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How to Build an Online Presence as a Junior Developer

Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 on June 27, 2017

As a developer in 2017, it’s important to have some form of online presence. This could be a GitHub (see my recent post), a blog, a vlog or simply ...
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Ben Halpern

Super great post, Sam. I'll also add, if it's not clear, that dev.to is a tremendous resource for building an online presence. We also have a new feature coming soon that will be especially helpful for junior devs navigating their early careers, and it will be helpful to have a filled out dev.to profile with maybe a few comments of posts published 😉

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Totally agree Ben! Dev.to is amazing <3 (I should really get some stickers eh?)

I'd love to hear when the new feature is out. Keep me posted.

And once again, thank you and your team for running Dev.to! We all really appreciate the work you do, and I bet you don't hear it as much as you deserve. <3

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Jonathan Soifer

Hi Sam,

I also share your views on how to build a Online Presence and I've been (not so steadily) doing some of those things myself.

As Ben noticed, dev.to is a great place to create and share our content as developers.

That's why I'll be moving from Medium ~> here :)

Would it make sense to edit your post and mention dev.to in it?

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Totally would! I think this was one of my first posts to Dev.To, and I've since really seen the awesome value. So yes, I will edit ~

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Ben Halpern

Thanks so much!

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Muhammad Habib Jawady

Hey Ben I guess its time you make a tutorial on how to build a blog in rails ?

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Damien Cosset

I found out that when I blog about something I am learning, I am retaining a lot more information about whatever I am writing about. I mean, it's not even close. I wrote something on my blog about streams in NodeJS a few months ago, and even if I barely used them since them, I remember a lot more about streams than things I use way more frequently.

Teaching is the best way to learn as they say. Well, when you write about what you learn, you have to express your ideas in words. It's very different from just thinking you 'got it'.

So yeah, this is the main thing I found out thanks to blogging, I just remember things a lot better.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Totally agree Damien. Learn, code, learn, write, teach, learn...learn... etc! Great for information retention, and great to move from unconsciously incompetent through to consciously competent.

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Mark vd Sman

Very nice post! I wanted to start creating an online presence a while ago as part of a portfolio, but never had inspiration or any subject to write about. As you suggested, I'll try and document my learning path, including some snippets learned during my study.
Thanks for the tips!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

No worries Mark, thanks for the comment! :D Best of luck.

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Mark vd Sman

Thank you! I plan on having a running site pretty soon, so we'll see :)

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Sal Hernandez

This is a Super Awesome blog post with lots of good advice!
I love Gary Vaynerchuk! You're the first Software Engineer that I've come across who follows him as well! I'm reading/listening to "Jab Jab Right hook" now. After I'm going to read the "Crush it!" book because of your recommendation. :-)

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks, Sal!

Yeah, he's a pretty cool guy. I think some people jump to assume his advice is a bit too high level or abstracted, but once you take that and actually apply it, things become clearer.

Crush It! is great - I do have JJJRH, but I've yet to start it!

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Mike Coutermarsh

Great post!

I found when starting out, all this was really intimidating. Setting a goal to do 1 thing in public per month works well. After a few months, you have a few things to show! 😀

(Also I consider going to a meet up and talking to 1 person as counting) 😀

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Great approach Mike! Keep it up!

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Jhossymar Contreras

Thanks for the pieces of advice that you wrote in this article, I've really enjoyed it and I'm going to try to do this.
I've thought for a long time about "what can I write in a blog without enough knowledge?" but i was encouraged by your post.

PD: I apologize for my english, I'm learning and trying to practice.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

You are very welcome :) English is good!

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Peter Cruckshank

Super Great Read I really like this article, I've been on the same journey and I'm not super sure what to write about? You gave me some good ideas and suggestions, I've put out some short comments on Medium both nothing with any real content. This gave me some new ideas to try. :thuumbsup: :smiley:

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks for the comment Peter! I'm super super thrilled to hear I can help! Please get in touch with your writing once you start - I'd love to take a read. Best of luck.

Oh, and isn't it annoying that :slack: emoji shorthand doesn't work everywhere? haha.

