Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rock-It at Work - Start a Group

At Brazen Careerist where I work we’re having a series of posts by Brazen employees with tips about how they got ahead in their careers. My post about starting a group was just posted today. Check it out. #

Name: Andrew Shell #

Age: 29 #

So what do you do at Brazen? #

I’m one of the software engineers. I build the site. #

What did you do before Brazen? #

I worked for PBworks (formerly PBwiki). #

Tell us something unique about you. #

Just one thing? Hehe. The only two times I’ve been to L.A. have been related to Pee-Wee Herman. The first time was to see E.G. Daily’s (Dottie in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure) one-woman autobiographical musical ���Listen Closely” and the second time was to see the Pee-Wee Herman Show. Plus I share the same birthday (Aug. 27) with Paul Reubens (AKA Pee-Wee Herman). #

What is one thing that has helped you advance in your career? #

Starting a group. We all know it is good to network. Well it���s even better to lead a group because then you are automatically viewed as an expert. When I first started out doing PHP development I discovered that not only was there no PHP group in Madison, but a whole bunch of developers wanted one. So I started the group on Meetup and had over 20 people show up at the first meetup. #

At the beginning the group was mostly novices, so I presented on a variety of advanced topics, which forced me to learn the material inside and out. So even though I wasn’t an expert when I started the group it didn’t take very long before I was. The other benefit is if the group is directly about or related to your industry you’ll start getting contacted by anyone who wants to hire someone related to your group. I got first crack at all the PHP jobs happening in Madison and if I wasn’t interested I could hook up my friends. Almost every one of my jobs I’ve gotten directly because I was the organizer of the Madison PHP Group. #

Published by Andrew Shell on and last updated .