How to Grow Your Digital Brand as a Developer
8 min read
How to tie the multiple online profiles you maintain to form your USP
Photo by Arian Darvishi on Unsplash
In a nutshell, when you’re branding yourself, you’re suggesting a unique promise of value that separates you from your peers — you are someone or do something that’s different than everyone else out there.
Just showcasing a resume isn’t helpful in today’s world. As a developer, it is important to have your own digital footprint which not only recognizes your skills but also adds credibility for the work you do. Don’t believe me? I’m sure you have heard of these people:
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH)
Here are my tips to build your digital brand as a developer as well a bunch of examples to help get you started
The best way to raise your visibility among your peers and have a knockout profile is by creating a compelling personal brand for yourself on LinkedIn. While there’s a lot of advice out there on how to develop a personal brand, I would personally say it important to be authentic. Having a complete profile, with a good headline, summary, profile picture, and complete working history is essential. Don't forget to add any achievements, skills, and projects you have done.
In my opinion, one of the most important features in LinkedIn is Endorsements and Recommendations. This makes getting validation for your expertise straightforward — and of course, the more buy-in you have from others, the easier it is to get new buy-in.
A personal website allows you to customize everything just the way you want it. When someone finds you, they’ll have an instant, visual representation of who you are. By featuring work samples, sites you’ve worked on, articles you’ve written, whatever, your personal homepage can act as a digital portfolio of your online work and identity.
Not just the above. It also helps add a different dimension in terms of you getting a job and being able to redirect a recruiter or an interviewer to the correct place to find information pertaining to you.
Artists use a portfolio to hold examples of their work. Similarly, the GitHub profile is a portfolio of your work as a programmer. A good Github profile can both make you more likely to pass resume screening and impress the interviewer. By looking at one’s Github repositories, you can almost immediately tell if he’s an expert or beginner of a specific field.
Make sure you have a profile picture, general information, repositories and a decent amount of contributions to look good.
One of the most important lessons I learned pretty early is to contribute back to the community. I think blogs are one of the best ways to be able to give back. It not only helps you grow faster but also is a great way to showcase your skills.
Blogging is a great way for you to experiment with new technology, get a deeper understanding by teaching someone else about your learnings, expand your network and be exposed to more thoughts both around your topics and others.
Let me just start by saying I do not have a twitter account as I try to reduce the number of social media accounts I have. That being said the standard reasons I have heard for the adoption of Twitter as a developer are: awareness, ability to maintain relationships, learning about new things and different strategies to anything.
To just touch little on each point, twitter helps you be aware of trends regarding the community you are part of, it gives you a platform to ask questions there and learn from experts, help you maintain relationships with others in the community while also being able to hear their thoughts and strategies in handling different scenario. Not just that, you get to also hear from industry experts on a regular.
Thus, as long as you have a healthy social media balance in your life I think twitter is a great place to join, be part of the community and help grow your USP.
Meetups & Conferences
Ever since the first GDG meetup I went too, I have never looked back. Both meetups and conferences are a great way to do most of what twitter helps you do but in person. I have personally been a big fan of attending meetups like GDG, Facebook Dev Circle, etc.
I find that even being able to give a talk on something you are passionate about is a great way to be able to not only help the community grow but also help you reach out and learn more from others
Podcasts, YouTube & Newsletters
Having your own podcast, newsletter or even a YouTube channel pertaining to a small part of what you would like to show the community is a great way to be able to share your ideas, expertise or even just thoughts on a regular basis. These are more of a regular stream of content, unlike a blog which could be occasional and varied.
I am sure each person has their own unique way of how they want to build their personal brand and the above are a few ideas I mentioned. Do feel free to experiment and see what works for you. End of the day, only you know what your personal brand should look like.
Where to Go From Here
I have attached a few resources to be able to help you guys gain a little perspective:
Also adding a list to help you find someone in your community:
Meetups & Conferences
There is no better place to check out meetups than the meetup website
Here is a great site to find conference around the world
I also just search for communities & conferences on google and find a few.
Podcasts, YouTube & Newsletters
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