It is true that the demand for programmers and people to work in technology is at an all time high, but it is also true that a good and consistent online presence plays an important role in a candidate's profile.
When you apply for a job surely your resume will end up with hundreds if not thousands of other resumes, that's why you need to stand out somehow among all these candidates to get the job you want and your online presence can be that differentiator.
In my case, being present on the internet through my blog and social media accounts has allowed me not only to get job offers but also to connect with people with the same interests from whom I have learned a lot.
What is online presence?
Online presence refers to all the activity and content that an entity - a person or a company - has under its name on the Internet. This includes accounts, assets, interactions and any piece of information created by or about the person or company.
Based on this definition, it is clear at once that your online presence is not just your social networks, (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc) but that these are part of it.
For a programmer your online presence may contain:
- Your own website
- Project portfolio or case studies
- Questions and answers on Stackoverflow
- Social Networking
At this point you must be thinking: "ok, I have my accounts but I will never have the same amount of followers or articles on my blog as INSERT FAMOUS DEVELOPER" or "this is going to take me forever to build" and I'll explain why this is not important.
Own your content but also own your process.
"Comparison is an act of violence committed against oneself."
— Clyde Lee Dennis
There is nothing else in this world that stops a person's growth than comparing yourself to others, because comparison paralyzes, discourages and stagnates you.
It's okay to be inspired by other professionals, follow and admire their work and interact with them, but you can't expect that your success is going to look the same or even similar to theirs and much less that your path is going to be like theirs.
Trying to copy someone else does not bring good results because you end up losing your creativity and inspiration and ultimately your motivation and if anything is required to share content on the Internet is to be constantly motivated.
Your online presence should reflect who you are as a person, what makes you unique, because you are unique.
When you start think about what you like and associate it with your profession, this can bring extraordinary results, an example of this is "I explain it to you with kittens" a series of tutorials and content created by @iamdoomling where using drawings of kittens he explains advanced programming concepts.
It's going to take me forever
Building an online presence doesn't have to be done overnight, the important thing is consistency, can you post something once a day? fine, can you post once a week? fine, but it's important to be consistent.
Being constant is not only for publishing, it is also because every day you are going to learn how to do it faster, with more quality and more efficiently, again this is where you compare yourself: is this blog post I wrote better than the one I wrote 3 months ago, if the answer is "YES" great because you are moving forward.
Where do I get ideas from?
From your daily life, you are doing a course and you learned something new, publish it. You saw a tweet from someone that inspired you to do more research, post what you found. You sent a proposal to a client that didn't happen, post what you learned from it.
The important thing, many times, is not what you are going to explain as such, but how you explain it, how you write it, your style, your personality are the ones that stand out here.
Once you start publishing content, the responses from your own followers will become your own source of ideas.
Tools to build your online presence
The selection of the tools you are going to use will depend only on you, your objectives, your possibilities but above all what works best for you.
My recommendation is to: define objectives, test content, measure results and adjust, you will not get it right the first time, it is a work of iterating and learning.
Of all the platforms or tools I consider that this is the only one that you should have, it is not optional, mainly because it is directly tied to you through the domain.
The website itself allows you to demonstrate your skills as a programmer and content creator and should contain:
- Information about yourself and your professional profile.
- Your projects And a way to contact you, it can be through your social networks or a contact form.
Some examples of personal websites:
- https://wesbos.com/: Wes Bos is a developer who creates courses and his website explains his profile well and has a lot of valuable content that demonstrates his skills.
- https://midu.dev/: Miguel Angel Duran's website is a sort of link farm to all his content and social networks.
- https://fmontes.com/: My website where I have links to my networks and my content.
On or off your website, keeping a blog with articles related to your career allows you to establish yourself as a professional:
- It gives you credibility
- It demonstrates your technical knowledge
- You create a network of contacts
When you create a blog it is very important that you own your content there are many platforms to create a free blog but the only one I know that allows you to own your content is Hashnode.
Hashnode is a free blogging platform made for developers. What I like the most is that it allows you to completely own your content by assigning a custom domain.
Beyond the technical side, Hashnode also has you covered with a massive and constantly growing audience for your content from day one.
It has Markdown support, automatic GitHub backups, and the best part is that it has no ads or paywalls.
GitHub is a Git repository hosting service but at the same time it works almost like a social network. It allows you to create and participate in conversations, follow authors, follow repositories but most importantly, actively participate in open-source projects.
Having a profile on Github is the best way to demonstrate your skills as a developer. You can show your knowledge, the clarity of your code and your ability to collaborate with other developers.
So make sure you have your Github profile with a good picture, you can add a good readme and make sure your public code is of the highest possible quality.
Social networks can be useful or an incredible source of wasted time, so when choosing where to be present do it wisely.
Just like the website, you simply can't afford not to have a LinkedIn profile and that's where all the companies are looking for their programmers, period. Some recommendations for your profile:
- Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn
- Turn your summary into your story
- Grow your network
- List your relevant skills
- Highlight the services you offer
- Show your passion for learning
Within your means, put at least one post a week on LinkedIn as this is the only network with real reach and no cheating algorithms.
Personally my favorite, Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows you to post tweets of up to 280 characters and you can also attach images, videos, links, etc.
The real power of Twitter is in the networking, you can chat almost in real time with programmers and grow your audience with relative ease (once you get your niche and it's consistent).
- Reply to the big accounts, give your point of view, join the conversation.
- Share value, you learned something new, share it.
- Ask questions and be grateful for the answers
- If someone took the time to write to you, respond.
- Be consistent
- Use hashtags
Find your rhythm on Twitter, because it's quite addictive and you can spend hours on it, so try to set a time and a schedule.
Personally I don't consider it very important, but if there is a community of developers there sharing content, I use it, but I don't feel it brings any benefit to my online presence so I leave it as a task for you to investigate and see if it works for you.
The world of technology is in demand, yes, but it also requires a little extra effort to position yourself well within it and a good online presence will help you a lot in this.
"The best time to start was one year ago and the second best time is today."
Steps to start creating your online presence.
- Create your account in Hashnode, it's free and it won't take you even 10 seconds.
- Write your first blog post, an idea could be what was the last thing you learned this week or this month? write about it.
- Share your post on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Keep learning and keep writing.
Don't rush, start small and pick up the pace, start at least with your blog on Hashnode which you can open immediately and effortlessly and your Twitter account to drive traffic and then scale up to other tools.
Enjoy the journey and remember that it is a marathon and not a race.