When can a person call themselves a part of the community? For thousands of women entering tech, feeling like there is a place to belong is challenging. With a field dominated by men and some ingrained prejudices towards the ability of women, feeling like you fit in can be really difficult.
This is especially true if you are coming out of education and trying to establish yourself in the industry. It might be daunting to say that you are in the field. While no one would ever test you on the spot when it comes to your coding skills if you proclaim what industry you’re in, it is not uncommon to feel imposter syndrome.
Instead of waiting to feel like you have to ‘earn’ the identity, seize it from the start and make it your own. Begin networking within the community as soon as you can. Events like hackathons or meet ups are the best way to find your future employer. Succeeding at this requires having a firm belief that you not only belong there but also have the skills to cut it. If nothing else, don’t underestimate the value that fellow female programmers can provide. Having stood where you stand now, their experience in the field and passion for the subject is the perfect place to go for support and assistance.
A Community That Supports One Another
As we said above, tech is a field dominated by men. While this can be a bit alienating, ladies in the industry support one another. Find people in the industry, reach out, get coffee, and pick their brain about things that may be worrying you. They can provide a level of assistance that will give you the advantage like with negotiating tactics. Again, this is a community that wants its members to succeed. While there are a lot of challenges, there is also a great deal of potential and opportunity.
The are a wide range of resources that you can access if you know where to look. It will require a lot of reaching out, building connections, and exploring the field in public settings. At the same time, you will have what you need to test the waters and get your questions answered.
Resources You Should Consider When Starting Your Career
Tech Ladies is a great place to get news and information. A private Facebook group Tech Ladies allow access to their job board and provide plenty of opportunities to learn.
Another great group for women, PayUp is a resource that is specifically about money as well as work. An excellent place to discuss negotiation techniques, you can access their Slack group and begin getting advice today.
Lady Hacks helps to provide experience working with groups on various coding projects. A supportive environment, it is an excellent place to experience a hackathon.
Ela Conf acts as both an online community through Slack as well as an annual conference. An incredible opportunity, the conference is an amazing place to get advice. You can request access through the Slack group at the bottom of the page.
A great place to start, you can attend events and classes. Welcoming and supportive, the group is quite active online and offers a great deal of advice for members. Search for a local chapter in your area.
Where Does This Leave Us?
You don’t have to be a rock star developer to call yourself a coder. Rather, all it requires is getting educated in coding and reaching out to various communities. Doing so will help you get better established. It will benefit a lot when applying for a job. It will also provide you a sounding board when overcoming challenges you may experience in your work. While it is easy to feel alienated, it has never been easier to development work networks and become established in this exciting field. Good luck as you make it in the tech industry!