Documenting Your Programming Experience with a Blog

Documenting Your Programming Experience with a Blog

I started my blog when I was more of an SEO, internet marketer and freelance developer. It was my brand. I wrote articles to prove that I knew what I was talking about to potential clients or to sell products to visitors. It was very useful when I had no experience because it made potential clients more comfortable parting with their hard-earned money.

But it has been good for my current professional career. It does the same thing for recruiters and others looking for new programmers. It shows them I know what I am talking about. And since it has sixteen years of posts, it shows that I had been writing code for a while.

Along with getting me jobs both freelance and full-time, it has also brought me guest post opportunities and my first and second book deals. And I get free software and books to review every now and then.

Not everyone is a writer and you don’t have to be one. If you have written emails before, you can write a blog post. And you don’t need to get your own domain and set up hosting if you don’t want to. You can have a blog up and running today on a place like Wordpress, Blogger or Medium.

But when do you write and what do you write about? First, write as often as you can. It only takes a few minutes and it’s a blog post, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. And there is an endless list of things you can write about.

Write about what you are learning currently. The best time to write about something is when you are learning it. I wrote my two full length tech books on topics I only had a vague idea about when I got the book deals.

As a newbie, you may be able to explain things more simply to others new to the technology. While you think an expert may write a better article, it is not always so. Sometimes they are the worst at explaining new concepts, because they are not new to them any more. They will use jargon instead of simple terms. They will skip over parts that they know well because they forgot that when they were learning, it was hard for them to grasp the concept. So yes, when you are new to a technology, it is very possible you can write a better blog post than an expert

So write about every time you had an issue and spent a long time fixing it. Write when you spend hours or days figuring out how to do something. The longer and harder you have to search, the better the chance your blog post will get traffic. I actually wrote some blog posts because I wasn’t sure I would find the answer to the same question in the future again and by writing the post, I knew exactly where the answer would be.

Everything you write for public consumption today will pay off in the future and if you have yet to get a job as a programmer, it is one way to show you know what you are talking about and have experience doing it.

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Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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