You've probably heard the saying: "If you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go with a team." This is because the right set of people is instrumental to your growth and journey as an individual. Irrespective of your strength, you need the right set of people to be a part of your story and journey.
This applies to people entering into the tech ecosystem, especially those at the entry level from whatever skill set they intend to venture into – be it a front-end or back-end developer, a digital marketer, a graphic artist or whatsoever, there is a need for human interaction.
The tech ecosystem in the past years has provided vast opportunities – either to address various human needs with usable products or for personal gains. And with more than two decades of expansion, the tech ecosystem has provided more than a handful of global businesses and world-class professionals.
To help you join this league of professionals, we have listed 15 local and global tech communities that you need to be a part of if you are working in tech or planning on entering into tech to grow your career in 2023.
1. Google Developers Group
The Google Developers Group (GDG) is one of the biggest tech communities in the world. The GDG is responsible for planning and hosting meet-ups/events with a variety of topics for techies. It also is responsible for providing opportunities for tech enthusiasts to learn new skills through its workshops and events, creating an inclusive environment where junior and senior developers can network and geek about their interests.
With an expanding community globally, Nigeria has GDG chapters in all states with some of the states having more than one chapter, for example, Lagos has six. You can join the GDG chapter close to you.
The community has also given birth to the Google Developers Student Clubs (DSCs) - a Google initiative targeted at students. This community has 47 DSCs and it is aimed at helping students - undergraduates and postgraduates nurture their interest in programming and other Google developer technologies. You can check if there is a DSC in your institution.
2. Developer Career
The Developer Career (DevCareer) is a non-profit organization that supports anyone interested in venturing into programming and provides adequate resources to make them world-class developers ready for the market. It is the most suggested community for any individual starting their developer career and also, provides leverage following its rich alumni network which can be utilized by students and alumni alike.
3. forloop Africa
forloop Africa has become a community for every (and any) software developer and enthusiast in Africa. The community which started in 2016 as a community for Nigerians has now produced other African chapters in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
As one of the fastest and expanding communities in the African continent, its organizing community is made up of Prosper "unicodeveloper" Otemuyiwa, Ridwan Olalere, Christian Nwamba, Ire Aderinokun, Solomon Osadolo and Babajide Duroshola.
You can join forloop Africa slack, become a member, subscribe to its podcast, or plan to attend the next meetup close to you.
4. Facebook Developer Circles
The Facebook Developer Circles brings developers together to explore their shared interests which range from open source technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the internet. The community has 14 circles spread across Nigeria with Lagos Circle boasts of over 15,000 members and it hosted Facebook's Developer Summit in 2018 and the 2019 React Summit. Join the Circle close to you.
5. Devcenter Square
6. Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors
The Microsoft Student Learn Ambassadors (MLSA) is a community of young individuals who intend to be global leaders, tech experts and impact makers in their local communities.
The program offers students [undergraduates and postgraduates] the opportunities to learn both technical and emotional skills, hone these skills and build a reputation of being a tech insider.
With opportunities of being a mentor-leader, student ambassadors help Microsoft to preview Windows and enjoy exclusive benefits like session support from the Windows team. Apply here.
7. Figma Africa
Figma Africa is a community for designers, providing an opportunity for professional and nascent designers to connect, network, and grow their skills. Launched in 2018, the community has over 500 participants and has since then expanded its reach within the African continent. Join the community to improve your design skill.
Usable [formerly UXLagos] is also a community for designers which organizes monthly meetups to explore common interests around interaction design, visual design, user research, sketching and prototyping. The community is open to all designers and you can be a part of the community.
9. Interaction Design Foundation (IDF)
Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) is a nonprofit initiative that provides top-quality, online design courses. Out of its 469 local communities across the world, three are present in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. IDF communities provide an opportunity for designers to network and share knowledge about design.
ProductTank is one of the largest communities for product managers in the world. It was founded in 2010 by Martin Eriksson and its meetups bring together product managers to share their experiences. Join the Slack community.
The community’s expansion to Lagos was started by Khadija Abu, Product Manager at Paystack. It helps product managers in Nigeria exchange ideas and experiences about product management. Join the community.
11. Product Dive
Product Dive was launched by the former co-organizer of the Product School Lagos meetup, Oluwatobi Otokiti, to provide professional training in product management and organize frequent meetups for product managers in Nigeria. Join the community.
12. Ingressive For Good
Ingressive For Good (I4G) Network is a community for practising and aspiring tech professionals in Africa. Founded in 2020 by Maya Horgan and Sean Burrowes, the community provides access to training, resources and tools needed for a successful career, business and increased earning power. Join the community.
13. The Nigeria Testers Forum
The Nigeria Testers Forum (NTF) is a community of quality assurance and test professionals, to improve the quality assurance ecosystem in Nigeria. Join the community.
14. Startup Grind
Startup Grind is the most valuable startup community in the world which delivers education, connections and opportunities to help startups grow. With a global outlook of 4 million startups in 600 cities and 125 countries worldwide, you can either start a chapter or join the ever-expanding community.
15. Digital Marketing Meetup Nigeria
Digital Marketing Meetup Nigeria (DMM) was founded by Tobi Adekunle and Olayinka Bolaji in 2017. It is interested in being a credible platform forecasting digital marketing insights, hosting the largest gathering of digital marketing professionals in Nigeria, and becoming the go-to for sourcing digital marketing professionals in Nigeria. Join the community here.
The listed communities can help you as a tech enthusiast or expert in accelerating your career.
This way, you’re exposed to wise counsel, job openings and opportunities, work on community projects to build your portfolio, and a rich network.