▲ ▼ New skills from short projects for organizations
Hi all, since some weeks ago I have been diving in a new industry and learning new skills/knowledge. I have been creating small projects to showcase these skills. In the near future I would like to create a startup in the industry I am diving into. Before doing that, it would be great to have experience with organizations where I could help with my new skills/knowledge. In my view this would be a win-win. I would get to gain experience and use my new skills (before getting paid gigs and to build a portfolio), while organizations can benefit from the help in an area where they lack experience or time for.
Think about it as a very short project based internship. For a day-week max. For example, a small organization who wants help with their website and could use even basic knowledge of web development. You as a starting web developer or student, could help for two days In which organizations can benefit from someone helping them with their social media usage or web development.
Do you know of such platform? I would definitely be interested in trying it.
As a former software architect and manager of software development teams, the danger here is that so much "new skills" work needs to be re-worked. It's the re-work that gets expensive for big organizations. Worse, every big org I worked for had tons of people already working for them trying to make a break into IT - imagine the proverbial kid in the mailroom who just finished his college degree or some certification program and wants to work in IT now that he has training. Plus, we tend not to learn from doing - we learn from getting feedback on what we did. Giving that feedback means that, by definition, your "new skills" work costs the time of someone to give feedback, and then potentially re-do the work you just did. When training up an employee to stay with the company, this is a good investment. But if you aren't sticking around, why should I invest in you?
That being said, if you are in the US, check out https://givecamp.org/. It's exactly what you suggest - people doing work for small non-profits for free. I helped set up a chapter. But the trick is we always built teams of people - some senior, some junior - so the non-profit got something that was good. I'll also second another comment - learn about GitHub and FOSS.
Maybe a partial solution could be to search for projects on github.com having open issues, and to comment on those issues, asking if you can work on them.
I guess that would probably require that the issues are tagged in some way as good for individuals unfamiliar with the project, and also that it's easy to search problems by their required skillset
Hi jeff, that is an interesting way of searching issues and solutions. I am not familiar with using Github, but will definitely have a look at it. Thanks for the suggestion.
I can understand as what value someone who wants to learn new skills by doing things will gain by doing small projects for organizations, but we need to discuss upon what an organization stands to gain from this instead of hosting their project on a hackathon site? Apart from managing the event, a hackathon site ensures identifying best talent from the lot.
Hi Yogesh, interesting point you made there. What I was thinking was that the hackathon requires more time and effort to organize. For example you are looking to have some improvements on your website or launching a marketing campaign, which can be done in 2-3 days. And you could just get one person's help for that. But curious to hear if you think small projects can also be done through hackathons. I don't have much experience with them.
Hackathon organizing companies generally take care of most things, but companies which conduct hackathons through them are usually large or well funded. Perhaps there is a need gap for something which brings together small startups which cannot afford a hackathon and those who not wish to compete in a hackathon but want to hone in their skills.
But delivering both what they want and also making a business out of it would be crucial.
Was also thinking the same way. Prolly more of a need gap for small organizations or non-profits, who do not have the time or money to organize hackathons. Thanks a lot for the contribution Yogesh!