What is Community in Tech and Beyond?
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
4 min read
My name is Sofia Omar and I am a Full Stack Developer who is passionate about accessibility, community, and food. For the past few months, I've been interested in starting a blog. But like many of you, I wasn't sure of the subject to kick off with.
Well after hours of debating with myself, I have decided to make my first topic about what means the most to me and what has had the biggest impact on my life, which is our community.
From a young age, we all have been part of a community and at times we gained second parents, grandparents, mentors, and more in the process. When I think of community I think back to bbq days in the summer with water balloons and elders giving us advice to not grow up too fast. Now as an adult I've gained a new sense of respect and love for the community but one thing that never changed is my love for the community. To me and many others reading this, community means not only a place of warm food and laughter but a place where we are truly accepted for who we are. Where we are celebrated for every milestone whether it is the first tooth loss, first graduation, first job, and more. Community is where we can go back to if all else in life fails. Well, joining tech has amplified the meaning and importance of community for me. Not only do I feel like I belong, but unlike our traditional communities, tech communities are people who have been where you are currently or even maybe where you are right now, but either way, they are right by your side every step of the way.
I joined tech in September 2021 and joined a Bootcamp which was a six-month course scheduled to end in April 2022. Fast forward to July 2022, I was still in the Bootcamp with no hope of finishing in sight. This is where I tell my story of the power in the tech community whether you are self-taught, a Bootcamp grad, or a college grad. I joined a Twitter space one day while depressed and ready to give up my journey in tech even though I was two units away from graduating and thousands in debt. This is where I had my first push from the community. I met a queen named Arit in this Twitter space who gave me words of wisdom by sharing her journey with me and letting me know I am not alone in this. Some words she said that stuck with me and pulled me to the light were, "Either way time will pass. 2023 will be here and future Sofia will be there. Do you want her to be proud of you, or do you want her to have regrets?". She also told me she was a message away if I needed anything on my journey. As someone who had been in the dark for months, who quit college and wanted to quit again on what I thought was my way to a new career, her words gave me hope. I went back to school the following week and in September 2022 I graduated from the Bootcamp. Well, the community love and support didn't end there. I met people like a fantastic human named Jonaed who were willing to help me with my resume, interview prep, and even pair programming. These people were taking time from their busy days to share their knowledge and experience with me. Since then I have had the pleasure of gaining long-term friends, mentors, and more in the tech community.
Why am I here sharing this today? Because I want you all to know that no matter what stage you are in your life, a community gives you the strength, support, and courage you need to get to the next chapter of your life. Whether this is professional or personal. No one can do it all by themselves. It's not a coincidence we have quotes like "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King