Why Networking is Critical

With my new gig as an Application Developer, I started back into technology podcasts. I’m not sure how I came across MSDevShow, but I did notice that Lori Lalonde, the wizard of mobile development in Microsoft-land, was in an episode and decided “Why not?”.

After the episode I tweeted them my approval for the episode, Lori (who’ve I’ve met in real life) tweeted back, and I thought that was that….then I listened to the News-a-Palooza episode

Bam! They give me a shoutout on the episode at 2:15! That was an awesome and unexpected surprise, but it made me realize how important it is to reach out and have conversations, even if they are 155 characters or less.

It’s Not Just What You Know…

It’s also who you know.

As cliché as that saying is, I really do believe it. A long time ago, in a casino bar far, far, away another Microsoft MVP told me: “You’re only as good as your network you bring to the table. You’re not going to know everything. But if you know people that know the other stuff, you’re still the hero.”

I’m paraphasing, but you get the idea.

This shout out from the MSDevShow got me thinking about my nework, and how critical it has been over the years. Technically speaking, I’m now an Enterprise Java Application Developer, with a pinch of HTML and JavaScript. It sounds like a marjor left turn, but because I’ve been able to learn quickly and get advice through my network, it’s been a successful transition.

It’s Not Just Who You Know…

Although the network as been critical, I think it’s fair to say that I give back to my network with my own knowledge. The network is a two-way conversation, and you need to bring something to the table to have some credibility.

Ultimately, If I didn’t have the development skills to give back to the network, then I would probably lose my credibility and ultimately lose the network, and this new gig wouldn’t have been an option.

The Point

The cliché of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is partially true. Rather it’s more “It’s not what you know and who you know”.

If you are looking to make a move, realize that building and keeping a professional network of other like-minded individuals is just as important as being great a what you do.

Thanks for playing. ~ DW


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