Part 4 tech community

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Steps to building a stronger community

This article is part four of a four part series focused on strengthening tech meetups and user groups through community organizing best practices. The author, Justin Stevens, is a senior software engineer and craftsman advocating for developers on a daily basis. These articles were inspired by a decade of good intentions.

Part 4

Fun and engaging tech communities can raise the awareness and skill level of developers on important frameworks and processes to their industry. Meetups and user groups are important resources to any developers no matter where they are in their journey. Implementing best practices, and taking small steps to build your community will help guard against burnout.

Here are steps to follow when building your own community. Hopefully, these will help others maintain and organize a healthy community of support for future artisans.

Your first step should be to adopt these two long term goals:

• Consistently identify and empower future leaders/organizers within the group: You'll need to spread the workaround as your community grows. Cultivating a subgroup of future organizers will help with engagement and allow the group to take on more tasks.

• Majority of your members are engaged: Beyond meetups, make sure the community has lots of chances to get involved.

Then, follow these best practices for maintaining a strong relationship with your members, and keeping them engaged:

• Identify the broad skills, interests, and needs of your community to help craft better content.

• Track connections with individual members for future leadership potential.

• Continuously reach out for new members to join the organization or attend your meetups.

• Lower the barrier of entry and offer easy and welcoming activities to draw more people in.

• Connect with your members regularly, beyond scheduled meetups.

• Create a welcoming and accessible environment.

• Always have small asks to get members more engaged – for instance: keep a list of public Github tasks that, if accomplished, will improve your group in some way.

User groups are important for the craftsmanship of our tech industry. A strong healthy group should develop leaders. By pushing for more community involvement from your members and entrusting them with the future of the group, your group will be relevant for a long time.

Have a user/community group we should know about? Contact us here.