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My 10 steps to tech community contributions

My 10 steps to tech community contributions

Over a period of 2 years, Lars went from internal knowledge sharing to managing tech publications, being an open source software maintainer and becoming a Microsoft MVP. Get inspired by his journey and get his best tips.

Presented at:
- GDG Minsk Web, January 2021: https://youtu.be/B1iP-2_KkC4
- Systemate InspiredBy CodeTalk (private), November 2021

Lars Gyrup Brink Nielsen

January 21, 2021

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  1. Written internal knowledge sharing • Shared libraries and tooling •

    Onboarding • System and project architecture • Recipes • Inspiration
  2. Person-to-person internal knowledgesharing • Hackathons • Internal tech talks and

    workshops • Mentoring • Pair programming • Code review
  3. Tips for speaking at meetups • Practice, practice, practice. •

    Remove unnecessary content. • Speak the words out loud when rehearsing. • Engage with your audience. • Don’t feel bad. It feels a lot worse than it is 🙂
  4. Tips for writing tech articles • Write in a natural

    language voice. • Focus on one core topic per article. • Avoid abbreviations for a world-wide audience. • Find your niche. • Get a mentor. • Stop listing code as images in articles.
  5. My 3 main ingredients for tech writing • Explain the

    theory and concepts on an abstract level. • Use simple, but realistic code examples. • Visualize the concepts.
  6. Tips for contributing to open source software • Documentation contributions

    is a great place to start. • Focus on a few projects. • Don’t waste your time on complicated development environments.
  7. Tips for speaking at conferences • Time your rehearsals. •

    Export your slideshow as a PDF. • Store your presentation on a USB stick. • Visit the speakers room and speakers events.
  8. Pro tips for writing tech articles • No fluff! Add

    value, not volume. • Get straight to the point. • Make longer articles easy to scan. • Consider splitting longreads into individual articles to make them easier to finish and reference. • Include your own perspective and experience to add unique value. • Finish strong.
  9. The Microsoft MVP Award process 1. Make community contributions. 2.

    Get nominated by a Microsoft MVP or Microsoft employee. 3. Submit your community contributions. 4. You are compared to MVPs and nominees from the same region and product category. 5. Receive the Microsoft MVP Award. 6. Your contributions are reset at July 1st. 7. Go to 1, but skip 2.
  10. Tips for authoring a book • It takes a lot

    of time. • Publishers can take care of review, design, distribution, marketing, and more. • Publishers want a detailed outline and an estimated schedule. • Don’t do it to get rich. • It takes a lot of time.
  11. Tips for maintaning open source software • Find a project

    that you like or start your own. • Find a team that you like. • Write documentation. • Encourage and support contributions and feedback. • There’s a difference between open source software and openness in software.