The Indian developer ecosystem has seen a lot of progress in the last few years, mostly thanks to a very active group of community leaders across various cities in the country. These community leads took it upon themselves to volunteer their valuable time to organize frequent meetups that can help people in their respective cities learn various technologies, which they couldn't do easily through any other medium. These community leaders are driven by passion and altruism, to help others learn and help grow the larger ecosystem for various technologies, they are not driven by money the way a for-profit Educational institute is.
I personally believe that Developer Communities in India are the only source of learning left in this country right now that's genuinely driven by the desire of helping people learn. And that's the reason why, the culture that a developer community establishes is one of the most pure and authentic learning culture you can find across the country. In a developer community, every member wants to help every other member and also receive help themselves to improve their learning and progress in their career.
However, there is one unaddressed problem with our developer ecosystem, and naturally any community, which we all have been facing that I would like to address. This is something we have been and are dealing with ourselves, and can assume that every other developer community has also had to deal with this problem to some degree. I am talking about the problem of not having enough Community Leaders in the ecosystem, or not having enough people who can replace you when you have to move on with your own life and cannot continue contributing to build and manage the community.
Community Management is not a easy job. Beyond the basic tasks of creating meetup pages and filling out all the details, a good community manager will have to talk to people, truly interact with them, understand their needs, you have to find venues and speakers for each meetup, you have to have a good understanding of the domain yourself to know what topics to organize a meetup on. You have to have the skills of not just a manager but also a Educator, to make sure that the members of your community are actually learning. And depending on how big your community is, the work can be really overwhelming!
But on the other hand, in my view, volunteering to be a community manager is a great way to learn those skills as well, as long as the stakes are kept low enough. You get to develop your people skills, by actually talking to people. You get to learn how to organize activities, events of various kinds that leaves people with memorable experiences and satisfaction of learning something. You get to develop stronger social skills and a higher emotional intelligence over all.
This is great for young recently passing out college graduates, coming out of the million Engineering colleges across India, who don't just want to do a regular 9-5 desk job, but want something more from life. They want to interact with people, learn about them, help them, do something more meaningful with their life!
The modern software world needs, no is hungry for, managers who actually understand developers; who have good social and emotional intelligence. These are the people who excel the best and put any software company in a upwards trajectory. Don't believe us? Read about Google's Project Oxygen. But alas, there are no programs that can teach you this type of management. The people who have it, usually develop it naturally by themselves.
But that doesn't have to necessarily be the case. So this is our idea, connecting the problem of having insufficient community managers in the Indian developer ecosystem with the need for highly skilled team leads and project managers by the software industry.
We are going to do this through our Community Management Fellowship Program. Anyone who is interested to learn these skills, who is passionate about tech or any tool or technology and who also wants to volunteer their time to help people learn and progress in their career, can apply to become a fellow with us and we will either assign them to manage a sub-developer community under Coderplex, or we will help them setup a new developer community on a topic they are passionate about.
The fellows will be working with us for a minimum of 3 months, and they can extend their fellowship if they like. Each month, their task will be simply to organize at least one meetup for that community, and to also engage with that community online. At the end of their fellowship, we will be providing them a certification to validate their contribution and experience.
Each fellow will receive all the support they need, including being directly mentored by us on how to build a active community.
If you are interested to be a fellow, apply here : http://bit.ly/cpx-cmfp
But that is not all! If anyone is eligible, i.e if they are working as a fellow with us but do not have any other source of income, then we want to provide a reasonable stipend to that fellow for their contributions as well. And that is where you, our dear reader, comes in. We are doing a Crowdfunding Campaign to raise funds for this initiative, that will directly go towards paying the stipend for those fellows in need.
If you would like to support this initiative, then you can make a contribution here : https://donate.coderplex.org/crowdfund/fellowship-program
Remember, it's not how much you contribute, it's the act of contributing that matters. No amount is too less :)