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How to get involved in the Swift community

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

What would you advise to someone who wanted to get started being involved in the Swift community?

Paola Mata: So there are multiple ways. I think if you're somebody who really wants to contribute to open source projects, that's one way to probably get to know different people, even start working with them a bit. But I think I have taken the route of being more involved in the community specifically in person with organizing several meetups. Even before I started in tech actually I started organizing communities. I've tried different things to see what sticks, what I like the most.

"Maybe the more technical talk events could be less intimidating because you're all learning something you don't know. And it's a good opportunity to talk about whatever was presented."

I've given talks at meetups, I've given talks at conferences. I think it can be pretty intimidating if it's something you haven't done before. But even just like showing up to a more casual event. Sometimes there are more networking based events versus very technical talks. But maybe the more technical talk events could be less intimidating because you're all learning something you don't know. And it's a good opportunity to talk about whatever was presented. It makes it a little bit easier.

And there is some time for pizza and whatever folks have at meetup events. So there's a few different avenues you can take. I definitely recommend getting involved in the community either way. Another thing that has really worked for me, if you're more of a social media person. I got to know so many people just using Twitter. So many people that I then went to Dub Dub and met them in person. And it was like, we were instant friends. So it's really great. Because you get to share not just Swift questions, but also get a little insight into their personal lives. It's nice to actually feel like you're not talking to a bot. But you're talking to a human who also struggles sometimes and who has like, you can celebrate their accomplishments as well.

Paul Hudson: And you've been to a variety of events because you've obviously been to Dub Dub and you've been to try! Swift. You've run your own meetup, you still do Women in iOS, I guess temporarily because of the pandemic but.

Paola Mata: We are not paused. We actually had I think at least two events since the pandemic or shutdown, whatever. We just had them on Zoom. So Women in iOS, it came out of another larger iOS in New York called... Oh, my God, I'm going blank.

"I still get nervous, but it was a little bit easier starting out to go to these smaller meetups where I felt a little bit safer."

Paul Hudson: I know what it is, but I don't know how to say it. How do you actually say it?

Paola Mata: I say iOSoho.

Paul Hudson: iOSoho okay. I always thought it's iOS Soho or something. I don't know what it actually is. So I'm glad you said it first. There we go.

Paola Mata: It's interesting because even the organizers will sometimes say it differently. But I did iOSoho in the neighborhood and it used to be based in Soho the event before it moved to a different space. So that's why it was called iOSoho. And it does sound a little weird.

Paul Hudson: Do you find the benefits to you were different going to those two different events, one more focused on women and one open to everyone?

Paola Mata: I didn't always feel super confident being able to speak, especially on the technical topic. Because I would give a lot of talks about my background and how to get into tech, which I knew about. Or how to be a woman in tech. I don't do those as much anymore. So now I feel a little bit more confident giving technical talks. So they require a lot of preparation. I still get nervous, but it was a little bit easier starting out to go to these smaller meetups where I felt a little bit safer. The Women in iOS meetup used to also allow anyone to attend. But in general it was a bit smaller.

It was just like all the presenters were women. So I gave a few talks at that event, which was at that meetup. Which was maybe at most like 75 people versus the iOSoho meetup, which was more than twice that amount sometimes. So yeah, it's intimidating and I think we had a lot more juniors in the group. So I felt like I was sharing my knowledge as opposed to having to really impress very, very senior folks. And also the community. It's one of those things that you don't realize you need it until you have it. In this case, having other women who have similar experience. You really appreciate it once you're there.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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