I have been enjoying the Talk Python Podcast for a while and at least two episodes revolve around the importance of having a blog as a software developer.
In episode #69 Write an Excellent Programming Blog guest A. Jesse Davis dissects the advice he gives in his own post Write an Excellent Programming Blog with tips for blog content and argues that blogging does not need to be regular but of high quality and lasting value, which I absolutely agree with.
In episode #71 Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual guest John Sonmez emphasizes the importance that the blog had for his own career and encourages others to do so. He also talks about his book that I read recently.
Both episodes were quite influential on my decision to create my blog.
The main reason that I distilled from both episodes, quoting A. Jesse Davis, is: ‘your goal is to attract specialists in your field so you can share ideas with them’. John Sonmez puts it in another way as finding your niche or specialization and becoming a reference for it.
Furthermore, A. Jesse Davis provides an interesting generic list of topics to write about:
- How Something Works
Reflecting back on my own blog I have covered so far either stories or reviews (Meetups, Hackathons, contributing to Open Source, books page). Topics I want to write about in the future are How-tos and How Something Works. I believe these two last topics are certainly the most valuable for others.
[Update] Back in the day I also checked this post by Troy Hunt. Although there’s some controversy around the topic, I believe that maintaining for a while a technical blog can help me improve my skills. An example for it that I look up to is Jeff Knupp’s blog.
Scott Hanselman also refers to the invisible developers as
Dark matter in his post and states that there should be a balance between yelling online and getting actual stuff done, which I agree with and personally like to lean towards the actual getting stuff done.
Finally as Jason Fried suggests in this post, a blog is just about publishing and maybe having someone magically find it. It is about fighting the fear of having a zero counter next to the number of visits to your blog for the sake of creation and giving back to the community.