Blogging is an excellent way to bolster your reputation as a developer. You can share the knowledge you’ve gained over years of experience, and inspire other developers. The more interesting, useful content you have, the more people will follow you. This can lead to further opportunities for yourself or your company, such as consulting gigs or new job offers.
Here are some great reasons why you should start blogging as a developer as soon as possible:
1. It’s a great way to get better at writing
Learning to write well is extremely difficult. Even after I’ve written tens of thousands of words, it still takes me a fair amount of time and effort to craft a clear, concise, and engaging piece.
Writing regularly for your blog or another medium will help you become more comfortable with the process of writing itself. The best way to do this is to set aside some time every week or two weeks and just start writing. Don’t worry about what you have to say, don’t worry about how it sounds, don’t edit yourself at all, write until you feel like stopping.
Then come back later on and see if there are places where you can cut out unnecessary words or sentences without making your point any less clear.
2. It helps you understand how others view your work
When you build something new as a developer (a new library/framework/application/etc.), almost no one knows who you are or what your motivations are for building whatever it is that you created — and they probably don’t care either!
I think that this leads us, developers, into believing that our perspective on our work is the only possible perspective on said work — which is not true!
When we can share our thoughts in an open forum like a public blog post, we allow other people (who may actually use what we built) to give their feedback, too — giving us an opportunity for growth as developers and contributors to the community.
3. You can show off your resume
In an age where employers expect job applicants to be active on social media (and even have some kind of “personal brand”), maintaining an impressive personal website with links back to previous projects has become essential for many developers looking for work — especially given the current state of the job market!
As such, having a technical blog that showcases your past accomplishments can be an invaluable tool during job interviews when asked why you want the job or why someone should hire you.
4. It makes you more employable
In addition to the previous point, having a blog also makes you much more marketable in general. As developers, we all know that it’s not enough to have technical skills — you need to work well with others. The best way to prove that you can work well with others is by showing that you can clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas — blogging is one of the best ways I can think of to do exactly that!
5. You gain a larger audience for your existing code
If you’re writing about open source projects already, then this point shouldn’t really be news for you. But just in case it is: writing about your own projects on your blog will expose them to a much larger audience than if they were just sitting on Github!
This could mean hundreds or even thousands more people using (and possibly contributing back to) the project throughout its lifetime!
6. It helps you become a better developer
Writing about your projects will help you organize your thoughts and clarify your perspective on them — which in turn will make you a better developer!
I certainly find that writing blog posts force me to think more carefully about the code that I’m writing, making me a better developer.
I also find it helps keep my skills sharp by forcing me to look back at previous projects and remember how they worked (or didn’t work). It’s kind of like going over old code from years ago — except it is all under one convenient location online, so you don’t have to dig through hundreds of source control folders to find what you’re looking for.
7. You can grow an audience from scratch
As developers, we are constantly aware of the importance of having users, especially building open-source software.
The problem with trying to build an audience purely by releasing new open source projects is that unless you already have some kind of network or following, most people probably won’t care about your project until it is complete (and maybe not even then!).
Blogging allows you to build an audience before your project is released, meaning they will be much more likely to give your project a chance if/when it does come out!
8. It allows collaboration on projects with no existing community
If you are working on something new that doesn’t already have an existing user base, blogging about it in advance allows other people interested in the topic to contribute ideas/code/etc.
This could lead to the creation of an entirely new open source community around whatever it is that you are working on!
If you are not currently blogging, then you should seriously consider starting. It will help you become a better communicator, it can be used as a tool for finding work, and it can be used to grow your audience for your existing projects.