As developers we are, probably, the most fortunate among all professional disciplines in terms of just how many jobs there are out there. Our biggest problem however seems to be the soft skills that are required to navigate the professional and work landscape, events and meetups etc. Adapting to new environments, the ability to engage in small talk in order to navigate through a persons maze that is their outer defence in order to learn what their passions, interests and opinions are. I for one love to sit by my computer and work for hours on end, as long as I enjoy what I’m doing, so I know what it’s like to not feel like engaging with other people.
This feeling however tends to stem from a “false” thought, an anxiety about how much of a hassle it’s going to be, how uncomfortable you’ll be etc. Personally I always thought I was an introvert, not knowing what to say in certain situations, feeling proper anxiety when I want to walk up to someone but I have no idea what to say and fear how the person might react. But engaging in conversations with people from every area of life has had the biggest impact on me as an individual, and on my professional career. It’s about the perspectives you gain from the conversations you have with them, it’s the ability to detach yourself from your own biases and opinions in order to look at subjects, and life in general, from an objective perspective (as objective as it could probably be).
And even though we as developers are spoiled in the sense that there are a lot of jobs out there, it won’t be as easy for you if you don’t have a broad network that can present you with opportunities. Sure you can find a job by searching and applying, but then you run a bigger risk of finding a job where you can’t thrive because of the culture, the management, the co-workers etc. Recommendations are pretty much always (in my experience) better than going out to search on your own, and the better the person knows you, the better the recommendation will be.
My advice for becoming more social is to question your own views and biases, reminding yourself of the perspectives you can gain and create social challenges for yourself to accomplish.