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Kade Esterline
Kade Esterline

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How I use TikTok as a developer

Why TikTok

If you're under the age of 25 you've probably been on TikTok for a couple years. If you're not you've probably begrudgingly downloaded it and either not understood it or spent hours of your life watching sub 1 minute long videos of people walking up milk crate stairs, and dancing to songs you love that have now been dubbed as just another 'TikTok song'. Maybe you hate everything TikTok is doing and you wish people would stop using it. Sadly for you, TikTok continues to grow year over year with backlinko.com stating that of the roughly 4.8 billion internet users, 20.83% of them are using TikTok. The platform has spawned numerous careers in everything from music and comedy and other entertainment niches to education, finance, personal development and many more. Instagram was the king of my younger years, but as even Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Youtube try to implement features to compete with TikTok, it's still the clear winner in my opinion.

What I post on TikTok

I started about a month ago posting short videos of my solutions to Leetcode style problems. I would solve a problem on Leetcode, record a video of me typing out the solution and use TikTok's voice over feature to walk through the steps to my solutions. After a while I decided I could use TikTok to repurpose some of my blog posts from Dev.to and condense them into short explanations of various technologies, how-to's and technology spotlights. I've been posting every day for 4 weeks as of today and I've gained just over 750 organic followers. I'm looking forward to continuing the occasional leetcode solution while sharing some of the tools I use everyday while I'm coding.

How I Make TikToks

Right now I'm using OBS to screen record and I use my MacBooks webcam when I want to make an appearance in my videos. I then put the video in google drive, download it to my phone and post it. I try not to spend more than 20 minutes on the whole process of figuring out what I'll say, recording the video and uploading it. If you were to start, I'd recommend taking a little bit of time to either have a big stockpile of leetcode problems you could walk through or you could just have a big list of technologies to explain.

There are also probably tons of articles/videos that will try to teach you exactly how to grow on TikTok. I don't want to talk too much about that because it's not something I know a lot about, but staying consistent and making the type of content people want to watch will really help you grow. If you post at the bare minimum of once a day and try to post with a lot of variety of topics, lengths and at different times of the day, you'll eventually have a good idea of what people want to see and when. The problem with focusing too much on 'hacking the algorithm' is that the algorithm is going to change constantly and letting analytics guide you will be the best option.

Conclusion

If it wasn't easy to 1) grow an audience on TikTok, and 2) convenient/fast to post on TikTok, I wouldn't be taking the time to post every day. I don't think it makes sense for everyone, but if you have the time you can easily grow an audience organically. I haven't told anyone my username, and I don't think I really intend to. I'm using TikTok to share resources and knowledge just like I would with a traditional blog post. I don't want to blow up on TikTok, I don't think I have the personality for it. I do however really enjoy sharing knowledge and answering questions when they come up.

Hopefully this was somewhat helpful, and I encourage you to start posting on TikTok. If you do start, or if you're already posting on TikTok leave your username in the comments so I can check it out. Feel free to check out some of my other blog posts and thanks for reading.

Discussion (7)

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chantelsky profile image
Sky • Edited on

I wouldn't be encouraging people to use TikTok. "TikTok US user data was accessed by engineers at its Chinese parent company for at least four months"

businessinsider.com/tiktok-us-user...

techcrunch.com/2022/07/04/tiktok-s...

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kadeesterline profile image
Kade Esterline Author

I had thought about this before I posted and after reading the techcrunch article beforehand it didn't bother me quite as much. Sure they have access, but as they also said the security of US based users data is managed by a US based team. They're also moving that data to US based servers. Not saying it isn't an issue, because it doesn't make me happy either. Just not as big of a deal as I initially thought.

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gismo1337 profile image
Sebastian

this is known for years and nobody cares. it's a chinese company. what did you expect? serious.

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chantelsky profile image
Sky

Just because it is known for years, doesn't mean we should just be OK about it and encourage others to use it.

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dcichorski profile image
Dariusz Cichorski

It's good to see there are people wanting to use the platform as a way to produce valuable content. Most of us see TikTok as something bad that shouldn't be used, but we can't deny that most of young people use it on a daily basis. Fingers crossed for your success, keep it up 🤞💪

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blackgirlbytes profile image
Rizèl Scarlett

Thank you for sharing. Many people, including myself, are curious about the process people take to use TikTok as a developer.

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kadeesterline profile image
Kade Esterline Author

Of course!