Hello friends 👋🏼,
I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend.
They have been wondering why lately many developers encourage others to put themselves out there.
Not everyone can write blogs or create video content or talk on podcast.
Not everyone is extrovert.
That's why there are technical writers, marketers, podcast announcers, etc.
Why developers are expected to do these things?
I personally started to write because I initially wrote for myself as my notes and I love to write. I started to learn in public because I want to keep myself accountable and help other people.
Without realizing, I put myself out there.
Writing has been a joy for me. I like to share my experiences. I challenge myself if I understand about a topic by writing, and gain more knowledge through researching the topic.
I've crossed path with many great developers through learning in public. And I'm very happy if I know that I can support and motivate someone through what I do.
But again, maybe this is not for everyone 🤷🏻♀️.
Out of my curiosity, what's your opinion about it?
Should developers put themselves out there and why?
I would love to hear some thoughts 😊
Top comments (34)
I try to steer clear of generalizations but instead want to think about consequences. Putting yourself out there comes with a cost; as does not "putting yourself out there".
Putting yourself out there takes time and energy; you need to assess if you have that to spare. Being "out there" is perhaps a form of teaching; which is a great way to learn a subject; it's the process of synthesis and restating that helps cement the learning.
By not putting yourself out there, you may be conserving time and energy. But you may be less visible for future opportunities. Further, you may be closing one channel for synthesizing and learning, so my hope is you have a game plan.
I leave two aphorisms that are contradictory:
There is no right answer.
That's interesting, Jeremy!
But you're right. There is no right answer.
Sometimes pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone would do no harm I guess.
We can always pivot if it's not for us :)
Your circle of comfort is never static, it is either growing or contracting. And to grow that space is done by being open to and acting on new opportunities.
I hope folks can give a go at "putting themselves out there." For me, it has lead to tremendous and rewarding growth.
Can't agree more, Jeremy!
Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone, I never learn and grow and experience the rewards! 😄
"Should developers put themselves out there" - the short answer is, no.
Do it if you want to and if you see the value of it, but not because someone tells you to. Let's stop driving each other crazy telling one another what we "should" do.
I'm seeing way too many silly posts on dev.to along the lines of "why EVERY developer SHOULD blog ..." or "why EVERY developer SHOULD do open source ..." and so on - that's just nonsense, you can advise people about the pros (and cons) of blogging or whatever, but stop declaring what people "should" do.
You wanna blog or speak, that's fantastic, you don't wanna blog or speak, also fine. People may have busy work lives, or busy personal lives, and might have no time, energy or interest to blog or whatever else in their spare time, or might simply have different goals in life.
Let everyone decide for themselves what they want or don't want to do - let's stop assuming that we ought to be like this or do like that, just because we're "devs".
I think when someone mention that other "should" do A or B, because they personally gain benefit from what they do and enjoy it. They recommend and encourage others to do the same to give them similar chance.
But you're also right that maybe others have different goals and want to do other activities in their spare time.
At the end, it depends on themselves 🙂
Well, it's about the way it's often phrased - typically (I've encountered this at least half a dozen times) the title goes like:
"Why EVERY developer SHOULD ..." (capitalization mine)
That's what I take issue with ... who is the author to declare what "every" developer "should" do? I'd say, speak for yourself, do explain what you think is great about it, and then I'll decide for myself 🙂
Developers should do something to put themselves out in public. It will help them learn and could help them in a job search.
I'm an introvert so writing is a better way for me to put myself out there. I'm currently looking for a role and hope my writings will show my communication skills and give me more to talk about in an interview.
I'm rooting for you, Chris! 🤗
I think almost everyone should push themselves a bit outside their comfort zone and do a little writing, a little learning in public. If it brings more stress than value, at least you tried. Most people end up happy they did.
That's the key. At least you tried to really know if it's for you or not 😊
"Not everyone is extrovert" yes, definitely agree with you. From my perpective, the short answer is "they shouldn't, but it's recommended".
Based on my experience, I wrote articles and posts because I love it and just want to share what I know to everyone else. No schedules and specific topics to indicates "these all are not commercial contents".
The pros is I got better SEO for my website and some ppl are notice me on LinkedIn. The cons is, sometimes, I feel uncomfortable to be a center of attention.
Beside of it, write an article is good because you can help other ppl and it's awesome to grow the better community.
But, as a footnote, for all introvert ppl out there who won't be a center of attention, write some posts or articles. Don't wish for view, monetize, etc. Your HR will always observe you and want their employees has contribution for other ppl.
