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Networking for Developers: The Ultimate Guide To Building a Professional Network

Updated: Jun 12

2023 hasn’t turned out to be the year a lot of people were hoping for. At the start of the year, there were talks about finally returning to normal, getting out of the pandemic rut, and looking forward to a year of economic recovery. Things haven’t worked out that way.

This is especially true in the tech industry.

The big players are laying off employees, there’s a real chance of a recession, banks are closing left, right, and center — it isn’t ideal.

In times like these, finding good jobs or even just knowing that there are good jobs available in the market is a relief.

While skills are important when it comes to finding great paying remote developer jobs, having a good professional network is sometimes even more important.

Yes, there’s LinkedIn Jobs, there are job boards (we have one, too), and that’s all true. However, nothing can bring in job leads quite like your own network of professionals.

That’s what this article is about. It’s about why a strong professional network is important for developers and how to cultivate one.

So, let’s get started

Networking for developers

Social Media, obviously

The rise of social media isn’t news, of course. Neither is the fact that a lot of influencers seem to be making ludicrous money. No, the main yet often unmentioned aspect of tech social media that’s amazing is how it can help normal, everyday developers.

Let’s take a look at the usual suspects:


As I said, usual suspects.

The sheer power of networking on LinkedIn cannot be overstated. If you’re a developer who’s looking to cultivate a professional network, you simply have to be on LinkedIn.

Here are a few tips to network on LinkedIn:

Complete your profile:

Most LinkedIn profiles are in a sorry state. The picture isn’t right, work experience isn’t filled out completely, there are no testimonials, and some developers don’t even bother putting in the name of the schools they went to.

Don’t be that developer.

Fill out your profile. Spending ten minutes on it now will help you a ton in the long run.

Customize your URL:

When you’re trying to grow your network as a professional, it’s important that you meet the right people and give them the best first impression that you can.

Creating a customized URL is a part (a small part, yes) of creating a good first impression.

LinkedIn-user27274924, you will agree, is not as easy to remember as LinkedIn-JohnBates

Help people remember you.

Join groups and follow companies:

If you’re a front-end developer looking to grow a professional network, join front-end developer groups (you’ll find a good collection here). If you’re a back-end developer, follow back-end developer groups.

To meet the right people, you need to be where they are.

Groups and company pages are usually where they are on LinkedIn.

Engage with content you see:

Visibility is the goal here. You’re among the right people. Some of these people could become your peers, subordinates, bosses, or maybe there’s a recruiter there somewhere. You never know.

So, engage with the content you see.

Like, comment, and react to posts that are relevant to you.

Take initiative and reach out to people. Don’t spam them but become visible.

Publish content

If you’ve got any experience as a developer, share it. Talk about the challenges you face, how you find solutions, the things that are good about the industry, things that aren’t, and so on.

Do it even if you don’t think your content is going to be amazing. The fact is, we all have a perspective that’s unique to us. Speak up and you’ll find that people will take notice.

Network strategically

There’s no real point in sending invitation requests to a hundred people you don’t know. It won’t work. Instead, make a list of people you want to connect with. Then, write personalized messages when you request to connect with them.

You will find that even pretty popular folk don’t mind connecting and sharing insights with an upstart.


There’s a ton of news about Twitter currently. But far away from the headlines, there are people who are building their personal brands on Twitter.

Here’s how you can do it:

Optimize your profile

This one’s the same as LinkedIn. Use a clear profile photo, write an informative bio, highlight your skills, and add links to all your other social media accounts.

Follow influencers:

Influencers are a huge deal on Twitter. Yes, there are influencers on other platforms, too, but there aren’t as many, and certainly, they’re not as huge a phenomenon on other platforms.

The advantage of following influencers is that you always know what’s happening in the industry. News, trends, ideas — just follow influencers and you’ll know pretty much everything you need to know.

Hashtags — don’t overuse them

When you’re new on a platform like Twitter, chances are, your main concern is to increase your visibility and gain followers.

Hashtags seem like a perfect way to do it. In fact, they almost are.

But here’s the thing — don’t overuse hashtags.

A couple of hashtags will do just fine. In fact, adding ten hashtags to a tweet is simply not going to do you any good, at all.

