How I Joined A Tech Squad
Since I started my career in tech, I have always wanted to have a side project. Partially because it would sound cool to tell people, partially because I wanted to keep learning and trying new things, and partially because I felt pressure from the tech industry culture to do so in order to succeed. But, doing it alone sounded boooorrriiinnggg (at least, for me). No one said I had to do it alone, but how many people did I really know in tech who I felt comfortable around, who would share my interests, or who was like me? Plus, it felt hard to be motivated to work on creating something that wouldn’t actually be useful to anyone; or if I did decide to make something useful, how could I actually ever build the whole thing myself?
Then one day, I saw a message in a public channel of a slack group I joined for a virtual conference. It says a group of women are looking for a PM to join their project, and it ended with the :nerd_face: emoji. Awesome. I message to hear more about it just out of curiosity. They describe themselves as a “tech squad” and then it hit me! Of course! A tech squad! It’s so obvious :face_palm:. Why didn’t I squad up years ago? Why aren’t tech squads a ‘thing’ already? Regardless, I saw how something I had wanted to do for a long time could actually be made possible, so I joined!
After the first few weeks, I had tried out new things I had always wanted to try, contributed in ways that felt meaningful to me and that I decided, learned from the experiences of these amazing women, explored the many definitions of the ever-changing titles and responsibilities of software roles, and made new friends. I used to think that a side project would take up too much time, be lonely, and never really amount to anything; in my tech squad, I am excited about the time we spend together and what we can accomplish. Bonus: working collaboratively in a group is much more relevant, real-life experience to my actual career. Being around a group of supportive, fun, like-minded people has inspired me to continue to challenge myself and grow.