Networking with Industry
For most people in IT, networking is a chore. Those that tend to prefer code and math, tend not to prefer networking. In contrast politicians prefer networking, at this point your author is unaware of any politician that also codes.
Unfortunately networking is also needed. For one simple reason. If no-one knows you exist, no-one can offer you a job. Almost everyone you meet will tell you that a CV is not a substitute for meeting people.
There is a second reason, one that is important to those receiving your networking. Can they perceive themselves working with you and enjoying the experience. Do they perceive you will add value.
Picking this apart is important.
Have you got tech skills?
Yes, you are undertaking arguably the most challenging undergraduate tech degree in NZ.
Are you using your tech skills?
Have you applied your skills to anything other than study, if the answer is no, industry interprets this as meaning your real passions lie elsewhere.
Would they want to work with you?
Coding is a team sport involving many specialisations. Those on the teams do not necessarily have to like you, but they do need to be confident that they can work with you, enjoy their day and will look forward to coming back tomorrow.
The goal of networking in this context, is literally to meet tech people and discuss the tech you are excited by and the problems and successes you are having with it. In doing so you tick all three boxes; tech skills - yes; applying your skills - yes; can I work with you - yes (it is hard to say no to a student or graduate pushing themselves, solving problems and keen to learn more).
Industry already knows the effectiveness of networking for finding new talent, which is why companies host and encourage employees to attend tech meet-ups. Within Wellington, www.meetup.com
features well over a hundred tech meetups to try. Other sources for meetups include the ITP
, Engineering NZ
, the Glean Report
(recommended by a past ECEN student) and the Royal Society
(the scientific society for NZ).
Use the search feature on this page https://www.meetup.com/find/groups/
but DO NOT search using text. Instead click on the search field and click Tech from the drop down. Over 100 tech groups in Wellington will appear.
During times where many meetups are online due to Covid concerns, to find face-to-face meetups I suggest the following;
- open the top dozen meetups each in a new tab,
- starting at the end look at the location of the top listed upcoming event,
- delete anything on-line.
Repeat until you have half a dozen options. This will take you about 3-4 minutes. Doing this just now, I found 2 face-to-face in the first dozen and 4 in the next dozen.