loading...

The reason I'm starting a blog.

ajwerth profile image Alec Wertheimer Updated on ・4 min read

Hey, you found my blog! Welcome! Since this is my first post I'm going to use it to tell you a little bit about me and how I got to where I am. Then a little bit on why I decided to start a blog and why I think you should start one too.

So how did I become a Web Developer? Well it's a long story that can be summed up in a few sentances so I don't bore you to death.

I went to school for Animation. After that I started designing web sites and naturally became interested in how I could build what I had designed. With help from codeacademy and freecodecamp I taught myself basic HTML/CSS and was instantly hooked. As I got more experience I wanted to make more and more elaborate sites, which turned into apps, and next thing you know I'm knee deep in a Dockerized React frontend and a custom Flask API, running in AWS. Coding is a blast!

Why write a blog.

Now you're probably saying to yourself "Cool man, I don't really care about your life story.", fair point. You want to know why I decided to write a blog, and why I think you should start one too. Like me you're probably realize there are a million articles and blog posts on every topic you could ever possibly want to read about. So whats the point of even starting a blog? Well I've got 2 great simple reasons why.

A blog is a great Reference tool.

A few years ago I was at WordCamp Philly, the WordPress convention that is put on here in philly every year. One of the talks that I attendeed was specifically about why and how to start a blog. During his talk the speaker mentioned how he quiet frequently found himself looking up things that he had done before. Whether it was something he just recently learned and wasn't that farmiliar with, or something that he'd done a million times, however the last time he did it was so long a go there's not a shot in hell he was going to remember how to do it correctly. He thought "God, wouldn't it be great if I had a collection of articles about things I already spent time learning, and could refer back to whenever I needed a refresher?" Boom! perfect reason for a blog.

I thought this was genius, but still it wasn't enough to really kickstart my desire to start a blog. I'm not suer why since it was such a simple and great reason. One day I saw a youtube video about The Feynman Technique. A technique developed by Richard Feynman the famous physicist, yeah the one who help build the atomic bomb.

The technique has 3 steps...

Step 1 learn it.

You can't master anything if you don't spend some time learning how to do it. Super important, but I mean come on common sense. You can't ride a bike if you don't learn how to ride a bike, duh.

Step 2 Do it.

Another pretty obvious step if you don't practice the skill you'll eventually forget what you learned, at that point you're back to square one.

Step 3 Teach it.

Step 3 is where it gets interesting. This is the step that's not as obvious, but also the one which is most important on the path to mastery. Teaching others the same skill.

You don't realize until you do it how much teaching someone else gives you a deeper understanding of whatever it is your teaching them. There are two main reasons for this that I've experience.

In order to teach someone a skill, you need to be able to articulate what needs to be done in a way that shows not only how to do it, but also why it needs to be done that way. Thats where you start to master a skill when you start examining the "why". knowing why something works is extremely powerful.

Now, to really take yourself to the next level, to really be considered a master. To reach, as I like to call it, "Wizard" status, you need to be able to answer questions. All kinds of questions. When you start teaching someone a skill, they will undoubtedly have a question for you that you don't know the answer to. Not because you don't know the skill, but because the question they asked never even occurded to you. When you start looking up answers to questions your brain didn't come up with, that's when you start really learning the ins and outs of something.

Pocahontas summed it up best...

...if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
you'll learn things you never knew, you never knew..

That's why.

When I saw the video on The Feynman Technique, thats when I really had the urge, the fire to actaully start a blog.

A blog lets you accomplish so many things. It lets you keep an index of things you've learned that you can refer back to, gives you a deeper understanding of those things, teaches others about those thing who in return will have questions that will most likely give you and even deeper understanding. Not to mention you'll probably make some good connections in the proccess.

Wrapping up.

I am currently working on my next and first coding post. The first topic I'm going to cover is Flex-box. I love this tool and I'm going to break it down so that you will too. So make sure to keep an eye out for that. I implore you to reach out to me with any questions.

Also if you would like to learn more about the Feynman Technique check out this video by Thomas Frank he explains it really well and in a lot more detail. There are also a ton of great articles and other blogs that cover the topic as well.

Well that's all I got for now. Keep coding!

Posted on Mar 18 by:

ajwerth profile

Alec Wertheimer

@ajwerth

Front-End Engineer, Designer, and Animator from Philly. Always working on expanding my knowledge and improving my skills.

Discussion

markdown guide
 

Good choice! I started writing my blog almost 2 years ago. I found myself stuck with it since I had nothing interesting to say. Then I realized that something that for me was obvious, for someone else was not.

Let me share my 2 cents: save your article sources also somewhere else: I use 2 repos on GitHub, one for my public website and another one for drafts and incompleted articles. Also, try to publish regularly. I can't do more than one article every 2 weeks, but for now it's fine.

Lastly: just have fun! Write about something that is interesting for you!

 

I'm also going to start a blog soon also. I'm closing in on 300 days of coding I need to expand my purview.
Also being self taught you never have anyone questioning the way you do things. So I'm probably working harder and not smarter at some things.
I'm looking at React/Gatsby/Netlify combo.

 

Yeah I feel the same way about being self taught, there are probably somethings I'm doing that I could be doing a better way.

I really want to use Gatsby/Netlify, I probably will end up refactoring my whole site to use Gatsby eventually but its a steep curve switching from CRA to Gatsby, and I wanted to get something up quickly so I can start Bloging so I stuck with CRA.

 

What tech stack are you using for your blog? and All the best!

 

I'm planning on using React and the dev.to API. Basically publish posts here and then displaying them on my personal site. I like being able to write posts with markdown and dev.to has an app so I can even do it from my phone. I'll also probably get way more visibility this way.