9 years of programming experience and not a single blog post in sight? Who does he think he’s fooling?
~ What I believe most employers say about my job applications.
I should have started a blog almost decades ago. To be honest, this is the biggest mistake I’ve done in my programming career. If you’re wondering why, you’re in the same boat as me, or should I say, as I were.
The world is very connected, connected to the point where if you’re not careful enough, I can know you just by looking up your name on Google. Don’t worry, I don’t think your crush does that, but your future employer, yes the person who’s about to hire you, definitely does.
What are they looking for, you might ask. Good question, because nobody knows.
On a serious note, in general, they’re looking for your reputation: how good is your online presence.
Unfortunately, I only came to this realization this week. But it’s not too late. Why? Because as a software engineer, you have two kind of blogging:
- Documenting your learnings
- Creating or Redistributing content to help others
So it’s about Documenting and Teaching/Redistibuting. Those two types of blogging are interchangeable during your career.
You don’t need to master a topic or tool to teach about it, you really just need to know your way through it. This is why a junior developer can be of a good help to a senior one sometimes. And you will always have to learn something new, so might as well document it.
If you’re wondering how this is going to help, keep reading.
I believe documenting your learnings is not just about showing to your potential employer that you are actively learning, it helps you assert that you know the subject at heart.
Developers are makers by nature, but this doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) apply to just code, so creating content online to assist your career is well worth having a go at.
You could have just used a notebook to do that, but if you can kill two birds with one stone, why not? The two birds being you genuinely learning and showing your potential employer that you’re learning.
If this wasn’t good enough to convince you, watch this insightful video by Gary Vaynerchuk:
This is the most interesting part of blogging to me. It’s where I can feel helpful to the community.
Employers like those too, because teaching is a proof that you’re not just a consumer. Sharing knowledge is part of a programmer’s duty. Don’t neglect it!
If you’re still in the stage of learning, it’s totally fine to not be able to create content. You can always redistribute. My point is, if you find a good article online, share it! But there’s a catch, don’t just share it as is, share it with your opinion about it! It’s good to keep it short and concise because your opinion matters, but don’t make people read a book about your opinion.
This post was about blogging, don’t get me wrong, blogging is definitely not the only way to have a great online presence. You can always vlog, or tweet about stuffs.
Programmers are generally busy animals living a fast life (not in a bad way :P), so Vlogging, can be of a pain to them. If you’re good looking, have some time in your hand and aren’t afraid of cameras, definitely go for it!
I personally enjoyed reading this blog post by Sam Jarman about online presence, this is what mainly inspired me to build this blog. I like to keep my posts short, so I’ll be adding references to most of them.
I hope you enjoyed this article, share it and feel free to share your opinion below.