Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why every programmer should have a blog

Picture this -- It's Thursday night. You're hacking away at the keyboard, slingin' some code for a project that's due by the end of the week. Your scribbled UML diagrams on the legal pad under the desk lamp are hardly visible beneath the rings of coffee stains from all the cups you've been drinking over the past four days. You hit F5 to double check your code changes, when suddenly you're greeted by an error message that you've never seen before, and doesn't even make any sense! Dag, now what?

Well, if you're like me, you probably just do a quick copy-n-paste job into your favorite search engine, and bam!, you've got your solution within just a couple of clicks!

Stop and think about that for just a minute

A couple of clicks. That's all.

Now imagine if nobody contributed their solutions to the community. You'd be scrambling for hours rather than seconds -- every time! Wow! What an amazing service those contributors have provided to you! That's exactly what prompted me to start blogging.

Top three reasons why every programmer should have a blog

  1. By posting your solutions, you save other people tons of time. Let's say you come up on a problem for which you can't find a solution online. It takes two hours to research, debug, and come up with a solution for that problem. You post that solution online. If only a dozen people ever find your solution and benefit from it, you've saved the world an entire day of hair-pullingly frustrating researching and debugging! That's a lot of time. And a lot of hair!
  2. It makes you an awesome programmer. Writing a technical blog is different from writing a blog about some cute squirrel running around on your roof. See, with a technical blog -- and particularly when you're promoting solutions -- you gotta know your junk or you're gonna get called out on it. And when you have to research and study something that carefully, it causes you to think through it and process it. Show & Tell really is a great way to learn!
  3. It encourages community. Sure, you've got the trolls out there who just wanna nitpick your choice of word in some obscure sentence that really had nothing to do with the point of your blog post. But on the whole, blogging promotes thinking, discussion and community -- all of which raise the tide for for the entire industry!

Do it!

When a programmer blogs his discoveries and solutions, everyone wins! So make the tech community even awesomer! The next time you come upon a blog post that saved your skin, gave you that breakthrough you needed, or simply inspired you, drop a comment to thank the author! And if you've been thinking about blogging, stop thinking and start doing it!

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Dave Leeds
My Hobbies:
  • Programming
  • Cartooning
  • Music Writing
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