Why are Tech Communities Important?
No matter where you are in your career, it is never too early nor too late to join a thriving tech community. But why join a tech community? What’s in it for you? In this blog we outline a few reasons why tech communities are a fantastic resource for collaboration, professional development, networking and much more!
What is a Tech Community?
What is a tech community? Well fundamentally, a tech community is a group of people united by an overarching goal of improving/solving technological aspects of industry problems. Tech communities can vary in skill-level from die-hard connoisseurs, right the way to part-time hobbyists who simply take an interest in that sphere of technology. Every person has a unique role to play and a fresh perspective to offer. This differing level of experience can also help to benefit the wider audience because it demonstrates that the community is inclusive, and ultimately there for everybody to take part in.
Examples of Tech Communities:
Stack Overflow is a public, community-driven website that helps technical professionals find the answers they need, when they need them. Best known for their public Q&A platform that over 100 million people visit every month, Stack Overflow facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration through user participation. Stack Overflow is one of the largest tech communities in the world, and is very much a staple in any developer’s arsenal.
Github is an open-source Git repository hosting service for collaboration on development and technical projects. Although Git itself is actually a command line tool, GitHub provides a web-based graphical interface to use Git. GitHub also gives users access to many control and collaboration features to improve the workflow of collaborative projects. At its core, GitHub is a collaborative platform for the tech community to contribute their knowledge and improvements to a project. It’s no wonder that the community surrounding GitHub is such a successful and powerful one in the tech industry.
Not all tech communities have a dedicated platform and/or website. Some communities, like r/Hacking, have a dedicated channel or page on other platforms. r/hacking is a Subreddit for Technologists and Programmers with roughly 2.5 million members. It is a channel dedicated to hacking and hackers, where users are encouraged to foster constructive collaboration, learn about exploits, industry standards, grey and white hat hacking, new hardware and software hacking technology, sharing ideas and much more. Although users do not necessarily interact with each other directly, their knowledge is distributed to the community via the public forums.
Benefits of Tech Communities:
By investing your time with a tech community, you’re actively becoming more engaged and involved in the industry which naturally opens you up to a broader network of like-minded people. Connecting with like-minded peers is one of the main reasons that people join tech communities in the first place. It creates a space for comfort, collaboration, opportunity generation and much more.
While building your network of peers, you are directly improving the visibility of your knowledge, and therefore opening yourself up to more opportunities. By engaging with a tech community at any stage of your career, your knowledge and expertise will be consistently highlighted among a community who shares the same passion for your work and/or interests.
Collaboration and Support
Quite often in tech communities, the main benefit is perceived to be career advancement and/or the ability to demonstrate a portfolio of some kind. However, community platforms and groups are places where people come together to share enthusiasm on a topic. Not only that, but the inherent dynamic of communities collaborating brings a wave of support for you and your peers to really feel part of something special. Regardless of where you fall in the skills ladder of the community, when you talk about a topic that you’re passionate about, others will listen and support you on your journey.
Does Cybersecurity Need a community?
Well, it’s not really for us to decide. However, what is becoming more obvious in the cybersecurity industry is that the demand for expertise is going up, while the supply of professionals is going down. Also, because of new innovation with the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the attack surface and workload is becoming a huge problem for professionals.
Many hobbyists, enthusiasts, independent experts, and others are currently sat on top valuable cybersecurity knowledge that can benefit the industry. In 2008, when the world started to recognise the need for knowledge sharing in programming, Stack Overflow was created to facilitate a collaborative community – the cybersecurity community can do the same thing in 2022.
There is a fundamental lack of transparency in the way that the new digital manufacturing era works. Lots of technology is being built insecure-by-design because of unsafe components and software, making the mere use of these things a massive cybersecurity risk. Communities like Iotabl are addressing this by facilitating knowledge sharing on a free, community-driven platform where users can share and collaborate on all things cybersecurity and IoT. We are building this for the community, by the community.
If you’re an ethical hacker, security researcher, cyber hobbyist, or simply interested in the industry, join the waiting list for early exclusive access to our free platform at www.iotabl.com and join our growing community at https://discord.gg/GAB6kKNrNM.