This post is dedicated to all the "newbies" out there!
You probably saw the title and thought to yourself "I have nothing to share! Who would find any value in what I write?"
I thought the same thing
But I took a leap, wrote my first post right here on dev.to, and was actually surprised when someone liked it. Someone saved it to their Reading List. Someone even gave me a unicorn!!
More major than that though... Nobody told me I was stupid, or that what I wrote was of no value. I kept writing posts weekly and people started commenting, liking, and following me. People care what we have to say, even as newbies!
I'm writing this post today to give you some reasons why you can have the same experience and at the same time boost your learning, and potentially jump start your career. Also, I hope I can convince you to start a blog of your own.
Writing Can Increase Your Learning Potential and Boost Your Career
Writing publicly about a topic forces you to consider what you know from all kinds of different angles; these angles may be different depending on what kind of post you choose to write. Writing also gives you an excellent reason to practice new-to-you technologies or really dig down to hone your skills in a particular language or framework.
Tutorial-style posts force you to explain how to perform a set of potentially difficult steps in such a way that a person with less knowledge on the topic can follow them from start to finish. You must consider what requirements should be listed and whether any prerequisites should be written by you (or referred to in another tutorial) or simply be mentioned before you begin. Taking a higher-level topic and explaining it at a lower level requires your mind to create different - and stronger - connections and as such, your comprehension and vocabulary on the topic will increase. It demonstrates complete mastery of a subject when you can break it down into lay-man's terms for another person.
Technical articles, on the other hand, require deeper consideration than a tutorial because the audience will likely be more knowledgeable in the topic and seeking to learn something new from a reputable source. Research is a necessity to ensure you're writing about the latest state of the technology and that what you've written is based on truth and not an assumption made as you learned. These articles may be placed under more scrutiny as you develop your technical writing skills to maintain the integrity of online sources, but as a new developer you shouldn't let this sway you. People may comment with corrections - take these as their helping you learn and succeed, not as them trying to bring you down. Most of us are out there wanting to help each other improve!
There are many other kinds of blog posts that can be written, a few of which include "something cool I learned", personal experiences, book reviews, interviews, guest posts, or interesting observations.
The quality of your content matters, but the topic and post type doesn't usually hold as much weight. Whatever you choose to write, be sure to add a link to your blog on your LinkedIn account and maybe even mention it on your resume. Employers and technical recruiters are looking not only for competent programmers, but also for good communicators. Writing technical blog posts can demonstrate your skills in the field and tutorials/how-to posts will give them an idea of how you break down topics for others.
You may also notice over time that you've begun to build a bit of an online presence and network. People who work in similar languages will find the information you share valuable and consequently, you will likely find value in what they've written. It's become a connected world and any of these people could end up being your team member, manager, or even interviewer - sharing your thoughts in comments on their posts (and responding well to their comments on yours) is an excellent habit to build.
Finally, the most immediate and possibly most important benefit you'll see when you start writing regular posts (weekly or more frequent is best) is personal - you will likely notice an increase in self-confidence as you realize you do have something to share that is valuable to someone else. Your "I have nothing to share!" will evolve to "Whoa, this many people want to read more of what I've written?!" You will start watching for interesting topics to share each iteration, researching them, and spending time refining your thoughts before publishing. This will lead to levels of mastery that you could have never imagined.
So get out there and start writing! It doesn't need to be a long post. It doesn't need to be incredibly technical. Just write, and make it a regular habit. You can simply start with "Hello I'm _____, and this is my journey."