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What is the balance between learning and posting content?

developertharun profile image Tharun Shiv ・2 min read

Hey all,
Recently I've been getting this doubt of what the balance between creating content vs learning new things should be. I have put forward my thoughts about this here, but most importantly, I am seeking your opinion on it.

Tweet by @ben

What I think is,

One has to focus on gaining a lot of knowledge and then post content when he is confident enough about what he is trying to convey. It also depends on your experience and the knowledge you already have.

So,

  • If you are in a student or a fresher level, then I think you should spend most of your time learning and trying to improve your skills.
  • If you are somewhere experienced, you have to equally focus on learning and also putting out content.
  • If you are well-experienced, I think you should do a lot of content.

What this will enable is:

  1. It will make sure that you don't deliver the wrong content
  2. It makes sure that you learn a lot and grow career vice
  3. It will also ultimately make sure that you have a lot more content to put forward.

Live stream your coding

I also came across a recent post on Dev.to which asks us to live stream our coding process. This is a great idea and help which we can do for each other and I've been thinking about this for quite some time. What do you think about this?

This is my current perspective on this topic. Feel free to disagree with it, debate about it, and put forward your perspective and experience on this.

Questions:

  1. Is it mandatory to post content of any form at all?
  2. If yes, what is the balance that one must hit?

Posted on by:

developertharun profile

Tharun Shiv

@developertharun

Web Developer | DevOps Engineer | Programmer | Course Instructor

Discussion

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I'll definitely weigh in further

Is it mandatory to post content of any form at all?

Nothing is entirely mandatory, but you're doing yourself a big disservice if you're not taking part at all. Posting online is a big part of immersing yourself in the craft, and forcing yourself to truly understand a few subjects. It's also a big way to give back to the community. Find a way to truly help someone out even if it means you have to do a ton of research just to offer a bit of help.

If yes, what is the balance that one must hit?

I think the balance is to be consistent, but like I tweeted, not spent trying to be a thought leader. It's a shallow pursuit most of the time, unless you really want to be a big time influencer. Don't be competitive or compare yourself to others. Having a balanced outlook, not being in a major hurry, finding things to appreciate for their own merits within the craft, making friends you can chit chat with, reading a few important books, etc.

This topic of immersion is important. It's how we learn and stay relevant. It's what I'm doing right now. I'm bringing order to some random thoughts by contributing here.

A lot of these ideas are inspiration for little things about DEV itself. No follower counts, no word limit, etc. While social immersion is important, GitHub and Twitter both have some drive a lot of unhealthy paradigms. (Of course, DEV is not without its capacity to foster unhealthy activity).

 

On point. Got it. Thank you @ben πŸ™Œ

 

For me writing content online has always been kind of a chore. I've been a developer for a while, but for the longest didn't post anything online because I honestly just felt like no one would care to read anything I have to say (possibly a form of imposter syndrome); and what's the point in writing if no one reads it? But while completing my masters program I was forced to regularly post online as part of my coursework and realized it's less about saying what's on your mind and getting people to pay attention and more about solidifying concept knowledge through instruction. I feel like whether you're a newbie or seasoned vet, you should write as much as needed to solidify concepts you're learning. If you pay less attention to who/how many people are reading your posts and focus more on the learning aspect that comes with writing it's much more enjoyable. At least for me anyway...

 

Yeah, writing as a training of communicating clearly is perfectly good reason to do it.
It is hard to explain something in a short and concise form while keeping it understandable.

I also think its a bad idea to write only so a lot of people will read it, because at the beginning, it wont be true, probably. Youtube is extreme example where approach of "i want as many views as possible to get ads revenue" leads to. A lot of trash clickbaity content with 0 value and movies dragged out to hit 10 minutes mark to be more ad friendly.

I would say focusing on quality first is the way to go. Everything else follows.

PS. I had the same form of impostor syndrome, but at the end of the day I remember two things:
1) Almost everything has been covered already, multiple times. But I might have unique perspective/way of putting it, that will help this one person that read all of them
2) New developers are joining the community every day, and they might not seen anything - your post might be the first one (hence, links to resources are appreciated)
3) I learn everything I know from the internet, because someone cared to write it. Its a form of giving some of it back to the next generation.

