I'm Celebrating 10k Followers Here on DEV! AMA!

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Hey Y'all πŸ€—

I'm Tori, a Flatiron School SWE graduate and lover of technical blogging. Yesterday I passed 10,000 followers here on DEV, so I thought I'd celebrate πŸŽ‰ this milestone by doing an AMA.

Go ahead and ask any questions you have for me in the discussion thread below!

cat putting glasses on with the text "I'm ready"

Note: I'll also be doing an AMA over on Twitter at 5:00 pm PST.

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You graduated Flatiron School and are currently an SWE coach there too, correct? Can you talk a bit about how you moved from the role of student to coach at Flatiron? I'm thinking about the particular strengths you might be able to bring as a coach who is also a graduate of the program.

Bonus fun one: I see you include the description "Cat Mom" in your bio... wanna share some info on your cats? I realize no one asked, but my cat kids are Icarus (pure sweet), Jade (sweet & spicy), and Kiernan (sweet & sour). All good kitties! 😸😸😸

 

Flatiron really likes to hire graduates as coaches because we have already made our way through the curriculum. Most likely we are fresh out of the bootcamp and remember going through all the highs and lows that accompany learning something new, which helps us connect with and support the students in their journey. It's been really rewarding to see students visibly relax when I tell them I also struggled with a certain topic. It also helps some of the students to know that we were in their position not too long ago and now we know enough to help teach it.

Coaching has helped me gain a deeper understanding of Ruby and JavaScript. It's given me the ability to answer questions about complex topics in a very basic way. I can't thank Flatiron enough for giving me the opportunity to become a better developer all the while giving back to the community that helped change my life.

Now onto my cats!! I have two and, man oh man, those little dudes are a handful. They are both about 1.5 years old. Luke Catwalker (sweet & ditzy) is a Havana Brown and Pouncy (sour & spicy with a sprinkling of sweet here and there) is an Ocicat. See tweet for pics of them!

 

Oh hey, I am also enrolled in Flatiron School!

In your opinion, what's the difference between blogging and technical blogging? I have a hard time finding the difference between blogging about tech and technical blogging.

 

I'm so happy to hear you are attending Flatiron School. Good luck. 😊

To me, technical blogging is when you are discussing a technical topic. More often than not, there will likely be a few code snippets in this kind of post.

Blogging about tech is less technical and more generally about something pertaining to the tech industry. I've written blog posts about the job search, which to me is more blogging about tech than it is a technical blog post. I don't discuss the algorithm questions I was asked. I don't discuss any technology in particular. I talk about my experiences and the tips that I have for those in a similar position.

With all that said, you can do both, write technical blogs and also blog about tech. You don't need to choose one or the other.

 

Wow!

How do you envision the next five years of evolution in terms of being able to speak to an audience about programming?

 

In regards to the evolution of speaking to an audience about programming in general, I take the stance that I will never be surprised by the technology that we create. I wouldn't be surprised if remote speaking at conferences becomes common. It'd be really cool if we could create holograms of the speaker.

Princess Leia hologram

One thing I'd really like to see more of is events that live stream so those who have extreme social anxiety (or any other reason that makes it hard for them to attend in person) can participate/learn. It'll also help speakers reach a much wider audience.

My number one hope is that technical blogging never burns out. I enjoy it so much.

In regards to my own personal evolution of speaking to an audience about programming over the next 5 years, my end goal is to speak at conferences. I have only spoken at one small meetup for Flatiron so far. I hope to gain the confidence to feel comfortable speaking in front of a large room of people. I get pretty nervous while speaking in public in general, but I always feel so proud of myself afterwards so it's 100% worth the nerves for me.

I also want to create my own blog site and begin cross posting, but that is a more immediate goal.

Not entirely sure this answers your question fully, but there ya go. 😊

 

Although it's hard to get accepted as a speaker for big conferences it's pretty easy to go up as a lightning talk speaker btw. Hopefully that helps :)

 

Any tips for gaining followers?
Do you target any specific time/day to post your articles?

 

I honestly post at random. I don't post the same day every week or at the same time every time I post.

Some of my posts do well, some don't. I think the key is just publishing consistently. 1x a week or once every other week. Whatever you feel like you can handle and maintain.

I make use of the tags. I manage my posts and I tweet about my articles a bit. It's helped me get more exposure that way.

I hope this helps!!!

 
 

How long have you been doing tech writing and are you finding a profitable side-hustle? Or is it your main job?

Congrats on the 10k followers btw!! Awesome milestone!

 

Thank you!!

I first started technical blogging when I was enrolled in Flatiron School's software engineering bootcamp, which I started in April 2018. One of their requirements is to write at least 5 technical blog posts over the course of the program. It didn't take long for me to realize I really loved it and it helped me strengthen my knowledge of topics. I ended up writing way more than just 5 posts by the time I graduated.

I didn't discover DEV until right before graduation and didn't start consistently posting here until about March/April 2019.

I haven't monetized my blog, because I prefer to keep writing a hobby without that extra stressor.

 

Thanks! And that last line is full of wisdom, hit me right in the guts why dont you!?

 
 

Have you found any benefits of having so many followers here?

 

The biggest benefit that I've discovered through having so many followers is that I've had quite a few people reach out to me asking me to apply for jobs at their companies. Some have even referred me. None have panned out yet, but it's helpful to know, as a junior DEV, that at least some people have faith in me and my ability.

Another thing is people who reach out asking for advice about learning to code or transitioning careers. I love helping others, so this is one aspect I really enjoy and am thankful for.

Overall, it just helps me feel like I'm doing something right. Looking for a job is rough and has had me feeling really low at times. Blogging has been my escape from those feelings and to know that I can help people through writing helps lift me up mentally.

 

Do you see gaining followers as a goal in itself?

How do you feel about the way DEV doesn't display follower counts to users?

 

I actually love it! I don't care how many followers someone has. Good content is good content no matter the follower count. I feel that sometimes if someone sees a low follower count, they write the articles/person off and DEV doesn't give this the opportunity to happen. Everyone is on a similar playing field.

I don't see it as a goal. It makes me happy to see it, but I'd still produce content no matter the follower count. I love writing because it helps me learn. 😊

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