Personal Branding for Developers with Timirah James

Talks at Andela held its third session on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, with Cloudinary Developer Advocate Timirah James as the guest speaker. It was the first time we would make the sessions open to developers and other attendees outside of Andela. After successfully organizing two previous sessions, it felt more fitting to open up the sessions to the wider public. This post contains points and lessons from the session. The recorded video is also posted at the end of the post."Personal branding for developers in this day and time is so important. It's so vital for the modern day developer to standout and create additional value around themselves," says Timirah. According to, a personal brand is a unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you as. It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behaviour, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.

Why Do Developers Need a Personal Brand?

Despite the huge demand for software developers and the talk around the huge number of unfilled positions, Timirah argues that the developer communities around the world are supersaturated, especially around popular frameworks and technologies. It is a highly competitive field. Achieving success as a software developer - especially when interviewing for a role - takes a combination of skill, experience, and personality, as well as how well you tell your story, and how it reflects what you do.A successful personal brand should help people be able to align your

  1. Skillset
  2. Purpose
  3. Journey

Building a personal brand is like branding a product. The moment people see your name, they should immediately be able to know your skill, purpose and your journey.

Advantages of Building a Personal Brand

  1. Value: Your value is unique to you, regardless of your career journey and collaborations. It helps you stand out.
  2. Community Support: Building a personal brand allows people to offer you support, or collaborate with you in the areas they know your personal brand is about. People will support based on what they know your journey and perspective is.
  3. Influence: A good personal brand affords you the opportunity to be a voice in your area of expertise and in the community that you're involved in.

Tips on Building a Personal Brand

Timirah outlines a 5-step process of building a successful personal brand:

  1. Network
  2. Join and/or build communities
  3. Share your work
  4. Create content
  5. Create a signature
  6. Stay consistent

Additionally, Timirah insists that anyone can build a personal brand - even introverts. The industry is filled with a lot of introverted people, and networking doesn't come easily to such people. She advises that introverted people can use the internet to their advantage, by creating content, sharing and engaging with other people online. That's how you get started."Building a personal brand is not about being perfect but about being authentic." - Timirah James.You can watch the entire recorded session below: case you missed them, see links to the previous Talks at Andela:

  1. Getting Unstuck With Subbu Allamaraju, VP @ Expedia
  2. Improving your developer workflow with GitHub Apps - Brian Douglas

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