 

Great answer.. loved it. Thanks πŸ™‚

 

Okay got it.. will do it πŸ™‚πŸ™Œ thank you

 

For me giving back is very important. I use open-source libraries every day and when I can't find one that does what I need, and the purpose of what I'm making seems relevant to at least a couple of other people who must be facing the same thing, then I'll make a library. When I first started in this business everyone was very closed and protected their own work so much, that's changed now and I believe that to push boundaries we need to "stand on the shoulders of giants" rather than waste time reinventing.

That and the fact that if you open-source something and talk about it, you get feedback and consider other perspectives. What I don't want to do is say something that everyone else is saying.

 

Great. Thanks for sharing your perspective πŸ™‚

 

I struggle with this as well!!! I find it really hard to balance meeting a schedule for blog posting and also working on coding and learning. Honestly, I haven't found the right balance yet.

I've started documenting my developer journey which has helped put out content and also forced me to learn things. Although, a lot of the time, writing feels like a chore.

I also came across a recent post on Dev.to which asks us to live stream our coding process. This is a great idea and help which we can do for each other and I've been thinking about this for quite some time. What do you think about this?

I think live streaming is an awesome idea! There's youtubers out there like Thomas Frank that live stream study sessions (here's an example vid: youtube.com/watch?v=Puy3vlRfsig). So it clearly provides some sort of value. Personally, I find making an edited video that shows you building something is a bit more valuable For both the learner and the creator.

 

Great! Thanks. Where can I find your documentation of your journey? Kindly provide me with the links. πŸ™‚

 

I'd start here with looking back at my freelance career. Then at the end of 2019, I wrote about a list of things I don't know about. Lately, I've been working on Phoenix and Elixir, here's my first impressions!

I feel like I should have just one post about my journey. I don't know if that's something people are interested in though. What do you think?

 

It's a great insight.
As a fresher you need to learn and do more of coding to broaden your knowledge of programming. Creating content won't help you because you won't have deep understanding on what you're copying and pasting.

Thanks for the insight sir.

I do agree your observations.

 

Glad it helped. All the very best! πŸ™‚

 

I'm a senior wev dev and I started posting after leaving my job as teacher to code again on a company. Posting allow me to write about what I know but focusing and remembering it on a more detailed scope. Same as teaching more or less.

 

yes definitely, thank you for sharing your experience. :)

 

I don't think creating online content is mandatory to become a big player in the industry. It generally just leads to more exposure which means you might become somewhat of an online celebrity and that might help during your job search but that's it.

That doesn't mean I'm against creating content at all but I do believe that your content creation should at the very least serve you. The online content I've written is either a summary of something very important I have learned or a tutorial on something I've had to figure out and lost a lot of time because of it. I sometimes go back to my own content if I haven't done something in a while because it is an instant refresher and saves me a lot of time.

Live streaming is a whole other beast compared to blogposts. Unless you have a great setup and are used to talking through your thought process while coding at all times, it will be very hard to deliver any meaningful content. I have found some enjoyable dev streams but most of them just aren't that great. But all of that is just my personal opinion.

 

Great insights and perspective. Thank you for sharing them :)

 

A different perspective here.

When you learn something very different from 99.9% of people, you should share it carefully. You will likely gain more haters even though it really does something better. Cognitive bias is prevalent.

 

Okay... Will remember that, thank you πŸ™‚

 

the balance between creating content vs learning new things

I don't think these two things need to be mutually exclusive. I go deeper on this in my post "Leaving Breadcrumbs", but in general I think that creating content about the things you're learning is a great way of accomplishing both. I've found that having to explain a topic helps reinforce the material for and motivates me to really make sure I understand what I'm writing about. It can also serve as a form of notes for you to go back to later if you need a refresher.

Not only does this help yourself, but the content you may help someone else. After all, you might bring a fresh perspective to the topic that an experienced person might not!

That's all kind of a bonus, though... cause even if it doesn't help anyone and no on reads it, at least you've learned something!

Just my two cents. 😊

 

Great! Getting it. Thanks. Good article btw, I checked it out. πŸ™‚πŸ™Œ

 

Nobody more anti twitter than I am. But I’ve started posting on twitter just to get some exposure. It’s too easy for me to be a hermit and code in isolation.
Also it’s would be easier for people to contact me.

 

Okay.. thank you for sharing your experience πŸ™‚

 

Posting content is a way of learning 😊

 

Well said.. thank you πŸ™‚