If you show up to a startup and say “I’m happy to help”, one of two things will happen:
They will either have something specific in mind that they need done that you don’t do, in which case you will have to say “oh, sorry, I don’t do that” and they will turn you away.
Or, they will be so overwhelmed they will turn you away rather than try to come up with something for you to do and have someone babysit you while doing it.
Instead, you should research the company you want to work with, find something that you can do for them that can make a positive impact, and then make an appointment with the person in the company who is responsible for that thing. (It may be the CEO, it may not be.)
One extremely important piece of a company early on that engineers overlook is tech support/QA.
It isn’t glamorous, but if you have the personality to converse with people, you can make a huge impact internally and externally.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-get-a-job-in-a-startup-as-a-volunteer
Originally Posted On: 2015-07-09