Who Decided that Web Devs must Blog?

or, how one novice developer got to where she is, and why she plans to share her personal insights about life, universe, et. al with whoever should care to read about it.

Hello, all you fine folks out there in internet land. Thanks for clicking the link that brought you here. Sit down, relax. Have a cup of the warm beverage of your choice — warm beverages are excellent thinking aids — and join me in trying to figure out why I have to write this post.

First, a little background. I’m a twenty-something nerd lady with a humanities degree that I got out of more obligation than desire (I’m glad I got the education, but I was not exactly thinking career plans). I took a handful of computer sciences my senior year at university, only to discover that I probably should have studied that instead. Fast-forward through graduation, and a wonderful, stressful, life-changing nine months spent working full time with autistic adults in their homes, and you’ll come more or less to the present. After accepting that I needed to change industries for my mental and financial peace, and after some encouragement from my partner, Jeff, I decided to dive head-first into web and software development.

After perusing the many options available to me — a master’s degree in CS, self-teaching and freelancing my way to legitimacy — I settled on one of the career-change programs available through Bloc. (Specifically the part-time web developer track, if anyone is interested). It’s going just fine and dandy, with the learning and the coding and algorithm-challenge-solving, when I come to the portfolio part of the “Job Prep” section. Here, I’m “highly encouraged” to begin writing a blog, and to feature some posts on my portfolio site. Jeff, who is now a software engineer, got his start in computer science through a different (but similar) program. He too was made to start blogging about his journey into tech.

It seems like every “cool” developer these days has a blog, or YouTube channel, or hyper-active Twitter account. Don’t get me wrong, most of what I’m reading and watching from other developers and engineers out there is awesome — filled with perfectly chosen GIFs and helpful tutorials and an xkcd comic for every occasion.

I don’t really have anything to add just yet.

I said as much to Jeff — the fantastic human being and stellar in-house barista — and he knew exactly what to say:

“Just write you. Write about the stuff you care about. Accessibility, diversity, sustainable farming, mental illness awareness, cats — the stuff you normally talk about, write about.”

I figure I can do that. As I gain confidence in my engineering skills, maybe I’ll talk some tech, too.

I’m still not sure what this has to do with my becoming a successful (read employed!) developer. It feels like a test where I got the scantron sheet, but no question booklet. I know I’m being evaluated — why else would I be *required* to write a blog? — but the criteria are a complete mystery.

Dear reader, I welcome your personal thoughts, serious or not, in comments or private messages. First one to explain the blogging imperative (who lives somewhat near Dayton, Ohio) gets a cup of coffee on me.

That’s all for now!

— RK