Reading time: 4 minutes
“A blog by any other name is still a blog”
Good Afternoon People!
Before I forget, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone that has read my blog, retweeted, commented and if I was lucky, subscribed to the blog. Blogging has been real adventure, fun most of the time but sometimes scary, but your comments, tweets and feedback have given me the strength to pull up my socks and keep moving!
Here are 4 ways that blogging has helped me become a better developer:
1) Blogging forces you to teach what you know – which helps you teach yourself
There have been many times where I thought that I knew a coding concept well – in fact I was so confident that I would try to write a blog post about it. Piece of cake right? Not. On. Your. Life. Technical blogs for me have been been the most difficult to write and have often had me tagging on my invisible hair.
Technical blogs have often done 2 things to me:
A) Expose the gaps in my knowledge – More often than not, in the process of writing, I find that there are things that I didn’t quite understand and it exposes my assumptions around the subject. Writing forces me to break things down into small understandable chunks to explain to the reader – which in turn helps cement the concept in my head. This has done wonders for confidence and self esteem.
B) Research – This forced me to read up on the things that I didn’t know and track down the answers that I sought. This sharpened my fact finding skills and introduced me to resources like Stack Overflow and the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) which has helped me massively.
2) Blogging keeps you disciplined
People say that learning to code is like a marathon, but I disagree – marathons are boring. I would it’s more like the Tough Mudder
– it will sometimes bring you to you knees and you will have to get your hands dirty!
I have written many times how in the beginning, coding seemed so easy but then I went into ‘The Dip’
and I went through the same process as blogging. Although it was easy in the beginning, there have been times where I got frustrated, was tired and wanted to give up. But blogging keep me honest. Delivering a post every week helped me develop patience and perseverance to keep on going. Writing about my struggles and connecting with other helped me to learn that these feelings were normal and keep me going. Willpower is like a ‘muscle’ that you can work on to make stronger
– blogging has definitely helped work it out and this has helped me stay focused in my coding journey.
3) Blogging helps you make connections
Not all of my blogs have been about tech and I have spoken bout a range of subjects from my childhood, teaching and wider culture.
Through my adventures in social media, I have spoken with many interesting people and if they were discussing a topic that I was passionate about, I would point them to one of my blogposts and would use it a springboard for further discussion – this helped me foster deeper connections than I would get just typing 140 characters!
At an event a while back, I spoke to a tech recruiter about my career change plans and she helpfully suggested that I blog about tech because
a) It will show that you have interest in the subject
b) Your blog can be evidence of your learning and can help you eventually get jobs in the field.
The recruiter then said something that blew my mind away – She said that:
“blogs are the new CVs as rather than get a bland two page document listing your grades, your blog will tell what projects that you are working on, what are you truly passionate about and what you personality is like. Basically your blog will tell me whether you will fit in our organisation”
Wow. Your blog can help you land a job before you even send an application.
4) Blogging teaches you to give back
Huh? But you have just started I hear you cry! what can I possibly give? Well a lot actually. As a teacher, sometimes I will be teaching a large class of students who are not getting the concept that I am trying to teach them. Nothing that I explain is working. But just when I want to give up, a plucky young student will stand up and explain it to the class in terms that only they will understand and voila! The whole class is cooking with gas.
Never underestimate the power of peer-to-peer learning.
Also I wouldn’t be pursuing this dream if it wasn’t for all the teachers, volunteers and mentors who took the time to help me on my way. Don’t wait to be Mark Zuckerberg: start sharing what you know because the way that may explain it could help more people than you realise!
Thank you for reading and as always leave your comments below or tweet me @karlwebdev to let me know what you think!
This is the last blog before Christmas so thank you for reading and please have a very cheerful, relaxing and merry Christmas!
I have one more blog to drop before 2017 meet me here next Thursday!