In fact, overusing hashtags can lead to the algorithm thinking that you’re a spam account.

So, yes, use hashtags. But do not overuse them.

Publish strategically:

If you’ve got ten tweets that you can think of, jot them down and tweet once a day. Don’t just carpet-bomb Twitter. It’s not going to do you any good.

For starters, not everyone will see your tweets.

Secondly, your followers won’t like it.

One or two tweets a day is more than enough for Twitter to start picking up your content and boosting it.

Remember, quality, not quantity.

Publish informative, engaging content. Do it consistently and let the algorithm take care of the rest.

Yes, it’ll take time, but it’ll happen. Don’t force it.


Building a network via GitHub might seem like a weird idea but it really isn’t. As a developer, your greatest tool is your skillset and GitHub is the perfect place to show it off.

Here are a few tips on how to use GitHub to build your network:

Showcase your best work:

Upload your best projects; the ones that you’re really proud of. More importantly, have a detailed README file in your repo. The README file should inform readers what the project is, why you did it, how you did it, the way it works, and the technologies that you have used.

Let me emphasize, the README file is one of the most important parts of any GitHub repository.

You’re introducing not just the product but your approach to solving technical problems. It’s always a good idea to spend some time on it.

Contribute to others’ projects:

If you want to meet peers, fellow developers, and employers via GitHub, you should be spending at least some time working on other people’s projects.

Find projects that interest you and start contributing. Submit pull requests, report bugs, suggest improvements, offer to solve problems, and so on.

Doing this will show everyone who’s working on the project exactly how good you are.

Star repositories:

Don’t be conservative with praise and appreciation. If you think that someone’s done a good job, let them know. Start their repositories.

It won’t be long before you start making connections because of it.

Engage with others:

You want to network. You want to make acquaintances. So, do it!

Participate in discussions and issues. Provide constructive feedback, share your perspective, ask questions — be active.

This will add to your social trust. People are more likely to approach you if you are active and make yourself visible on a platform.

Networking for developers — Attend developer events and conferences

Developer conferences and related industry events are a fantastic way to grow your network. The attendees are all in the tech world, most of them will be fellow programmers, and there will be lots of potential employers at these events, too.

Why you should attend developer conferences:

Personal connections:

Remote work is amazing. You get to work from wherever you want, you dictate the hours, there’s no commute — the list goes on.

But even the most ardent supporters of remote work (we’re a job board that only features remote jobs, for example) will agree that networking online is relatively difficult.

Meeting people in the real world still remains the best way to know and interact with people.

Attending developer conferences and events can help you grow your network immensely.

Collaboration opportunities:

If you’re active on GitHub and have always wondered about the people behind those amazing repositories that you see, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to meet some of them at these events.

A collaboration shouldn’t be too far away.

Skill development:

Irrespective of how good you are, there’s always more to learn. It’s not just about learning new information (like a new language, for example). Attending developer events will help you understand different perspectives.

It’ll help you find new ways to solve existing problems. You’ll get a great insight into why some people solve a particular problem the way they do.

In terms of professional growth, developer conferences should be a priority for you.

Increased visibility:

This one’s pretty obvious. Attending events can help raise your profile within the industry, making it more likely that potential employers and partners will notice you.

Important developer conferences in 2023

DWX - Developer Week '23 Germany

DWX ranks among the most prominent independent developer events in Europe, facilitating direct engagement with over 150 presenters through 200+ talks, workshops, and developer-focused sessions.

Target audience: Programmers, software architects, data analysts, system administrators, and DevOps professionals

Strange Loop (Missouri, USA)

Strange Loop serves as an interdisciplinary gathering for developers and forward-thinkers creating future technologies in areas like innovative programming languages, alternative databases, parallelism, distributed architectures, security, and web development. Keynote speaking opportunities aren't provided to sponsors, and attendee mailing lists are never distributed or sold to them. This event will mark the final Strange Loop.

Intended audience: Software developers, business innovators, system engineers, security specialists, and researchers

RenderATL (Atlanta)

RenderATL continues to grow annually, and this edition will showcase 85 sessions led by the sector's most prominent figures. The Design and CSS track is particularly impressive this year, featuring speakers such as Ashten Fizer (Dropbox), Paola Mariselli (Bumble), and Dantley Davis (Nike). Additional tracks encompass Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Web and Mobile Engineering, as well as Product Management.

