When you hear a word "blog" you might be thinking something like "That's so 2000, no one reads blogs anymore!".
I would argue that it's not exactly accurate. If you are a programmer without your own blog, I think you should definitely start one right away!
Having a blog has a bunch of benefits. In this article I will list five reasons why you should have a blog as a programmer.
When you write what you know and that way teach others, it will also make you better in the thing you write about. Because if you are teaching someone you must know your stuff.
Let's say for example that you write an article about React fragments. You might be familiar with them and you know how to use them.
But when you have to write an article about React fragments, you need to actually understand how they work, why would you use them and how to use them.
If you know all that stuff, great! Writing that article should be easy. In this case there can still be aspects that you might not have known, or use cases or properties you find out while browsing through documentation, something you would not be doing if you weren't doing a research for your article.
But if you e.g. know everything about fragments except why would one use them, why are they better than wrapper divs, you must do your research and understand the why. This way you almost accidentally get better with fragments.
It goes without saying that I just used React fragments as an example for this, but the same goes on any other concept that you might write about.
Since you are reading this, I assume you are a programmer. And as a programmer I am 99.9% sure that you have read blog posts. If you aren't, at least you are reading one right now!
You know the feeling when you have a problem and you find an article that solves your problem right then and there. It is a great feeling!
But let me tell you, even better feeling is to write an article yourself and then get feedback that it helped someone else to solve their problem or make their life easier. That is even greater feeling!
I love to help others and it is just so gratifying to know that something I put out there is helping other people and possibly making someone's life even a little bit easier.
We often forget when reading blog posts or watching videos, that someone took the time to write that article or shoot that video. I always try to leave a comment or like on articles & videos that are helpful or provide value.
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When you are starting out, your articles most likely aren't that good. And this is totally fine! I read the first articles I ever wrote and they are quite terrible. Not to say that my articles now are exceptionally good, but I can see that they have at least improved over time.
If you have never written articles before, it is natural that you don't know how to write articles. You didn't know how to code when you started to write your first program. And I bet that if you look at some code you wrote when starting out, you are not proud. I know I'm not proud of the code in my first programs.
By constantly writing articles to your blog you improve your writing and communication skills. I would say that these skills are almost if not as important as actual programming skills.
Most often as a programmer code is not all you write. You need to also be able to work in teams, write documentation and email with a client, to mention a few. All these situations will be easier for you when you are a better communicator and writer.
Communication and writing skills are also something that is not limited just to your job as a programmer. They are essential skills in life in general.
Think about this scenario.
You are a recruiter in an IT firm and your job is to recruit a programmer for a new project.
You have two candidates.
First candidate has a great CV listing all the skills that are required for the job.
Second candidate has also a good CV listing all the skills that are required for the job. But on top of that, this candidate also has a blog. Quick browse through the blog shows that the candidate has also been writing articles about skills that are listed in the CV.
Now think about which candidate will you choose.
Most likely the second candidate. Because you actually have proof that this candidate knows the stuff he/she claims to know in their CV.
So having a blog will also act as an insurance to possible future employer that you know what you claim to know.
On top of that a blog can open doors that you wouldn't otherwise even know about.
For example you might get job offers you otherwise would not, because people find you through your blog. Or you might get speaking gigs, if that's something you want to do, just because you put yourself out there and make it possible for people to find you.
Starting a blog is quite easy. You just setup a blog with e.g. Wordpress, start typing and hit publish. If you compare it to e.g. making a Youtube video, writing an article requires significantly less work to get your content out there.
While making videos is also great (I do it too) if you are just starting out to make programming content (= articles / videos), I think making a blog is a great way to get started because of the fact that it is easier to start. You also get quickly to the habit of producing content, without having to worry about cameras, lightning, audio, editing etc.
Also if you have never published anything, the idea alone about putting yourself out there, for other people to read your thoughts and possibly judge you, can be frightening.
I know this because I still remember when I published my first blog post, I was so uncomfortable when I hit the publish button. I didn't tell anyone about the article and the idea of someone I know reading it just felt awkward.
Over time and with practice (= writing more articles), I got over this and I no longer feel that way.
I now also have a Youtube channel where I upload videos about web development and this is something I really like to do!
I started the Youtube channel just under a year ago and if I hadn't been blogging for the past few years, I wouldn't been able to start the channel.
Because if you think about making a video and talking to a camera, that's a whole another ball game compared to writing a blog post. I could never have been able to create a video where I talk to a camera and on top of that publish it, without having some practice first.
All the years that I have been writing articles and putting myself out there also gave me the courage to start making videos.
I hope you found this article helpful. I tried to give you insight that I have learned over the years and hopefully you got some value out of it.
If you are thinking of starting your own blog, read this article next: Why you should NOT code your own blog when starting out blogging.