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Barry⚡

Hi, Sam. Would it be okay If I posted some of my learnings on facebook notes but in a public mode/audience? I'm learning so I'm gonna take your advice. Well, dev.to is a very nice place to show what you've just learned but I really don't have the courage to write some. Need some boost, I Guess. But Thank you for Motivating. OTL

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Hey Barry!

Yup, post it wherever you like! Medium is also another good place. However, I think dev.to will be a nice place to post it, the community here is pretty friendly and will give you advice and feedback if you ask for it

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Daniel Golant

Documenting vs teaching is how I decided to try my hand at writing again, currently writing something about brushing up on HTTP. Problem is technical writing is so slow/researchy!

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Jacob M Moore

Thinking of writing as slow and researchy indicates to me you're still seeing it as teaching. Tell your story.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Exactly Jacob, it's a bit of a mindset change but it is really worth it. No one expects an expert, just tell us your impressions and journey.

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Rob Lang

A good post and I agree that juniors should blog but a warning:

Avoid negative opinions on technology because possible future employers will see it.

I was hiring for C# .NET backend and 2 of the junior CVs I was sent had blog URLs. One of them had a blog post claiming that Microsoft was protectionist and evil; published just after they had open sourced all of .NET. The other was complaining that no-one should code in C# because JavaScript had "won". There was no nuance, no backup, no logical reasoning, nothing. I didn't even bother interviewing either of them.

Those sorts of conversations are fine in the pub on a Friday but if you're going to publish them online then you need to back up those opinions with something solid.

Positive opinions don't carry the same weight. "Rust is great" won't scare off employers.

Also if you self host your own blog, to me that carries more kudos because it shows you bought a domain, got a server running, installed the packages you need, setup SSL and learnt a whole lot more while doing that. Don't make that as a barrier to start, though, just write!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Totally agree, Rob! That's a great warning to call out. I'd would also love to see something like "I found aspect X of C# challenging because I hadn't seen it before" rather than "C# sucks wah wah wah".

Agree also on the set up your own blog part but yeah, Dev.To/Medium/etc is just too easy, maybe that developer shows that all important skill of pragmatism? :P (I host my website on squarespace for this reason ;) )

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Stephen E. Chiang

This is great and accurately reflects a conclusion I came to earlier this year as I was trying to figure out what and how to write. I had so many drafts of articles that I deleted or never published after re-reading them because I always ended up not liking the tone or perhaps learned something new that negated my initial opinion. Then I realized it was easier and more helpful to just document the new things I'm learning.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Nice! I'm glad I was able to help, Stephen :) Best of luck!

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Geoff Davis

Awesome! I'm a Jr and definitely going to read your other posts. I already have a blog site setup, but I mostly write about music.

Documenting things I've learned is something I never really thought about, but I feel would help tremendously in my technical growth and knowledge retention.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks for giving my other posts a read, Geoff. What did you think?

As above, I'm definitely a fan of documenting (you dont even have to publish a post). Just going over the content a second time as a teacher makes you learn it/retain it so much better!

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Dinir

I want to ask you advices on how to deal with urges to write negative opinions. I believe talking about things you don’t like is generally discouraged in the way of building one’s online presence, but I’m not sure if it’s a reason enough to write only things you like.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Any negative opinions (or criticisms) need to backed with evidence. The only decent opinions that are negative are very well founded. So before you feel the temptation to publish something negative, take some serious time to collect your thoughts and outline your argument.

Hint: Twitter is not the place for such a thought.

Generally I avoid this, negative posts of mine stay where they belong, in the drafts folder. Usually after a month I look back at them and see where I was wrong. It happens.

So try stay positive. The world needs more of it, and the internet even more so. In a world of trolls, haters, harassers - be different. Take the high road. And goodness will find its way back to you.

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Lawrence Eagles

Great write up. I have been procrastinating starting a blog but now that I have read this, I would first like to say this is a very great and inspiring write up. But how do we choose between blogging platforms. for instance wordpress.com medium.com and this website which should I go with? is there any advantage of one over the other.

I'm asking so that I can start off using the write platform, to avoid the stress of heavy-lifting my contents latter on to another platform. Thanks again..

cheers!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

I publish to multiple! (My own site, SquareSpace, and here and Medium).

