A long time ago, I had a discussion with a PhD candidate. He was honest and always shares his experience about his academic life. One of several things he has mentioned is the importance of building some connections for the sake of publications. Unfortunately, he did not elaborate about how one can build this skill. I would like to pursue my PhD, and before doing so, I need to publish some papers, at least as a second or third author, until I know how the process of publications works.
When I was conducting my Master, which would have been the perfect time to publish, my supervisor was extremely hard to deal with when it came to publications. He doesn't believe in publications for the sake of it; rather he only publishes new and extremely fancy ideas, if there any, or he enhances some approaches but these enhancements also must be invaluable. I've read several papers from big names in the same field with simple yet effective ideas. This is not only me complaining about this issue, but all his students do so. Honestly, my supervisor is friendly, respectful, and has a PhD in engineering with extremely strong background in mathematics. He is extremely careful about his reputation. For example, he conducts his own publications without sharing or at least telling his students about that. I can understand that but as a grad student, I think I have a right to know how publications are done. Unfortunately, this kind of experience is hard to pick up from books.
So my question:
How do people conduct, share and publish their ideas based on connections they build off-campus?