If someone had told me a year ago that I would have been involved in forming a new community interest company during a global pandemic I probably would have asked them to see a doctor. But, hey ho, here we are!
To say the last year has been a complete rollercoaster is an understatement, however, it’s fair to say as a team we have so much to be grateful for. It’s been amazing to see how any people have rallied around humans of code and what it represents in the tech community with everything that’s been going on.
Back in February when myself and Debi first chatted around the idea of working together and building humans of code, I don’t believe either of us would have envisioned the journey we had ahead of us. The team of two very quickly became a team of four. Within no time at all we were joined by Ben who has been super committed to the cause on top of moving in to his first home and becoming a Dad. Laterally, we were joined by Chris who has also been an absolute superstar and full of ideas and ways in which humans of code can strategically grow.
Our masterplan had been very simple. To create a safe and supportive space for IT professionals to share their coding problems, new tech understanding, career coaching and for anyone needing work or health related help and support. This was to be achieved through monthly meetups with guest speakers, informal mentoring and collaborative coding challenges.
BatGate did, however, change quite a lot of this. Actually, it really changed all of this. Our initial board meetings very quickly moved into video calls and it was clear that we had to rethink some of our strategy to get humans of code off and running. The collaborative group meetups we envisioned were going to be a little…well…tricky. As the pandemic unfolded it also became clear that the key aspects of what was important to our growing community were changing, fast.
Social isolation, job and financial losses, loss of coping mechanisms, reduced access to mental and physical health services. This was just the tip of the iceberg. It would have been very easy for the humans of code team to stop in their tracks and say “Hey, let’s put a pause on this for now and we can try to build humans of code after the pandemic”. Afterall, like many, we were going through these issues also. If anything, as a team we were very much thinking of the reverse. We all agreed that what humans of code offers to the tech community is now more important than ever.
Every board meeting we could see how our followers were growing across all social media channels and we were gaining some great support from organisations who could also see how humans of code could make a difference. We worked as a team to address key topics of importance via blogging on our website spinning of almost 40 highly relevant posts by both members of the team and guest contributors. We also started hosting various webinars with training organisations and tech organisations on some of the key impacts of the pandemic such as coping with job loss and career change, looking after your mental health and many other key topics.
Looking back over the last year all those little baby steps in forming humans of code has started to pay off. From scratching our heads over what our website should look like to raising a virtual glass of beer to receiving our letter of incorporation from companies’ house. 2021 is due to be a very exciting year for the humans of code community with a host of new organisations coming on board to offer their support and expertise and we still very much plan of introducing our physical meetups when its safe and sensible to do so.
As the year draws to an end, we would very much like to thank everyone who has helped us get humans of code off to a flying start. Everyone who joined our slack community. Everyone who took the time to collaborate with us on our blogs and webinars and most importantly, each individual who reached out to us for any help and support that we could offer. As both individuals and a team we are genuinely humbled when someone places trust in us to provide help and support. It might be for career advice or support if you are going through a rough time. Whatever it might be, thank you so much for reaching out to us. For everyone at humans of code this is the very heart of what we what to offer the tech community.
On behalf of myself, Debi, Ben and Chris we wish you all a safe start to 2021 and with any luck next year will make up for lost ground in 2020.
Stay safe, enjoy the rest of the holidays and chat soon