When it comes to blogging, I'm no professional, but I've been able to leverage it professionally over the years to my benefit. While my first LiveJournal blog in 2002 may have not been of a technical nature, it was the seed of a habit to write long form communications, one that I've refined over the course of 20 years. Reflecting on how I was able to leverage blogging with my professional career, I came up with 4 themes:
It's made me good at documentation
Being able to solve a problem using code is great, but being able to thoroughly communicate that solution to the different audiences is how you stand apart from the crowd. Writing blog posts gave me practice for writing other technical documents later on in my career used by my peers, executives, customers, and even students at a bootcamp.
In fact, several posts I've authored on Dev.to are just reposts of internal documents I wrote, minus all the proprietary information ;)
It's a form of giving back
One of the main reasons I write posts is that I view it as a form of giving back to the community which helped foster my career growth. The majority of the skills that led me on a successful career in engineering came from posts on the internet, whether that be the MDN Web Docs, A stack overflow answer, or a WordPress blog post. By contributing to the Marketplace of Ideas, I'd like to think that I'm enabling others to advance their own growth as I have.
It establishes a narrative
While one blog post can highlight knowledge on a singular topic, many blog posts can help create a narrative to describe your competencies and experience. This is commonly used to as a means to build reputation towards becoming a thought leader, but the average person can also leverage it during the interview process. Similar to portfolios, a candidate can share their authored posts with a hiring manager in order to demonstrate skill competency.
It creates opportunities
During the fake it til you make it phase of my career, I authored many blog posts around programming topics that I was learning. Within a year my persistent efforts began to pay off as I found emails in my inbox from companies looking for contractors, technical recruiters looking for full-time candidates, and even one publishing company asking me to author a technical book. The additional exposure that the blog posts provided became the springboard that allowed me to transition from IT into Engineering.
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