Your own site/wordpress gives you full control. Medium gives you exposure if you can get into a publication like HackerNoon. But Dev.To gives you tweets to thousands of followers and a hella amount of warm fuzzies from the community.

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David J Eddy

'...You need to document your learnings, not create advice for others based on what you’ve learnt...' This, this right here is the words Ive simply not been able to find to explain why writing is so important to engineering. Well stated, well stated indeed!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thank you! Appreciated :)

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Paully D

I'm encouraged. :) Thanks. Helping me get back on the blogging wagon.
I started a small blog, mostly to use skills I'm learning around the JAMstack. Figured I would journal my journey exploring jekyll, using my raspberry pi as a webserver and new frameworks as well languages. Plus caused me to have a project to learn with.
paullyd.net

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JohnLeyo

Thank You for the tips
I also recommend you to make small steps to be what you want to be as a developer or whatever your career is... think big but start with The smallest of disciplines, practiced every day, start an incredible process that can change.
I recently read a book by Robert Maurer called One small step can change your life I think that Everyone should read this book. It’s simple and quick, but very insightful and life changing. I feel so empowered, like I can actually make the millions of changes in my life that I want and need to make. This book teaches Kaizen principles.

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edujtm

Thanks Sam. +1 follower to you because of this post. I've been wondering about starting a blog for a while now and stopped because i didn't know what to write about because i'm still on college. Your article was right on point.

This website is my new addiction, really liking it.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks! I Appreciate the comment :)

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wanjohi kibui

Great one namesake. This is a way to ensure you grasp every bit of what you do and also inspire confidence in various working scenarios. I did that with my Geodjango journey and I like it so much. The interaction from other Devs out there makes you even better. youtube.com/wanjohikibui

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Bikram Bhattacharya

Thank you sam. It was my biggest problem you just solved it very simple way.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

You're very Welcome, Bikram! Tweet me anything you end up writing :)

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Christian Baer

This post is very good in many ways. The possibilities on how to build a web presence are all valid. There is one thing that I cannot agree with and that is the premise. There are reports and posts about developers in their early twentys with burn out syndrome.
In my opinion it is absolutely not a must to have some form of online presence. It is much more important to have a live and relax every now and then. If your future employer thinks otherwise, screw him and get a job where recreational time is appreciated.
If this is your thing and you like writing stuff down, then by all means take some hints from this article. If not, go out and ride your bike or do whatever makes you happy 😊

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Hey Christian, thanks for your comment! I absolutely agree having a work/life balance is important...and yes, this post (like all my writing) should be taken with a grain of salt, or just as a thing to do to improve your career when you've got time.

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Lou — Cloud Engineer

Great article Sam! I really like the idea around distributing content as opposed to even creating. It's true that great artists steal.

Some of the best advice I got is that writers block is just performance anxiety, if you want to write more, lower your standards. That's not to say produce lame work, but to not obsess about always getting everything right all of the time!

I wanted to share a post I did that's very similar, hopefully it gives you some ideas you can steal for any future posts!

"The best software developers write, you should too" ...

thedevcoach.co.uk/2017/07/18/the-b...

Just subscribed to your blog on feedly! :)

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks Lou! Exactly – I totally agree with you. The content for most blogs is more important than the presentation or exact wording. Most people see the value :)

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Steven Washington

This is good to read, even as a dev that at least skillwise is a bit above Junior, but networking and "presence" wise leaves a lot to be desired! A bit behind after a few years going at it, but better late than never, I'm guessing :P

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Exactly! Give it a go. Good luck :)

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Rodrigo Reis

Nice post! I will certainly follow your tips.
You said go type and this is what I did: medium.com/@rodrigo.monney/001-onl...

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks for the kind words. I had a read, and it's a great first article. Keep 'em coming.

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Jason Walzak

Thanks for the ideas of sharing links.
I'm not much of an author so I think that would be the best idea.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Great to hear, Jason! <3 Good luck :)

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santidelosrios

Great post, Sam! Thanks for your thoughts. I've been thinking about sharing my journey as a developer and your words, I'll definitely start soon.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

I appreciate the kind words. Good luck! :) (Start now!)

