How networking, documenting my work & building a community got me an internship and job opportunities

How networking, documenting my work & building a community got me an internship and job opportunities

6 min read
How networking documenting my work building a c

Tech is popular. Many people are trying to break into tech, by way of a degree, boot camp or self-taught. Some are switching careers, and others have long-time ambitions to work at FAANG or start their own company. The golden question is, how do you get into tech? The answer most hear is either “learn html, css, js, and a framework like React + add Node”. This is because “web dev” has the easiest entry barrier, or so they say. Of course, the “correct” answer, even though it doesn’t exist, is “it depends”.

What does the market ask for? What’s your location? What are you interested in? These questions will help you set a simple “roadmap” for learning, but most people forget the other, equally important factor.


Imagine this. You want to become a developer. You’d like to land an internship or a job within 6 months. With that in mind, you set out and make a plan. You find the information you need. The internet tells you it’s simple but requires hard work. HTML, CSS, JS, React, Node. You check your local market, it agrees, those are the required skills. You hear the way to land a job is to network. But there is a problem, no one knows who you are, and you know no one. How do you fix this? Enter communities.

This is how I started out. Made a plan, and started learning but felt something was missing. I felt like I didn’t have to go through this alone, the countless hours in front of my computer, sitting, wondering if this is going to work out. I made a youtube channel to record my studies, calling it “the proof of work”, at least for myself, to showcase that it takes work to get what you want and that it is worth it. While streaming the study with me sessions, I realized I could do this with others. So I created a discord server and called it “The Proof Of Work”.

To let people know, I wrote a Reddit post, asking if anyone would like to join me. Sharing the study plan I had made, stating that it would be a serious study group with daily updates and weekly “meetings” to check progress, get to know each other and hold each other accountable. The post “blew up” and got to the front page of r/programmingbuddies and r/learnprogramming. This is where things got wild.

Without me realizing it, I was creating a great community that would help members land opportunities!


People starting joining, learners, seniors, people from FAANG companies and ex-FAANG engineers, CEOs, CTOs, senior devs, cats, and dogs.

I had many members telling me how they loved the community, how friendly the whole server was, and how they found many members to study together with. We held weekly “meetings”, filled with people, sharing their stories, doing QnA with seniors, and having fun.

One CEO of a UK company noticed the effort I was putting into this, and approached me, asking if I was willing to go through an internship with his company, and that he would be personally guiding me through it (normally he has other senior devs/managers doing this). He told me it would be intense, but that I would learn everything I need to be job-ready. I agreed. That’s how I landed an internship in less than a month of creating The Proof Of Work discord community.

In a few days, the server grew to 800 members, then 1000, then 1500, and I had to put control on the people coming in to make sure the learners could slowly get to know each other and that the community “culture” could flourish, I closed all invites and kicked inactive members. Our members called it “The Kickening”. We do this once a month. Active community > numbers of people joined.

It worked, we had our own inside jokes, memes, and people got much more comfortable with talking and sharing. We had a few land jobs because of our help, a couple of people landed internships, and all because I wanted to share what I was doing. I wanted company. It doesn’t end there.

I created a Twitter account which grew slowly at the start, but once I started sharing my story, and information and bringing value to the community, my growth increased. I went from 125 followers to 300 in a week (it normally took me a week to get 10 followers), then a few days to 500, two days from 500 to 800, 1 day from 800 to 1k, another day to 1.5k, then now, 2.5k, in less than two days.

With this came opportunities I could not imagine having: collaborations, job offers, FAANG referrals. All because I shared what I was doing, built a community and people noticed it. This is how networking worked for me. Connecting with people, asking for their stories and if they would be willing to share advice with me. This is the power of building communities and relationships with people in tech, and it is a wonderful thing.

Road Ahead

Would you believe me if I told you that it would take me at least twice as long to get where I am now, without being part of a community? Like everyone else who starts out their journey on becoming a developer, I created a roadmap. It took me a long time. There are many resources, and beginners will feel overwhelmed by the number of ways one can become a developer. Where does one even start?

  • Frontend?
  • Backend?
  • Oh wait there is full-stack as well, that’s that?
  • No. We have also DevOps, Big Data, blockchain, open-source, web, hardware engineering, etc.

This is where the most used advice comes in place. “start with web dev”. But is that a good way to show a beginner what programming is about? What if someone is really passionate about machine learning? Sure, they will need a basis to start with, and preferably maths as well. But does that mean they would have to go through a web dev course first so they can start working on machine learning? No.

I’ve asked many working developers: Seniors, ex-FAANG engineers, and many others. Every time the advice is the same: Work on what you like doing. That way you won’t burn out and you will end up with a job, one way or another. Having said that, you don’t necessarily need to be PASSIONATE about what you do. There is absolutely no shame in doing the work you do for money. Motivation for money comes from different sources: taking care of your family and providing for them, paying bills for your parents/partners, having the ability to travel and work remotely, etc. It’s not always about materialistic possessions, but, for me, it’s about having the means to do what you truly want to do in life. And money, dedication, motivation, and most importantly, discipline, and help.

This is why networking is such an important factor. Not only does it showcase what you’re working on, but it also grows your online presence, which does not mean followers, but connections that will help you out in your journey.
Don’t focus on the followers, those don’t matter as much as the quality of connections you have! I’m meeting Quincy Larson 2 times a month (currently I’m getting together a team to translate FCC to Russian), people like Danny Thompson, Brad Traversy, Jack, and many other huge tech accounts. They are not talking to me because I’m some big name in tech, but because I’m genuine and care about connections. When I host a Twitter Space, I get on average 150-300 people listening, and our last space, which had Danny and others in it speaking with me, had almost 2k listeners! That’s the power of connections.

The fact that you’re reading this blog right here right now, is proof of it. The Proof Of Work.

And this is just the start, I’m currently getting my blog started, a youtube channel, writing a book on cognitive sciences in tech, and working smarter and harder than ever, all whilst having fun.

If you take anything from this blog, take this: build a community, or participate in one. It will push you to do more and you will be a part of something great.

If you want to come to say hi or have any questions, DM me on Twitter xDeniTech. If you want to come chat, I stream every Wednesday and Sunday on Twitch giving tech advice and answering questions related to jobs, learning how to code, networking, and general life advice.

I’d like to take a second and thank Joberty for having me and giving me an opportunity to share my story and inspire others.

Thank you for reading.


[10:27 AM]