OWASP Global AppSec (Washington DC)

Over the past twenty years, the Open Web Application Security Project, widely recognized as OWASP, has emerged as the benchmark for cybersecurity matters. The OWASP Global AppSec conference aims to enhance your professional abilities, acquaint you with the latest industry trends, and emerging cyber threats, and provide ample networking opportunities. Keep an eye out for further details as we approach the third quarter of 2023.

SmashingConf (Different city each time):

With events in various cities worldwide, SmashingConf offers a mix of practical workshops and engaging talks covering a wide range of topics related to front-end development, UX, and design.

Front-End Frontiers (US):

Hosted in the United States, Front-End Frontiers is an immersive conference that focuses on front-end development, bringing together industry experts, practitioners, and enthusiasts for a deep dive into the latest trends and technologies.

React Summit (Europe):

As one of the largest React conferences, React Summit takes place in Europe and offers a platform for developers to learn about the latest updates, best practices, and case studies in React development.

Vue.js Global(Online):

This conference, dedicated to the popular Vue.js framework, brings together developers from around the world to discuss best practices, share experiences, and learn from expert speakers.

How to network at developer conferences:

Research attendees:

Every conference has a website. They list all the speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors on that website.

Visit the website, find out who’s talking, and do some research about them. Jot down the names of the people you want to connect with, think of what conversations you can have with them, make a list of questions, and do this for every single person you want to talk with.

It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t. You don’t need spreadsheets about the topics that you’re going to talk about. A mental note will do. It really does pay off. So, do your research.

Prepare an elevator pitch:

Every interview in the world has this question:

“Can you tell me a bit about yourself?”

Well, answer that questions. Over and over again. Now, adapt the answer so that it’s good for a conversation. This is your elevator pitch.

It’s a concise, compelling description of who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique. This will help you leave a lasting impression during brief interactions.

Set goals:

Before attending an event, set specific networking goals, such as meeting a certain number of people or targeting specific companies or individuals.

This is just to make sure that you’re not going in there with a blank slate. You may or may not meet the people you want to meet but at least you’re going to have an idea about what you’re looking to do.

Be approachable:

Smile, make eye contact — you know what to do.

Be happy to be approached by people. That might just be your employer walking over to talk to you. Treat every conversation like that and you’ll walk away with contact numbers of some extraordinary people.

Ask open-ended questions:

Encourage conversation by asking open-ended questions that allow others to share their thoughts and experiences.

Listen actively:

Show genuine interest in what others have to say by listening attentively, asking follow-up questions, and making relevant comments.

Exchange contact information:

Always have business cards or a digital alternative on hand to exchange contact information with new connections.

Follow up:

After the event, send personalized follow-up messages to the connections you made, expressing your appreciation for their time and reiterating your interest in staying in touch.

Engage and leverage your existing network

When you’re looking to build a professional network as a developer, don’t forget people you already know. Friends, colleagues, family, and acquaintances may already know people you want to connect with. So, use their help.

If you’re already working as a developer, there’s a very good chance that someone in your network knows people you want to meet. Reach out to your connections and tell them what you’re looking for.

Be specific. Tell them exactly what you’re looking for, whom you want to meet, why you want to meet, and how they could help. You’re asking them for a request. Make it easy for them to help you.

No one likes a one-way deal. Tell your connections what value you can offer to the person you want to meet with. You may have a skill or maybe you have deep knowledge in an area that might prove valuable to the person you want to connect with.

And when someone recommends you or refers you, make sure you thank them for it.


Cultivating a professional network takes time and effort. But it’s one of the best things that you can do to further your career as a developer. Knowing the right people can accelerate your developer career faster. So, make sure you invest time and effort into cultivating an excellent professional network.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a remote developer role, check out Simple Job Listings. All jobs on Simple Job Listings are remote, most pay amazingly well, and a significant number of jobs we post aren’t listed on any other job board.

Check out Simple Job Listings and find your dream remote developer job. Good luck!

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