Good to know that HR observers you for what you do out there.
Also, yes. It's recommended and not that one should do it 😊
Yes, most definitely! Whether it's on a professional social media account, a blog such a dev, github, etc. YES!
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Thank you for sharing! 😊
Thanks! Hope they helped in some way, shape or form
I discussed this with a super senior engineer (backend), and he said you're asking all those silly questions, if employers see this online they might find you not "capable". Once it's there it's forever. I said well... everyone started with asking silly questions, especially if you start from a non-stem background or completely switch career. But your solutions, what you've learnt can help those struggling and shy people who dare "not" ask silly questions. If we want to be inclusive, we should allow all the silly newbie questions to be asked.
That said, I don't think this should be compulsory. Doing this, especially on a regular basis, can be challenging, you must see if your lifestyle fits into this. Maybe tech is just where you get money, that's totally fine. You should dedicate the rest of your time to what you like most, perhaps it's growing plants in the garden, far away from the keyboard.
So only do it if you:
Totally agree with you that we should allow all kind of questions! 💯
When I was super newbie, I struggled to ask questions because I was afraid of throwing stupid questions. But I struggled even more not to beat myself up for not understanding some things because I didn't ask for help.
I love your idea about inclusivity in this industry. We need that safe space to ask questions and help for everyone :)
And I also love that work & life balance idea!
We definitely need that 'away from screen' time :)
I started blogging, podcasting, videos, and now live-streams because I had serious problems with putting myself in public spaces. Even when it wasn't in person.
By forcing myself to do the very things I feared, I overcome them and now feel way more comfortable and confident in myself and my skills.
To all, I recommend putting yourself out there, yes it will be painful but you'll grow more than you ever imagined.
Especially in safe welcoming environments like dev.to
Safe and welcoming environment are the most crucial ones to put yourself out there!
I'm very grateful for dev.to too! ❤
I needed to put myself out there online to learn and get support because I was learning to code as the pandemic revved up... but your post makes me think -- is this something that is encouraged for all developers, or just the ones that have more to overcome? I don't know.
I think, as Austin Kleon encourages, that everyone at least needs to be findable online. Do we need to be obsessed with creating content for likes? no. But being findable and showing your work is important for creative professionals, including coders.
I like the idea of being findable. It could open doors to more opportunities!
Hi Ayu 🙂
I definitely think it’s personal choice, I have friends and colleagues that both like to keep to themselves or put themselves out there, I definitely flit between both.
I’m quite an introverted person and I find socialising in person quite hard. So I started blogging for my own benefit like yourself as sometimes it’s nice to just write about your thoughts or what you’ve been up to and eventually people started commenting and found some of the stuff relatable. That was a bit of a turning point for me. I still write for myself but now I feel if it helps someone else it’s a great joy and I’ve spoken to some interesting people and learnt a lot from them.
I personally love reading other peoples stories or looking up random articles on things because I feel I learn a lot and it keeps me open minded. I’ve also tried putting myself out there more and commenting and speaking with other developers as I’m still early in my career so it’s lovely to connect with like minded people, I find it easier to speak to people online than in person sometimes 🙂
I don’t think people should be pushed to get out of their comfort zone, as everyone has different experiences but it is something I would recommend and then it’s up to the individual 🙂
We have similar background in why we write 😊
And yeah... it's definitely up to the individual 🙂
Personally, I don't want to push them. I'm an introvert, but I love to share my knowledge, that's why I learned to blog and write. From my writing, I got many chances to learn from others. In addition, I love to write. :D
Chances to learn from others. Big yes for this! 😄
I think developers should put themselves out there because of the endless friendships that possibly will be made. Also we can all learn from each other and build off each other. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert I believe we can all learn from each other. Doesn’t hurt to just give it a try.
Love the thought of we can all learn from each other! 💯
Your post made me think even more and I ended up writing this one! dev.to/cerchie/your-4th-grade-math...
Yessssss! Nice one, Lucia! 😍
Yes, I agree.
Developing social skill is even more critical nowadays.
I think this whole expectation of develpers doing extra work in their free time, whether it's blogging, youtubing or open source, is what's broken in our industry. Especially, when it affects hiring. Not everyone enjoys doing these things, and not everyone (read women) even has time to do them.
My reasons are very similar to yours — writing is one my favorite ways of learning new things. And I've been doing it throughout my career for almost 20 years.
However, my open source story is much less happy ;-)
P. S. And writing is such an invaluable skill you'll use everyday as developer, whether it's a ticket description, Git commit message, or a code comment!