like Keynote, PowerPoint or Google Slides to create your deck.

Building a Great Tech Talk Slide Deck

Consider the following when you’re preparing your slides:

Delivering a Great Tech Talk

Some tips for creating and delivering a great presentation are:

Finding an Audience

To rehearse your presentation, reach out to local meetup groups and clubs. See Chapter 7, “Growing Your Professional Network”, for tips on finding these. You could also deliver your presentation to a local university, community college, code camp or even a high school. These venues often need speakers, and they provide a smaller audience to practice on.

Writing a Conference Talk Proposal

To present at a tech conference, you’ll need to research the conference and watch for its call for papers, also known as a CFP. Refer to Chapter 7, “Growing Your Professional Network”, for more about conferences.

Teaching and Mentoring Junior Devs

Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding ways to learn and share. You can have a huge impact on someone’s life and career — and it feels terrific seeing someone you’ve mentored succeed. In the process, you’ll gain valuable skills and exposure for your own career.

Assisting or Running a Coding Bootcamp

If you’ve graduated from a bootcamp, you’ve made it through the experience and curriculum. You’re in a great position to help the next generation of students.

Judging or Volunteering at a Hackathon

In Chapter 7, “Growing Your Professional Network”, you learned how to find hackathons, which are usually run by volunteers. You can reach out to local hackathons to see if they need volunteers to mentor participants, run the event or be a judge.

Offering Online Office Hours

If you like to mentor from the comfort of your own home, try setting up a schedule on Calendly for online office hours. You can then share your calendar in your online communities and on LinkedIn. Tell learners in the community that you’re willing to answer their questions on certain topics or platforms or at a certain level, and allow them to come to you for help.

Teaching or Tutoring Coding at Schools

Depending on your education, you may be able to teach a course at a community college or high school. Generally, the Higher Learning Commission or similar authority for a state or region will dictate what qualifications teachers must have. However, for a part-time instructor or a programming teacher, the school might be able to obtain a credential, as coding teachers are in short supply.

Key Takeaways

  • Sharing while you learn helps build your skills while enhancing your portfolio.
  • Mentoring strengthens your network.
  • Presenting what you learn motivates you to learn new things.
  • Teaching what you’ve learned solidifies your own understanding.
  • You can build your portfolio while creating helpful resources for others in tech.


Action Plan

  • Start a developer blog and add a two- or three-paragraph career profile in a post or in an “about” section.
  • Come up with a topic for a tech talk or workshop that you could create.
  • Reach out to three clubs, communities or educational institutions to ask if they would allow you to present your talk or workshop.
  • Find one question on the internet related to development and post an answer to it.
  • Brainstorm three ways you could be a mentor in your community — either locally or online.
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