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Lorenzo Zarantonello
Lorenzo Zarantonello

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Why do you write?

I see three main reasons why developers should write:

  1. Sharing knowledge: communicate their ideas and thoughts to a larger audience and help others learn more
  2. Building a personal brand
  3. Learning: writing can be a way to structure their thoughts and consolidate their knowledge

However, there are many other ways devs could reach the same objectives.

  1. Use videos or teach live lessons
  2. Be a speaker, panelist, building in public, contributing to projects etc.
  3. Using diagrams, building prototypes, or just reading

So, why do you write or don't write?

Top comments (19)

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jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

I write to learn and share. I think of a stream of knowledge. In some cases I'm just a bit upstream of other folks, so what i write floats downstream to them. And my writing is a bit like paddling to move upstream.

So I write about whatever interests me, because the purpose is learning and synthesizing, and the by product is potential fertilizer for other folks's learning.

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perssondennis profile image
Dennis Persson

Have always been about helping people. I worked at the University a bunch of years after finishing my studies. That didn't really feel very effective, teaching a few people at once, taking loads of time to teach a few. Blogging have the potential to reach at to so many more people.

What I profit from it? Nothing but joy today. Have no plans to make money on it. I have a buymeacoffe account but don't make any money there. I do value the community and network I gain a lot though. I see no reason to blog if no one reads it. Followers on DEV and Instagram is a good profit to me.

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

Thanks for sharing!
I’m reading now perssondennis.com/articles/mvp from your blog:)

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natescode profile image
Nathan Hedglin

I write to help junior developers cut through the noise of poor quality content and to learn myself. Teaching is the best test of one's knowledge. I'm a perfectionist so I have a few dozen posts in draft. . .I'll get there.

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

I resonate a lot with the latter! Writing helps me structure my thoughts and questions my knowledge or lack of it.

I’m wondering if poor quality content is an issue across all fields. I’d think it’s not, or at least not to this extent.

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natescode profile image
Nathan Hedglin

Especially for developers, they want to appear smart. I've seen developers with zero experience, that only know JavaScript, tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

It's all about clout: likes, subscribers and accolades.

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff

I usually write for a couple of reasons:

  1. Reinforce/share my knowledge
  2. As a type of log, so I can see my progress and have an idea of what I was working or interested at that time.
  3. Add my point of view on some topic.

Most times it's a mix, other times I write as a way of turning off my head, kind of like meditation (those posts almost never get published though...)

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mrtillman profile image
mrtillman

yea i like the idea of writing to reinforce knowledge. it helps to rebuild the original mental context that you had earlier, so it's easy to pick up where you left off.

this is why you shouldn't interrupt a programmer:

ProgrammerInterrupted.png

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

Ahahaha love this! Did you make it?

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mrtillman profile image
mrtillman

lol. no it's one of those silly comics you can find at xkcd.com/

@lorenzojkrl

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

When you write to turn off your head, do you write about coding?

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff

Yeah, not always coding per se but always related in some way I'd say

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

Ok, clear! Sometimes I also write down things and thoughts not related to coding. I think it helps to get clarity and see things in a more objective way:)

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jesusantguerrero profile image
Jesus Guerrero

I write for the first three reasons you mentioned but I would add keep a future reference.

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

True! Sometimes I also go back to β€œmy own documentation” 😊

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

I write to know what I think

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mrtillman profile image
mrtillman

great question. thanks for asking.

I recently started writing to share and learn. the other things you mentioned are valuable too. seems like developer blogs and videos are more common these days.

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

Reasons to write: sharing knowledge and learning and getting feedback. Probably there has been an aspect I did not notice before or an even better solution than the one that I just found out. And unlike strict Question+Answer platforms like StackOverflow/StackExchange, writing/blogging allows me to express myself in my own way and still take part in a community.

As a learner, I prefer written text over videos, as it is easier for me to follow at my own speed and I don't need to turn on the sound or put on headphones to listen to someone (and try to understand their accent). Listening to speakers in real life feels better, as there is potential interaction and I feel part of an audience.

As a technical writer, writing has the same advantage as reading: I can either take my time or rush and skip details without having to synchronize my speed with other people. Speaking in public is not easy, at least not for me when I want to do it properly on a professional level, so it takes much more effort than writing.

Building a brand and do marketing for my services as a web developer has always been an additional reason, but not the main reason to produce content. But sometimes I do think "I could add another paragraph stating that I am a web developer, that might benefit search engine marketing".

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lorenzojkrl profile image
Lorenzo Zarantonello Author

As a learner, I also prefer written text!
But as a writer, I rarely get feedback on my posts! I’d love to get some discussion about other ways of addressing the problem at hand.
I rarely got it!

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