Hello everyone! I’m Shubham Upadhyay, Hackathon Community Manager at MLH in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Let me give a quick introduction about myself and take you through my roller-coaster journey starting from college to working at MLH.

Shubham!I graduated from SRM University in May 2020 with a specialization in Computer Science. Like most other graduates in India, I was really unsure about what to do, but since Computer Science was something that was really popular, I went ahead with it. Who knew I’d be in for a treat?

But to be honest, I was still unsure about what to do next. Ever since  I attended my first hackathon, which was organized by the Google Developer Group in Chennai, I got a knack for hackathons and started loving to contribute towards supporting Open Source projects.  

With that, I started my community contribution with Mozilla Foundation on their Internet Health initiative where we were teaching about the digital footprints that we leave on the internet. This is how I began the footwork in building developer communities. While I was in university, I also joined a couple of other developer communities like….I also started organizing hackathons & meetups at my university and in the region. If there’s anything that I learned about developer communities in those days, it was because of being a part of these organizations and working with fellow community members. 

College life went great, but later down the line, I realized and asked myself, what am I going to do after these 4 years of college? Just when I was exploring various domains, I met this person who was my college senior. Thanks to him, he was the one who introduced me to community manager & developer relations as a career option. We really got along and talked about the different aspects of hackathons and their community culture. Sharing a great bond and similar thoughts, we decided to work together and organize India’s first open-source hackathon and developer relations conference — Hackference India.

There I was, taking my next step into professional developer communities. While doing so, I got a lot closer to community building and understood the business aspects of building a community, while also impacting the cultural and marketing aspects of their organizations.

Eureka! Within no time, I had figured out all of what I wanted to do once I stepped out of college. 

You got it right!

Devengers Meetup in KochiAfter I graduated I was sure about pursuing a role in Developer Community Management. I packed my bags, moved to Bangalore, and started my journey with Skillenza as a Program Manager. It was a great start with an amazing opportunity to work with different organizations like Microsoft, AWS, Snapchat, and Automation Anywhere running their hackathons and developer programs. How was I involved with them? Well, that is the beauty of building communities; You meet people from different places with a specific goal, where we all wanted to create an impact in the developer ecosystem. I did this by closely working with their DevRel teams. I facilitated around 30 meetups and 10 Hackathons in different cities around India for these organizations. This helped me to develop a deeper understanding of the different aspects of the developer communities in different regions around India.

Later, I moved on from Skillenza to Nanoheal where I had a short stint of being involved with the Community and Marketing teams. Things were going great! What else would I ask for?

But guess what?

I found out from one of my friends that MLH was hiring for a hackathon community manager in the APAC region. I could not miss this opportunity!

I was super excited about it! Being associated with communities and having organized multiple hackathons in the past, I have always admired MLH. And BINGO! Now that my dream has become a reality, I am honored to be a part of this rocket ship.

If you’re interested in discussing developer communities, career options or even need some guidance, hit me up at shubham@mlh.io or DM on Twitter @iamshubhamu. Happy hacking!