How Blogging Makes Better Developers
Become better at writing code by writing blogs
Does it make sense to start a blog in 2023 as a developer? In a world of media that is increasingly dominated by short-form content like TikTok, you might be wondering if anyone still reads blog posts. First things first, you're reading this blog right now, so the answer is YES! That being said, many of the benefits of starting a blog are independent of whether or not you build an audience of readers. In today's post, I cover how blogging can help you become a better developer.
There's a big difference between understanding a concept and having the ability to teach or explain a concept to someone else. Writing about a challenging topic forces an author to form a more holistic understanding of the concept to be able to write a successful blog post that others can learn from and understand.
While I don't know if there's scientific evidence to support this, it is commonly claimed by some that the best way to understand a concept is to explain it to someone else. Anecdotally, I have found this to be true for myself in my work as a Program Assistant helping new students in the Mobile Application Design & Development program at Algonquin College. The great news is that you don't need to have a teaching job to explain development concepts to others, you can simply write a blog post from the comfort of your home!
To consistently create blog posts about development topics, you need to have content to write about. If you post to your blog once a week, then you will quickly run out of topics that you have pre-existing knowledge of. Thus, at a certain point in your blogging journey, you must develop a genuine intellectual curiosity to explore and learn new concepts so you always have a backlog of development topics to write about.
I believe that adopting a lifelong intellectual curiosity is a key personality trait that all successful developers should incorporate into their lives. The world of software development has one constant, change, and embracing the reality that you will never stop learning will serve you well throughout the entirety of your career in this industry.
Curate A Collection
Have you ever learned a new concept and then promptly forgotten everything that you learned within the timespan of a few months? A few weeks? Me too.
Writing blog posts about development topics is a great way to document important concepts that you have learned. If you need a quick refresh on a particular topic, you can quickly pull up your blog post on the subject to glance over what you previously wrote. Best of all, you are the one that wrote about this topic so it's almost guaranteed that the post will be written in a format that you will personally connect with.
Contribute To The Community
Think for a second back to when you first started to learn how to code. Did you ever watch a video on YouTube to learn something new? Did you Google a bug that you were having and found a solution in an article or on StackOverflow?
Writing blog posts about coding and software engineering is a positive contribution to the developer community at large. I believe strongly in giving back, so just as you received help from others throughout your developer career, it's only fair to give back to the community in a similar fashion. Of course, paying it forward to others in our community doesn't have to take the form of a blog post—you can always provide mentorship to a new developer or create content for a different medium like YouTube—but starting and maintaining a blog is a low-cost and simple way to get started.
Nothing to Lose
In conclusion, there are many reasons why starting a blog could help make you a better developer. It's all too easy to get wrapped up in being purely focused on the code we produce, but there is a lot more to software engineering than coding. Blogging is a great way to reinforce your understanding of core development concepts, spark your intellectual curiosity, maintain records of your progress as a developer, and contribute to the overall community. So why not start your blog today? You have nothing to lose!