Coming to this post, I am assuming you already have a blog or are considering the possibility of starting one. Before you go any further, I want you to take a second and ask yourself what is your purpose behind the creation of your technical blog. Maybe it is because you are knowledgeable on a topic and want to spread your wisdom. Maybe it is because you have finally solved a problem that you could not find the answer to and are looking to help the next guy. Maybe you want to put yourself out there to help your career. Or maybe you just want your voice to be heard.
The list goes on for great reasons to begin a technical blog EVEN IF you are only a novice developer. Personally, I began my technical blog as a way to continue to learn and contribute to the tech community.
Whatever the reason, it is vital to understand that where you post your blog will have a major impact on your goals.
Personally, I have been writing technical blog posts for the last 6 months or so on Medium. You can find that here! I love the possibility that my experiences put into writing can have a positive impact on somebody. However, as I have recently finished Flatiron School and entered the job hunt, I now realize that this blog can also have a positive affect on my career.
Prior to this, I had been publishing my blogs on Medium. However, looking back I realize that this may have been a mistake. Here are the reasons why I have decided to make the switch to the Dev.to community and also why I encourage you to do so as well.
One of the first things that comes to mind and something I love about publishing on Dev.to is that your blogs are written using Markdown Here. There is just a bunch of added functionality that makes your technical posts look cleaner and make more sense. I don’t want to go into it too much, but being able to essentially write code that looks clean within your blog is super neat.
Also, the ability to Preview your post before publishing is awesome to see how it looks with the Markdown.
Here is a link to a Markdown Cheatsheet to help you out!
While Medium and other sites may have some sense of community, I am yet to find a developer community stronger than Dev.to. From the interactions I have had with The Practical Dev and Ben Halpern on Twitter, to the weekly newsletter I receive from Jess with featured stories, those who run the community create an easy-going environment that is fun and helpful to engage with. On top of that, the contributions on Dev.to are relevant and topical. I cannot count how many times I have found inspiration or an answer to a problem I have always had by simply scrolling through the feed.
As web developers it is our job to constantly stay in the know. While I initially began my blog to take deeper dives into topics that I had already known about, since joining Dev.to, I have been introduced to thousands more I never would have heard of. Whether it is seeing simple headlines of articles, going through a popular contributors posts, or scrolling the comments sections there is always something to pick up.
The feed that is deployed on the Dev.to community will increase the chances of your blog reaching an audience rather than being buried in the archives of Medium. The more exposure that your posts get, the more likely you will be to achieve the goal you started out with.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of communities, particularly in tech, that are not as welcoming to beginners. I couldn’t count the number of times I have seen harsh and discouraging comments on blogs or questions posted in forums and communities. Speaking from experience, the belittling feeling is not only embarrassing, but can make somebody just starting out want to quit.
The people at Dev.to do an amazing job at encouraging an environment for all skillsets, levels and minds. In doing so, they bring passionate and compassionate developers to their platform. I do not want to put words in anybody’s mouth, but I firmly believe that these are values that are held high and made priorities for the community.
As we discussed above, the Dev.to community feed is an amazing to place to see posts by developers from all over the world. Being an active member in the tight-knit community does not go unnoticed. I have seen/heard of multiple cases where developers have been networked through the community and even ended up making a career move through the Dev network.
Last, but definitely not least I am a huge fan of the experience you get on the site. From the simplistic interface to all of the necessary features surrounding the feed the layout is clean, organized and easy to navigate.
One of my favorite features is that you have the option of adding tags for posts that you are interested in. This means that the majority of the content you are seeing will be on topics that interest you. Not only does this help you learn, but it also makes it easier to engage with the community and others to engage with you.
From my experience it is an amazing idea to start a blog no matter where you do it. However, all of the reasons above and more are why contributing to the Dev.to community will maximize the potential of your blog and get you closer to your own goals. Thank you for reading and keep on blogging! Godspeed.