Dev Summit: Growing Your Network

Esri’s 2024 Dev Summit was filled with a plethora of technical sessions and networking opportunities. The social Thursday night was amazing—offering a host of fun activities, including a dodgeball tournament, arcade games, a DJ, food, drinks, and much more! Esri went all out to make sure their users had a great time.

During the conference, I was able to go to the Expo and talk with Esri professionals about issues I was running into. Having someone you can speak to in person, who is an expert in the field, was a game changer for me. They helped answer questions and discuss better workflows for projects. If you have never been to the Esri Dev Summit, I highly recommend going.

One of the most important things about attending conferences like the Dev Summit is networking and forming relationships.

Our company, GEO Jobe, hosted the breakfast social at the beginning of the week.

Networking

Making connections and building relationships is vital to success. Every opportunity I have received in my career was through someone I knew or had met at a conference. Networking is a skill that comprises communication, relationship management, and professionalism. Attending events, such as conferences like the Esri Dev Summit, not only helps you meet people in your line of work but also communicate with others who have a similar interest as you.

Do you know how nice it was to sit at any table and discuss what you do for work and have people understand it? I know some of you know what I am talking about. Having in-depth conversations with Esri and GIS professionals at the Dev Summit was seriously one of the best parts of the conference.

I met some of our clients, partners, and people I have worked with at GEO Jobe (for the past three years) in person! Remote work is great. I would not change it. The benefits of work-life balance are amazing! But there is something about meeting people face-to-face that makes you feel connected.

Pictured in back, from left, is GEO Jobe’s Chief Technology Officer Eric Goforth, CEO David Hansen, and myself. Pictured front, from left, is GEO Jobe’s Project Manager Chelsea Gee and Senior GIS Analyst and Developer with PwC, Ginny Crothers.

Do you need some networking tips? 

Michael Page has a great article called “10 networking tips that will work for anyone.” 

They also have another article I liked called “Top 12 benefits of networking: Why networking is important.” It is a great read, especially if you are building your network.

Relationships

Networking is great at a conference, but if you don’t build a relationship and stay connected after, it’s like getting a plant and not watering it. To build your network, you have to form relationships.

“These relationships include interactions and connections you build with colleagues, peers, and other stakeholders throughout your career.”

(Parsons, 2022)

One of the best social media platforms for networking is LinkedIn. It is a great professional social media platform that you can leverage to keep up with people you have met or who are in your network. I’m connected with people I have graduated college with, met at conferences, known through someone, etc. LinkedIn helps me stay connected to my personal and professional network.

How do you form relationships? You do it by being yourself and going to events. One of my favorite memories at Dev Summit this year was going to eat with people I work with. We shared stories about our families, kids, experiences we had in college, trips, etc.

During these conversations, we laughed a lot and shared pictures of our lives. Having personal conversations and getting to know everyone was a lot of fun. Some of the best connections I have made in my career with colleagues, peers, or clients were over a meal. Call me a foodie, but I have some great memories from all parts of my life by sharing a meal with some great people!

Harvard has a great article on “How to Build Business Relationships” that you may like to read.

A snapshot from one of the aforementioned meals with colleagues and friends.

The Take Away

The person is the most important part! The reason my company is so special is they look at the person, not your title, qualifications, or all that you have accomplished. Yes, we are a consulting company, but who we work with is very important to us. When we work with our clients, our philosophy is to support the person and then solve the problem. The person always comes first!

At the end of the day, we are all just humans trying to make it through life. Whether you are trying to better yourself, advance in your career, or make it through the day, we are all just humans. The best advice ever given to me was to be yourself and be kind to others. If you can be a good person, then relationships will come naturally and you will build your network.

My best growth has been to take opportunities that come up and always stay just outside my comfort zone. You will grow so much as a person! 


About GEO Jobe

GEO Jobe is a leading GIS software and geospatial solutions provider, serving over 10,000 organizations globally. GEO Jobe is best known for developing the most popular applications in the ArcGIS Marketplace, including Admin Tools for ArcGISBackup My OrgClean My Org and Scheduler for ArcGIS.

GEO Jobe offers U.S.-based 24/7 Support solutions for organizations using Esri’s ArcGIS© System. GEO Jobe also offers professional services focused on Esri’s ArcGIS© System, including custom software development, enterprise solution implementation, data science and UAV data collection.

Founded in 1999, GEO Jobe is in its 25th year of operation, has been an Esri business partner since 2002 and is currently a Platinum Partner.

To connect with us directly, email us at connect@geo-jobe.com

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Deputy Director of GIS Services

Randee is part of our Enterprise team and loves to help our clients! Randee configures Esri’s out-of-the-box applications such as Experience Builder, Web App Builder, Story Maps, Survey123, Field Maps, Operations Dashboard, and so much more. During her free time, she enjoys spending it with her kids and family.