Dev Journal: Weeknotes Season 2

There are two very powerful things that have helped me improve my skills, any skill, over my life: journaling and sharing my experiences with others. These two actions allow for quick iteration. Iterating is how skills improve — by trying and failing repeatedly until, eventually, small successes coalesce into total success.

For this reason, I really enjoy writing Weeknotes. I used to keep a Dev Journal but slowly stopped publishing them (I started documenting my thoughts on an audio recorder instead but never found the time to make the recordings public). Picking up the Weeknotes has been on my radar for some time and I finally set aside time to start back up.

The goal is to publish notes on the following:

  • What I learned (in terms of web development and soft skills)
  • What I did (this is limited due to some NDAs but I’ll try!)
  • Related links that I used for work

The first Weeknotes from season 2 will be this Friday and will be a regular Friday thing (I have ADD so it is very possible that I will stop at some point. I intend to keep going as long as it makes sense, even if I have to take a break and come back to it in different “seasons”).

For now, I wanted to explain why I love journaling and sharing…

Journaling

Converting raw emotion into language forces our brains to parse those emotions into something coherent. The ability to explain emotions is crucial in communication but it is also crucial to understand what we do. In other words, converting emotion into language helps us understand our actions. By understanding our actions we can improve the next action.

Sharing

Sharing involves risk, for some it involves a lot of risk. Sharing can result in many types of responses: some negative, some positive and some neutral. Yes, those negative responses are scary, but the positive responses (sometimes even the neutral responses) provide soooo many rich learning opportunities.

Sharing publicly allows us to receive a lot of feedback very quickly. The feedback could be achieved without sharing but getting an equal amount of feedback could take much longer. By taking the risk, we can gain the experiences of others and apply those experiences in our own situations.

Iterate

A question, an idea, or a piece of work — they all improve through iteration. Therefore, iterating an idea as often as possible, as quickly as possible is ideal. By recording our observations and sharing our thoughts, we can improve our skills efficiently.

We’ve seen examples of this on sites like StackOverflow, Codepen, and others. We can share questions or pieces of work, get critique and feedback, and improve extremely quickly.

Journaling and sharing is something I ask everyone to do. I don’t expect it to work for everyone, but it is worth a shot. Take the risk!

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