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Galdin Raphael

This made me draft my next blog post 😬

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Nice! Tweet it to me once you've published! (And do publish!)

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Elena G

Wonderful advice, this kind of practices helped me to get my first job as developer!

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Haris Papadakis

Hello Sam,

I really like your article! I made a try to make a website - blog (harispapadakis.eu/en) in my language but the hard part is to looking for (continuously) nice threads/subject to write about! I haven't stop writing but I think that I have to change the kind of articles!!

My opinion is that as much as you're reading for something and in the same time applying that knowledge, that's the time, that little step which you became from Junior to Mid-Level. Of course needs a lot of steps but it's worth it!

I really like the dev.to. I'm so happy to find a webpage like this! Keep it up!

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Sayo Paul

This is amazing !! . I'm a student and I've been reluctant to start blogging but this has encouraged me greatly to start . I'm definitely sharing this with my GDG chapter . Amazing article 👏👏👏

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thank you so much for your kind words Sayo <3 I really appreciate that. Good luck with your blogging and feel free to tweet me anything you write when starting out :)

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Vedran Blaženka

Well written and inspiring article. Thank you! :)

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Patrick Alessi

Build an online presence by contributing to an open source project. I love it when I see a junior's resume and they've had meaningful commits to an interesting project.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Me too! Love it. A great way to prove they have that passion and fire!

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Gia Castello

What a goodread! As a newbie, I really appreciate your words. Keep them coming, Sam 🖤!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks Gia! :) samjarman.co.nz/diaries is where you'll find the lot.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

No worries Lauro! Best of luck.

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Ash Ome

It’s really an awesome post Sam. I started writing content in last year. But I am not getting enough comment or recommendation on that. What Can I do? Any suggestion is really appreciated

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Forget about it. You're not doing it for comments or likes, you're doing it for you.

If you still care, you can post to Hacker News, r/Programming (or similar) (Reddit) or post on Dev.To!

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Robert Ecker

Wow! This post is so inspiring that I instantly started to write a new blog post myself and already published it! Thank you so much! :)

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thank you so much Robert for your kind words <3

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Geofrey Aduda

Cool Post and most helpful and acts as an eye opener to developers online

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Maria Ines Parnisari

Why juniors only? Everyone should do this no matter their seniority!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Correct!

However, I'd like to think all seniors have this sorted by the time they get there :)

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Jake Varness

Even to an experienced person this is great advice! Thanks for sharing!!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks Jake! I appreciate the kind words :)

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Ilo Calistus

Nice article Sam

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kenneth okenwa

Good post, but hey! it's stressful managing a blog

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Doesn't have to be! Just get a dev.to account and write when inspiration strikes.

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chinocejas

Great post Sam. This inspires me to start building my online presence.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks, I appreciate that :)

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Glad you agree Steff! Best of luck :)

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JR Frazier

Love this post! Great links too. This is the kick in the butt that I needed. Thank you for this!

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Faith Yintii

Hi Sam, I am new here and I must say, your post has inspired me to give content creation a go. Thank you.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it :)

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Melody chris

Thank you so much :)

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Richard Umoffia

I've been thinking of putting down alot of what I've learnt recently, but I keep putting it off. I'll definitely write something down because of this post. Thanks for this.

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

You are very welcome, Richard! I hope you do end up publishing something, and tweet me it once you're done with it :)

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Lidiane Taquehara

What a great article!! Congrats on this!! Sharing it with all of my colleagues and I'm pretty they'll enjoy it as much as I did!!

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks Lidiane! I really appreciate that. I'd love to know what they think :)

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Falola Tele

Wow that was awesome. Thanks man 👍

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it! :)

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Nayeon Kim

This is great! As a jr developer I feel like I have nothing ever important to say, but simply documenting what I learned is something I could do!

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Nils Hitze

Great intro, I like to add: BUILD A PROFESSIONAL NETWORK! heartmindcode.com/2013/09/02/loyal...

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Dean Podgornik

A great and inspiring post. Tnx to you, I started my own blog deanpodgornik.si/. Still learning how to do blogging not as a robot, but I am optimistic... Tnx again ;)

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Author

Nice, Dean! You're very welcome.