It’s true that putting yourself out there and networking with others in groups dedicated to seemingly tough topics like type-theory, or machine-learning can be intimidating. But there’s nothing to fear and we’re all keen to support you!
I recently spoke to someone who had seen some of the meetups that Silverpond hosted wanted to attend, but didn’t do so because they were worried about being seen as not contributing. This is a common perspective, but is unnecessarily cautious.
Contribution doesn’t have to be defined in terms of technical sophistication or “thought leadership”. There are many different ways to contribute to a group. Simply by bringing along your struggles and frustrations, and also your insights and epiphanies, you are contributing and informing the technical and social direction of the community and ecosystem that you are engaging with.
In a friendly environment, wildly exotic new concepts can be extremely fun. It’s a real treat having your mind blown. Also, it may be counter-intuitive, but the most profound surprises often come from lateral directions. You can make these surprises happen just by being there!