As you might have noticed, this blog has been quiet for a while. I had lots of good stuff happening last year, and lots of ideas planned. But then…well, life happened. The COVID-19 pandemic hit, I was laid of from my job (after nearly seven years), I started a new job, and things got busy.
The new year has brought a little breathing room, and I’d started thinking about how to get going with the blog again. So it was very timely indeed that I read a blog post by Edidiong Asikpo, a developer and blogger from Nigeria, titled The Importance of Blogging as a Developer. It’s definitely worth a read, but it got me thinking about my own reasons why I wanted to blog, and why I want to resume the habit.
Here are some of my reasons:
It helps me hone my skills and develop new ones.
They say that one of the best ways to deeply learn a skill is to try to teach it to someone else. That’s why the mantra in medical school is “see one, do one, teach one”. I’ve found it takes solid mastery of a concept to be able to explain it in a clear, concise, coherent way. So, blogging about things I already know is a good way to strengthen and clarify my understanding in my own head. Blogging is also a good excuse to learn new things. If I have topics I’m interested in, the opportunity to blog about them is a great motivator for taking some time to dive in and learn about them.
It’s a chance to give back and connect with the community.
Let’s face it: When I’m looking for the answer to a technical question, a good portion of the time, Google will surface a blog post someone has written about the topic. Writing my own blog is a chance to add my own knowledge, experience, and opinions to this vast global storehouse of knowledge. Writing a blog also gives me an excuse to read other tech blogs, connect with other tech people, and share/amplify other voices in the community.
I enjoy writing and teaching.
There’s not a lot to say here. Like many techies (especially, I think, those on the autism and ADHD spectra) I’ve got a slightly repressed teacher inside of me. I think it comes from finally being in a place in my life where people want to hear about the nerdy things I’m interested in. So my blog – where I can write about whatever interests me, and there’s nobody telling me it’s boring or weird – is a space to let that side of me out.
It’s a visible marketing tool.
To be clear, I’m not actively marketing anything in particular at the moment. I’m not job–hunting, and I’m not selling anything. But both of those things will likely change at some point in the future. Having a corpus of blog content that shows both who I am and how I think as a technologist, and how I communicate technical ideas, is a very handy and useful thing.
All of which is a long way of saying that I’m back, and working to cultivate a regular cadence of blog posts in 2021. (I’m aiming for 1-2 posts per week, but we’ll see how that goes). My new job is as a Data Engineer for a health insurance company, so you’ll likely see more data-related stuff in the mix of posts, but I expect things to continue to be as varied as my personal and professional interests are.
So, how about it? Bloggers, what are your reasons for blogging? Readers, what keeps you coming back? And what topics are you interested in hearing more (or less) about in 2021? Sound off in the comments!