3 ways local developer communities are staying connected virtually

MAY 27, 2020
Posted by Jennifer Kohl, Google Developers

As the world continues to embrace remote opportunities, Google Developer Group (GDG) and Developer Student Club (DSC) communities have been working hard to support each other virtually – complete with online technical education and remote spaces to build local community connections. In particular, community groups in Sweden, Singapore, and throughout MENA have been creating resources to help developers find online employment, education, and engagement opportunities. Curious to find out more? Keep reading below.

1. Employment - Sweden

Community members from Google Developer Group West Sweden recently rolled up their sleeves to do what they do best: hack. From April 6th – 8th, the community worked with the Swedish Government to create “Hack the Crisis,” a virtual community event focused on designing, testing, and executing ideas in response to recent challenges.

The event included several project pitches and a group of judges to select winning proposals. One of the finalists, Remote + Gigs on Platsbanken, developed a plan to modernize the Swedish Government’s employment website in an effort to save business.

Specifically, the idea suggests updating the website’s interface so that job seekers can be easily matched with compatible remote work based on their preferences. A creative way to safely bring work to both people and businesses in need.

2. Education - Singapore

(On the left is the Singapore University of Technology and Design. On the right is a virtual model of the campus.)

Recently, a Google Developer Student Club at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) built a virtual model of their college to host tours that were canceled in person. Specifically, the team of 40+ student developers came together to construct the model on Minecraft, creating an experience that allows visitors to freely and interactively explore the campus – just like they would in person.

The team also used their knowledge of DialogFlow to build a tour guide chatbot that answers questions from the virtual visitors.

The university has loved the virtual campus. On the first day it opened, roughly 200 visitors joined tours and over 1,000 users came to interact with the site.

3. Engagement - Middle East & North Africa

Recently, 200+ developer communities, 100 local experts, and 10+ Google Developer Experts have come together to host MENA Digital Days – a 32 week series of live video workshops providing various training on everything from working from home to leadership to coding.

The series, which started at the end of March and will continue until the end of October, engages viewers with its live workshop style format and is published on a daily and weekly basis. With a unique theme each week, the series aims to provide learning opportunities for developers, women, students, and startups.

With such a broad range of participants from all over the world, MENA Digital Days is currently taking place in three languages: Arabic, French, and English. Catch up any time on past videos on the YouTube playlist or join a live workshop to get involved.

Community matters more than ever, so it’s impressive to see so many groups adapt so quickly to being digital-first. If you’re inspired by these stories, learn more about local developer communities hosting virtual events near you here.