As a sort of “Mini-Manifesto”, I’m reminding myself that everyone has a different, valid and valuable take on just about anything.
This includes me.
This includes you.
As long as our discussions and contributions are productive, authentic, inclusive and non-intentionally offensive, then all hold a place and are welcome and encouraged in discourse regardless of skill level or experience.
I’ve been a serial lurker in developer communities such as SlashDot, /r/programming, Stack Exchange, Hacker News, and of course, DEV for over a decade. I’ve gleaned so many amazing nuggets of information from the great people on these sites that I’ve always felt a sense of guilt for not reciprocating.
This is not to say that I have an over-abundance of confidence that my opinions, findings and experience is worth a damn to anyone besides me. I’m a serial drinker of the “Imposter Syndrome” kool-aid.
Yet in my voracious consumption of so many great tidbits of free knowledge I’ve come to realize that everyone who has been so generous in helping this silent, anonymous stranger is not so different from one another. We all suffer from imposter syndrome. We all are at different levels in our career trajectory, but we’ve all chewed the same dirt. We all appreciate the advice and guidance offered by one another.
There are 2 big benefits I see in contributing to our ever-growing developer community:
It will help someone.
Whether you ever get any feedback on your contribution or not, be confident that it will have an impact. Someone is struggling with the same issue you’ve solved. Or someone has been waiting to read a different take on a technique. And that alone makes you and your perspective priceless.
It will help you.
The best way to further your understanding is to teach it. By breaking down a complex subject into more digestible chunks you benefit by reinforcing those concepts in your grey matter.
You may also get feedback which, whether positive or not, can reinforce your position or force you to rethink a long-held belief. Either way, you grow.
In your own voice.
And publish it fearlessly because it matters.