Here at Step we are always looking for imaginative ways to engage with potential candidates for our roles, rather than relying on traditional advertising. Our job is to arrange internships and whilst we all have plenty of experience in doing this, we aren’t always experts in the technicalities of what our internships involve. With these two things in mind, I recently did some research in to the discipline of Web Development and found a whole new world of friendly and approachable people who meet up regularly to share ideas (and an alcoholic beverage or two!)
I stumbled across meetup, a social media site where anyone can find like-minded groups of people to meet up with (see what they did there?!) There’s anything from crochet to cars, from Aberdeen to Andover so there’s bound to be a group near you. I started looking for Hackathons as I thought this would be a good starting point and from there I was referred to various coding and programming groups. With some trepidation I signed up for my first social event with NottProgs, just before Christmas 2013.
The venue was a rather lively, Christmas party filled Pitcher and Piano. I’d already received a tweet to tell me what t-shirt the host would be wearing so when it was nowhere to be found I checked twitter and was informed that they had moved to a new venue across the road. On entering the pub the Programmers were easy to spot and with a quick introduction, we were soon debating the merits of PHP and bemoaning the lack of available graduate talent. I learnt about an underworld of community initiatives where creative types give up their free time to provide solutions to struggling charities and cash strapped organisations. And it struck me that this type of live project would be perfect for our keen and creative graduate and undergraduate talent base.
So why not give it a go, you’ve got nothing to lose! Find a group that reflects your skills and aspirations and go along to see what they are all about. You will make valuable connections and as we all know, in today’s world it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. But remember to stay safe when online!