In the world of skills shortages, tech recruiting of developers via online communities appears to be a promising option. This method allows access to often untapped talent pools in tech and IT, which increases the chances of discovering outstanding developers. However, access remains closed to a number of companies or they do not achieve the desired results. In this article, we will introduce you to various tech communities and show you how you as an employer:in can access and interact in these communities.
Overview of relevant tech communities
We roughly distinguish five types of communities in this article:
- Programming language and framework-related communities
- Communities for specific industries and technology trends
- Local and regional tech communities
- Online platforms and social networks for tech experts
- Educational and research institutions as community hubs
Let us now take a closer look at them.
Programming language and framework-related communities
Communities of programming languages and frameworks are the first places to go to find software developers with specific skills. You can be sure that there is (at least) one community for every programming language and framework. Some examples are the Python Community, Java Community, Kotlin Community, Ruby Community, C++ Community, Vue.js or Reactiflux. Currently popular languages such as Rust, Elixir or Clojure communities are also developing rapidly. Not to forget, of course, the Heise Developer Forum, which is divided into different languages and tech concepts.
Communities for specific industries and technology trends
Industry and technology communities bring together experts to exchange information about the latest trends and developments. Examples are GameDev.net (gaming), Kaggle Community (data science), Salesforce Developers (CRM software), Google Developer (Google technologies) or Microsoft Community Hub (Microsoft technologies).
Local and regional tech communities
Local and regional tech communities provide access to professionals in your area. Xing and LinkedIn are two examples of platforms that offer regional groups and networking opportunities. The Fachinformatiker Forum should also be mentioned here.
Online platforms and social networks for tech professionals
Online platforms and social networks are ideal places to meet and exchange ideas with tech professionals. Some of the best-known platforms are GitHub, GitLab, Stack Overflow and Reddit (here via subreddits like Developer etc.). Other platforms are Hacker News by ycombinator, Hacker Noon, Hashnode, Dev.to, Devpost, Indie-Hacker and SitePoint.
Education and research institutions as community hubs
Organisations like "Women who code" promote education and career development for women in the tech industry and provide a great opportunity to find talented professionals. On this topic, read our article: How to increase your chances of hiring a female software developer. Universities are also an important place to establish relationships with new or young talent.
Universal principles of participation in communities
Despite changing technologies and means of communication, the basic principles by which people act and operate in successful communities have remained largely unchanged over the millennia. One of these principles is give and take: In successful communities, members share their knowledge, experience and resources generously while benefiting from the contributions of others. Another universal rule is the principle of cooperation, where members work together on projects, develop ideas and solve problems.
Respect and tolerance also link the basis for successful communities. Recognising and valuing diversity of opinions, skills and backgrounds leads to an inclusive and supportive environment where all members can grow and thrive. Furthermore, trust is a fundamental element: members of a community rely on the honesty, integrity and reliability of their peers.
In the modern world, the means of communication and interaction in communities have fundamentally transformed. Digital platforms and social media allow people to exchange information regardless of geographical boundaries and time zones. At the same time, expectations of quick responses and availability of information have increased. Despite these changes, however, the fundamental principles of community building and maintenance remain. To succeed in today's connected world, companies and individuals need to recognise and apply these principles to build relationships in an authentic way and achieve their goals in the tech community.
Integration into the tech community as an employer
Active participation in discussions and events
Online forums and social media platforms
In order to be present in the tech community as a company, you should regularly participate in discussions on online forums such as Stack Overflow, Reddit and GitHub. Join relevant discussions, answer questions and share helpful resources. Show that your company has expertise in a field and is willing to share knowledge and experience.
Meetups, workshops and conferences
Attend local or regional meetups and events organised by platforms such as Xing or LinkedIn. Workshops and conferences are also a great opportunity to connect with the tech community. Speak at events, showcase your organisation and present job openings. Your participation in these events will increase your visibility and can lead to valuable contacts.
Building an authentic employer brand
Employer branding in the tech community
An attractive employer image is crucial to attract talent from the tech community. Highlight your company culture, innovative projects and development opportunities. Present yourself on different platforms. Guest posts, interviews or podcasts can highlight your expertise and attract potential candidates.
Transparency and open communication
Establish an open communication culture and show that your company listens to feedback and suggestions from the community. Answer questions on platforms like Stack Overflow or GitLab honestly and transparently. This creates trust and makes your company more interesting for professionals.
Networking and relationship building
Personal contacts and recommendations
Contacts from the tech community are a valuable way to identify potential candidates. Build your network on platforms like LinkedIn or Xing and use personal recommendations. A good network can give you access to talented professionals who would otherwise be hard to find.
Working with influencers and opinion leaders
Work with influencers and opinion leaders from the tech community to strengthen your company brand. For example, you can publish guest posts from experts on your company blog or conduct interviews with industry leaders. This increases your credibility and visibility in the tech community.
Presentation as an attractive employer
Innovative projects and technologies
Show that your company is at the forefront of innovation by talking about your projects and technologies. Share your success stories on platforms like Fachinformatiker, Heise or Reddit.
Development opportunities and corporate culture
Highlight your company's development opportunities and culture. Show how you support the career development of your employees - present your company as a place where talent can grow and flourish.
Inclusion and diversity within the company
Also get involved with inclusion and diversity in the tech community. You can support organisations like Women who code to promote women in the tech industry. An inclusive work environment makes companies attractive to a broader range of talent.
Successful tech recruiting through community engagement
Your effective integration in tech communities is a crucial factor for successful tech recruiting. By actively participating in discussions and events, building an authentic company brand, networking, building relationships and presenting your company as an attractive place to work, you can attract talented professionals. In tech recruiting, consider the different communities that exist in the vastness of the internet and carefully choose which ones you as a company want to make a strong presence in. This will create a solid foundation for long-term success in tech recruiting and the sustainable development of your organisation.