Blogs are everywhere. The enormous amount of information that is available is astounding. It’s quite amazing actually. There are crazy smart people are out there, spending their free time, writing in-depth articles about information they have learned. Most get very little in return.
Should you have a blog? Are there benefits? Why bother?
Sharing is Caring
Working in a technical field is hard. Tech is hard. Using software is hard. Developing software is even harder. It is not something where you just read a couple books and can do everything that needs to be done.
I started out in the architectural industry specializing in developing software for AutoCAD. People involved in the industry were very open and happy to share information. I was one of them. At the time, AutoCAD was very new and not many people understood how to use it.
Some colleagues and I started meeting for drink and talk about software. This group soon grew into an official meetup and was open to anyone interested. It was such a great feeling being able to be involved with the community and help other people solve problems. It really does make you feel good knowing that you’ve been able to help someone else.
You will be better at what you do
There is a style of debugging in software engineering named Rubber Ducking. The general concept is “The act of explaining your code to someone, or to something like a rubber duck, will force you to understand and think through the code you have written.”
Writing a blog post is very similar to that experience. Writing about something forces you to learn as much as possible about the subject. Not just read and repeat but to fully understand the concept. And hopefully to explain the concepts in a way that other people will understand.
The AutoCAD community I was involved with started a newsletter and I was asked to write a monthly column called the “Command of the Month Club”. I would take a single command in AutoCAD and discuss, in detail, all the ways it could be used; every argument, every possible UI input, every way it could be used. This forced me to fully understand how that command worked. To learn every way it could be used. I became much better with software simply because I knew in-depth how everything worked.
This is primarily the reason I write a blog. It helps me better understand tools and technologies I want to know better.
Blogging helps promote you
Blogging provides a very simple way to perform career networking. IMany people in the tech industry, including me, are not that comfortable with in-person networking with their peers. As much as they should be out there networking, it is just not something they enjoy doing.
Having an on-line presence provides a way to have people see your work, learn who you are, and get to know you. Because blogs are available to anyone with an internet connection you also get to reach people all over the world. Can’t do that by talking people up at a local networking mixer.
Have a question or perhaps a correction? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.