How to Network Sans Jerk

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Last updated on February 9th, 2024 at 01:50 am

Last night I found myself visiting #devTO—an event described as follows:

You love it, hate it, debug it, dream about it, obsess over it, test it, throw it away… because you don’t just write code.

#devTO, a place for all developers, regardless of age, experience or sex to gather and collaborate on the problems we face as developers. These problems are as broad as our job descriptions, can’t figure out how to get that interface to look good in Chrome and Safari? Not sure how to deploy code to multiple servers with no downtime? What is the best way to integrate social media into your projects? I’m sure at some point you’ve all run into something like one of the problems above, so why not share it and benefit from the experience of others.

Though I’m not really a developer, I was going to check it out due to my sheer interest in the world of development. But before I knew it, a text message from my buddy Kevin soon found me taking photographs for the event (which in turn prompted my urges to get my new camera once more, but we’ll save that for another post). Of course, I can’t really prove I was there through the photos (think about it), but you can catch a glimpse of what went down here:

But one thing I definitely saw a lot of going on before and after the speakers took the floor at the event was networking. A number of developers, and people seeking the assistance of developers, getting out there and talking about what they do, what they’d LIKE to do, and making the connections necessary to enable those ideas.

Some people are GREAT networkers—others not so much. While it’s partly based on personality, here are 7 tips on how you can network without seeming smarmy (I’m pretty sure this list originally came from an executive-audience magazine—if anyone knows which, drop me a line)!

  1. Be genuine!
  2. Care about how you can help others
  3. Listen!
  4. Treat people like they’re good (while all the while referring to #1)
  5. Be early
  6. Be in the mix
  7. Ask interesting questions! (small talk yields short conversation)

While many might point to these and think it’s all common sense, I repeatedly see people mess up potential connections because they’re forgetting some of these rules. They also apply to dating, strengthening your existing relationships and being a better person overall!

So learn the seven rules and make those encounters a little less awkward for all of us.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad



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