1. Your Experience is Unique
Your past is not parallel to anyone else's. Things that happened as a kid, choices you made, your parents made, landed you to where you are today. For example: My experience is unique because I wasn't really exposed to computers growing up. I grew up in a very rural area, and didn't discover programming as an option until a class in college I admittedly signed up for as a misunderstanding. I HAD NO IDEA what I was doing and quite frankly had no business doing it. Do you think there's others coming into this field that are also stumbling their way through this? Yup.
2. Help Shed Perspective for Others
When I was a junior developer, I didn't feel like I had enough pull or knowledge to share with the world. But what I realized when I gained some experience is that there were people behind me just trying to accomplish what I did - getting their first job, or landing an internship, or attending a career fair. All those things are valid experiences that someone attending their first milestone will surely look up advice for.
3. Make a Name for Yourself
As you blog, you'll begin showing up in Google searches from people looking to learn more on what you wrote about. You have already marked yourself as knowledgeable on that topic! Now imagine this, when a recruiter searches for you, they find your blog where you share about ALL the things you know! How impressive does that look?
4. A Coding Trail
Have you ever had to do some tricky code that you have to look up every single time you use it? I know I have. The best decision I made was to blog about it, so the next time I needed to look it up, I knew right where to look.
The other dynamic of this is that you have a trail of how far you've come. Sure it's embarrassing to find your old code out there.. but everyone grows and improves. It can also be a fun exercise to look back at some old posts and improve on them.
Top comments (28)
A rule I follow: If it took me more than 10 minutes to google it out, I'd be writing a blog post for the next guy searching.
Where "next guy" is probably you when you need to solve a similar problem but forgot how you solved it previously. =)
One of the best experiences is when you go looking for a solution to a problem, only to find your own old blog post that you had forgotten about.
One of the best feeling on the world.. If your post is a solution to your problem.. There are chances that it has helped tons of other people too.
lmao happened a couple of times already. I was like, "man, this blog layout looks similar..."
you are a kind person!🙂
Oh wow, thanks for the compliments. That's the least I can do for the (mostly) good stuff the internets has offered my journey!
An effective learning technique is Learn -> Experiment -> Teach someone (write a blog) -> Identify Gaps in Knowledge and fill them and repeat.
So blogging can help, in being an expert. When you start writing about the concepts you yourself will have doubts which you will figure out and improve. Others can give feedback/suggestions/opinion all of which will add to our knowledge.
I totally agree with you about the fact that blogging asks you to structure your thoughts (to me, it's the most important benefit of writing about something publicly), and dig deeper about details that you wouldn't have looked into otherwise.
Still, I wouldn't say writing a blog is the same as teaching someone: it's true that you can get feedback/suggestions on a blog, but unless you have a large audience (that most developers don't have, let's face it), the amount of feedback will be limited, and can't really be compared to more direct teaching.
I completely agree to your point teaching is not same as blogging. My intention was to convey it's something close. And to add on many developers like me would not be confident to talk in front of people at first and writing blog/giving webinars are less intimidating than facing people.
And yes most blogs won't get honest feedback. It would be mostly our friends or colleagues who give a thumbs up or like for supporting us. But if we ask people/mentors review them we do get valuable feedback. Ping the link and ask people what they think.
But since this post was about blogging, I just added another reason to blog. Like you correctly pointed out it helps us organize our thoughts and dig deeper.
Love this! Thanks for sharing
But what if they're not?
A mass depression would overcome humanity. They'd be desperately searching for anything to replace the void... and lucky for you, your new blog article will be online, ready to fill that order! :)
Lol that is a great addition to the list!
Re: point 4, we have an "only my posts" filter in the dev.to search 🙂
Perhaps most importantly: "you probably had to do research to create the solution that you did and you'll probably need to solve a similar problem in the future, write it all up so you don't have to go through a full research-evolution just to re-solve that future problem." Search results - even for the exact same search-string(s) change over time. If you don't write stuff down, the next time you go looking, things may be harder to find.
Point number 2 just hits the nail on the head!
There were a lot of things I wish I knew at various stages in my career for which Googling doesn't help as such. Now that I've a fair idea of them through experience, I'll use this blog post as an inspiration to write on them :)
Yes! You will help out way more people then you realize 🙌🏼
This was a great and inspiring blog for me, I joined DEV community today only and this is the second blog I have got to read. A great kick start to be an amazing blogger! Thanks Kim Arnett for writing about something which everyone experience
but fail to delineate.
I'm using this idea but putting a spin on it, cause I think the english-speaking tech world is kind of really crowded nowadays. I want to share the knowledge with others who don't have it readily available because of language barriers or technical ones. Thanks for sharing this :)
I just started blogging for all of these reasons. I think #4 is the most important for me because many times when Im stuck and feel like Im making no progress, I reference my blog/coding log and see exactly how far I've actually come.
Nice post Kim, with good advice!
I was blogging for a long time in the past about completely different topics. Never dared to do that in tech because i always thought i did not have the "authority" and knowledge to do that.
"Document, don’t create" from GaryVee and this post (expecially the Coding Trail part) were the 2 things that prompt me in 2019 to start blogging on dev.to
Apart from blogging, you can consider opensourcing your solution through gist, codepen or a github repo.
Thanks these informations are amazing, i am Android dev and i am enjoying you