Kindly introduce yourself and some of the tech communities you belong to?
My name is Barbara Asiamah, a second-year student at the University of Ghana studying BSc IT. I am currently a graduate trainee at Azubi Africa, Data Science Track.
I belong to a few tech communities such as Google crowdsource, python Ghana, IIPGH, DSC UG, Women Techmakers and others.
What are some of the things you consider before joining a community?
Because there are so many dev communities ...how do you make a choice or choices?
Well, there a few things that stand out when joining a community, It has to be beginner-friendly, make sure you look out for gender diversity( a good ratio of males to females), the community should have a functional and enforced code of conduct and finally, the members should be active and responsive.
With the second point one gender diversity, a lot of dev spaces/communities have more males than females so what do you do in that case?
Join them to increase the ratio. But you have to make sure they females in everything. The support can go a long way.
Can you highlight the ways in which the tech community helped you in achieving some of your career goals?
They've helped a lot especially public speaking (not so great but we are still on it) and teaching, it has also helped provide connections and that has deeply gone a long way. The support has taken me places.
which community impacted your career the most...if I may ask?
Most of the communities impacted in their own way but Python Ghana has done so significantly.
How do you think one can give back to the tech community/ecosystem?
The best way ( even for beginners) is to volunteer. There are a lot of ways you can volunteer if teaching is your thing please do. Attending events alone is also a way of giving back to the community. Give support to the community with funds and resources the very best way you can.
Make sure you go to every opportunity with your community - be in every room with the communities by recommending others when there is an opening.
Talk about them because that's what communities do.
Can you suggest some of the beginner-friendly tech communities you know of? Perhaps there are new PyLadies who want to join tech spaces but need a little help.
- Python Ghana for a start (if you are not a member of python Ghana you dey do yourself ????♀️)
- Flutter Ghana
- Ethical AI
- Women Techmakers
- Developer students clubs
- Google developer groups
- Facebook developer circles
- AIA Ghana
How do you get time for all these activities and have a balance?
Discipline!!! You need to know your priorities, they help you set a smooth path for me. Have a plan and stick to it. Seek help when you need it and don't forget to have fun while you are at it.
I noticed from the group of communities you suggested that they all do not have a singular goal. As in each group has what they specialize in. How and when do you filter out what will be beneficial to your career goal?
Every community has a mission and goal, for example, some are just there to support you in writing, others in learning just HTML.
Like I said earlier set your priorities straight, know what you want and choose the communities that fit your goal.
How do you get in touch with the community groups?
So far it has been through people recommending other communities to me. Some of them too I am on the board so it's easier. But I suggest you create the networks and you can ask for help when you need it from these networks and connections. If they can't help, the next step will be to recommend another community. Then voila, you meet another community. If you hear of a community that you want to join, let others around you know, they can help you with it.
Thanks to Babara for her precious time and insightful session.
Session hosted by Afi Maame Dufie