Harnessing Your Network: A Guide for Java Developers

by Sheila Mulholland
October 03, 2023
Java Developers Networking - PTechPartners

What are your most important assets, as a Java developer? Your work’s codebase, that’s an important item. Your IDE, if you use one, is definitely important too. Various standardized libraries, plugins, QA tools, emacs, or vim (don’t make us pick a side, we know better than that) – all of those things are mission-critical kits.

What about your mind? Going bigger, what about the minds of everyone you know, all of your collective professional programming experience, and that of your community?  

We think that your network is the biggest and best asset you’ve got. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to benefit from the wisdom that surrounds you.   

Quick Navigation:  

  1. Personal Sites 
  2. Forums
  3. Virtual Events
  4. Industry Events
  5. Other Events


Networking Online: Personal Sites and Social Media 

We’ll start with some ways to foster connections with other developers in the time-honored tech tradition – that is to say, online. Chances are good that, if you’re a developer, you’re used to interfacing with your manager, team, and other co-workers primarily online, but there are a lot more places you can make a splash than just at work! If you’re stumped, we can break down the problem further: Where, specifically, should you focus your efforts, and how should you show up when you do?  

Arguably, 99% of up-and-coming developers who will read this in 2023 or later need to establish personal websites and “own” their online identities as much as is feasible. While you absolutely can do very complex things with your website (and many, many developers do, as it is a fantastic showcase of your skills, particularly if you’re full-stack or aiming to create web apps), it can also be minimalist, serving as a place to host your resume that searchers and prospective employers can be assured is 100% “you”.  

It can also be highly beneficial, if you know that you will stick with the habit, to start and host a professional blog on your website – this will highlight your commitment to leveling up your skills whenever possible, and it’s also an excellent source of anecdotes and conversation starters to leverage in interviews. If that’s not feasible, consider adding links to a social media profile or two; around 70% of employers believe companies should screen social media during the hiring process, so having a work-appropriate profile ready to go can go a long way in winning their trust. 

[RELATED: How to Build a Successful Career in IT.] 


Networking Online: Forums  

You might already be familiar with programming professional and hobbyist-level forums; if you’re not, you’re about to find some of your new favorite online destinations. These forums are great places to check out and start establishing a presence (which can include links to your website, of course). And they’re not just for the networking oriented: One of the most famous examples, StackExchange, is renowned for the userbase’s capability to help resolve even the thorniest programming challenges – provided you ask politely and don’t want to be spoon-fed the basics (they don’t do that there).

Of course, it’s not the only forum, just the best known. You might prefer a different vibe; a few of the other tech/coding-focused forums you might want to check out include:  

  • Dev.to 
  • CodeRanch  
  • Hashnode 
  • Reddit  
  • Quora  


When reaching out to others on these forums, be sure that you are polite, your contributions are plentiful, and that, when you ask questions, you provide sufficient detail to assist in answering and you do not waste anyone else’s time. 


Networking Online: Virtual Events  

Virtual events got big during the pandemic, and due to the ease and convenience of connecting with the larger tech community from wherever we all may be in the world, they’re here to stay. It’s also super-easy to grow your network with virtual events, although you’ll need to be diligent about your follow-through. 

Once you’ve got your seat booked, share with your network that you’re attending! Use those social media profiles and that blog, if you made one! You might discover that you know more people who are going – bam, instant entourage. Using the event’s branded hashtag in your posts can help you get connected with other people who are attending or who work in the space, so make sure you include it when referencing the event.  

Some conferences host pre- and post-event discussions or chats, and these things can get largely slept on, which is unfortunate because posting in those spaces can be an incredibly smart strategy. As the team of virtual event experts at BigMarker explains, “If you “break the ice” with a few people before the big day, you’ll be able to enter event-day networking with a more informed plan and even a few pre-establish contacts.”

Finish strong by setting a calendar reminder to follow up, no later than 48 hours after the event, via email or LinkedIn messenger.

[RELATED: Conquer communication anxiety at work.] 


Networking IRL: Industry Events 

What about networking in the real world? Despite recent pandemic-related logistical challenges to assembling in person, going to industry events is now both fun and valuable, if you do it the right way.

Getting started talking to people can be a challenge even for the most extroverted of tech experts. Prepare for it ahead of time by planning some low-stakes, low-stress talking points to break the ice; don’t go in with a dated influencer-style spiel or try to show off, your goal is to get people talking! (Remember, these are low-stakes topics.)  

Another excellent tactic for connecting IRL is to ask people questions about themselves and practice active listening when they reply. “Forget what your agenda is, what your pitch is,” Career transition coach John Tarnoff instructs. “Don’t worry: you’ll get your chance to explain yourself and what you do and what you’re looking for. For now, concentrate on what they’re saying. Make this an active process. Look them in the eye. Focus on their words. Make this a moment of zen-like concentration.” People who feel fully heard and understood are more likely to think well of you and continue the connection.  


Networking IRL: Other Events  

What do we mean by “other events”? Simply put, cast a slightly wider net than you might have been – look for events in the technology space, not necessarily directly related to Java development, but events where you and your skills can stand out. Thanks to Java’s longevity as a programming language, there are many spaces where it is useful to know at least a tad of Java just as a function of how everything’s put together, and these are the places to look.  

As Sandy Jones-Kaminski, author of our favorite personal networking how-to tome (I’m at a Networking Event — Now What??? A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event) says, “I also encourage people to go into environments where you’re not one of many. Go into an environment where you stand out a little bit more. Maybe your skills are unique to the group.”  


Wrapping Up 

To sum up, when it comes to networking as a Java developer, there are plentiful chances to get out and make an impact, adding value to the ongoing discussion. Whether you choose to build up your online persona and social media presence, offer help and advice through forum posts, attend virtual events, or tackle networking live and in person, a bit of preparation will help ensure you always feel comfortable anywhere you nurture your newfound connections.  

26+ Years in IT Placements & Staffing Solutions


1030 W Higgins Rd, Suite 230
Park Ridge, IL 60068


222 West Las Colinas Blvd.,
Suite 1650, Irving, Texas, 75039



Work with us
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
*By submitting this form you agree to receiving marketing & services related communication via email, phone, text messages or WhatsApp. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions for more details.

Subscribe to the PTP Report

Be notified when new articles are published. Receive IT industry insights, recruitment trends, and leadership perspectives directly in your inbox.  

By submitting this form you agree to receiving Marketing & services related communication via email, phone, text messages or WhatsApp. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions for more details.

Unlock our expertise

If you're looking for a partner to help build talent management solutions, get in touch!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
*By submitting this form you agree to receiving marketing & services related communication via email, phone, text messages or WhatsApp. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions for more details.
Global Popup