Why you should write a programming blog
As a junior and sometimes even intermediate programmer, the competition is often fierce compared to what you will experience a bit later in your career, and that is good news. Differentiating yourself from other developers sounds like an impossibly daunting task. Although differentiating yourself WILL be more time consuming than not doing so, it’s also one of the best ROTI (not the dish, Return On Time Invested) you will gain. Running a programming blog is just one amongst many ways of getting exposure where others lazied out. Here are the top reasons why you should blog a programmer
Reason #1: Employers love it
Getting interviews will be easier
If you don’t forget to include the url to your programming blog in your job application, your blog will portray you under the best light in the following aspects:
Reading through one or two of your articles, a potential employer will gain insight on your communication style before even having a formal phone conversation (or a prescreening call) with you. Communication is never something that should be overlooked, even in a purely technical position. A blog article allows for natural language which a resume is simply not designed to achieve.
- As a software engineer, you communicate during pair programming and code reviews, while you trade ideas with your colleagues and management, etc.
- As a software architect, you will communicate your vision to developers and management.
- As a manager (team lead and up), communication will be most of what you will be doing in a day.
It goes without saying that in a programming blog, among other things, you will be discussing programming. You will probably not focus on one thing either, you can write about anything and everything from best practices to newest programming trends, tutorials, programming languages and their differences, use cases, you name it!
Woke up on a rainy Sunday morning and decided to compare execution speed of a
for loop vs a
while loop just for giggles? We don’t judge – BLOG about it!
Although you should probably not showcase your knowledge every time you get a chance to do so (or they’ll stop inviting you to parties), a blog is definitely the place to do so – mostly through teaching.
Nothing conveys passion more than hard work and invested time. A programming blog conveys your dedication and actual interest towards your craft. Passion is what separates the good from the great and people that hire other people (often known as the Hiring Managers) know it.
Reason #2: It’s easy to get started
Choose a platform
No, you don’t have to re-write the wheel and spend 2 weeks making a custom CMS from scratch to write your monthly article. Actually, you could, if you think you’d learn something from it but that’s beside the point. Use an existing platform such as WordPress or consider this nifty npm module if you feel a bit more adventurous and want SOME form of a challenge.
Yes, you do have the time
After the initial setup, it should not be time consuming either. Yes, there goes your “I don’t have the time” excuse out of the window. You don’t have to write blog posts on a weekly or even a bi-weekly basis. Put out what you can, when you can, while maintaining blog post quality. You will soon find yourself automatically thinking about the subject of your next article. Here’s a little tip, make article notes on your phone with the titles you’d want to write about. Every time you think of a new bullet point (main idea) behind the article, add it to the appropriate article note. Once you find some free time, it will be easier to elaborate on bullet points than going from scratch.
You will learn some (at least) basic SEO
Keep in mind that the longer your articles simply sit on your blog, the more organic visitors they will attract. Google favours domain notoriety AND content that has been around for some time. Writing and maintaining a blog will also teach you a lot about Search Engine Optimization. Not that you would usually care about SEO as a programmer but it WILL widen your breadth of knowledge.
Reason #3: You will become a better programmer
You will become a better programmer by blogging about programming
Who would have thought that by repeating things to others you gain a deeper understanding the things you repeat right?!
Writing an article will force you to do more research and develop a solid understanding of the subject you’re writing about. Here’s a great quote, maybe Einstein, maybe not Einstein:
You think you understand how internet works? Try explaining it to a child, just to find yourself making mental notes on things you’re clueless about in the process.
With that being said, a programming blog will drive you to higher levels of understanding in your field.
Other reasons why you should write a programming blog
- It will vastly improve your writing
- You will make new connections in the industry
- Side gigs potential
- You will perhaps be interested in monetizing it later on