I’m interested in hearing from folks who have experience in volunteering their time for software development-related projects or initiatives and how that has influenced their career path and overall growth as a result. What volunteering opportunities have you taken on and how have they helped your next career steps? What volunteering opportunities are better to take on when planning for a software engineer career?
Super curious to hear our thoughts (especially from people already working in the space)!
I started out volunteering for freeCodeCamp, after a few months of learning to program.
One of the main reasons for this is freeCodeCamp taught me the tech stack we used in the codebase. So, it was easy to jump from the curriculum to the codebase. So, in two ways, this shaped my development journey by guiding me on the MERN stack which was my primary stack for a long time.
Trivially, this has influenced my career in that I now work with freeCodeCamp.
Whilst I studied Mechanical Engineering, I had programming as a hobby. I volunteered for a robotics project during my degree, and we needed a website to host/show our work. So, I volunteered to create/maintain it. Since graduating, I did a “180”, and now have a career in programming, and a hobby of mechanical engineering. Again, largely this was as a direct result of volunteering on the freeCodeCamp codebase.
Nowadays, I mostly volunteer to software I use in my day-to-day. This gives me the motivation to do so, and provides me context for the contribution.
As mentioned above, I suggest contributing where you want to - not necessarily just anywhere you can. If you use a specific piece of software, and see something you can do to improve it, then go for it! I think any contribution you make to a project not just used by yourself is something worthwhile for your career. At least, it is something to talk about during an interview, if nothing else.
A lot of what I have mentioned is specific to OSS contributions. If by “volunteering opportunities” you mean “internship -styled” positions, then I have little to say on the subject.
Hope this helps
Is there any places I could look at for something very part-time at home with very little training for something in tech. I do not want to say much about why, but I now am not the person I was physically. I am daily studying not just here but also on free school credits. I do a bunch of learning on different sites too. I am behind in math, not my choice. I’m in a pickle due to my work choices now. there is no places around here I could walk to other then Jobs that are physical. There is a small business who does computer sales web design and a+ with it. I do not know if maybe I should just introduce myself to him, about what I am learning or not. Just kind of chatting here not pity please don’t think. Any advice would be great, not much help from my state here to be honest. There all about why don’t you have a college degree by now. lol. Sorry I guess I just did not get that help early in life. Proving now I am ready just all by myself, ugh.
That sounds great, thanks for sharing your story @Sky020. It is inspiring to see how your volunteering experience with FCC turned into a full-time position.
I was going to start looking for volunteering opportunities that interest me once I feel comfortable with my skills and like you said, it is something that you can talk about during interviews later on.
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