In this post, I'm going to discuss what it means to work in public, what are the positives from working in public, how it actually has helped me and why I think you should use Social Media if you come from a non-traditional background.
Working in public means sharing what you're working on with other people. That could be a blog, an Instagram account, YouTube, or other social media. It doesn't matter how you're sharing, just that you share with other people besides yourself. Working in public is not keeping your work siloed in private GitHub repos or even in public ones if you don't link to it anywhere. You have to be sharing your progress or what you're working on in some way, shape, or form.
I share my work on Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, and my website. I chose platforms that I was interested in creating content for so that I would be more inclined to post. Going live on Twitch and making a video on YouTube are a lot easier for me to discuss what I'm working on for a few reasons:
- It's easy to turn on a camera
- I can show my screen instantly
- I don't have to spell check
Making a well-performing video on YouTube takes more effort than those 3 points, but it's usually more effortless than a blog post.
The number one positive outcome of using social media to show your work as a software engineer is networking. Meeting other people who can help you in your career and life is invaluable. I was able to take on my first freelancing project because I connected with someone in my live stream chat, and we chatted over Instagram messages also. I have received a lot of helpful advice about Swift, advancing my career, and just life from people in my YouTube and Instagram comments.
Another positive of my YouTube channel and blog is that future employers or freelance clients can see that I know what I claim to do on my resume. This "proof" is essential since my background is not in tech. I went to school for technical theatre, and I worked in the industry for five years. My previous work history does not show that I know iOS app development or web development, even though I have studied them and released two apps in the last four years. My videos and posts show that my resume is correct.
I believe you should be sharing the work you've done. It can be a simple blog post explaining a tool you've used or a photo of some code with an explanation of the project it belongs to.
If you have any comments about this post, then make sure to let me know on Twitter, @maeganwilson_!
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