This is my first blog post on my new online portfolio! Maybe if you already know me and know how is my life nowadays you are asking yourself why, as busy as I am being freelance web developer, I would start a project like this.
The truth is that I have been convinced by several sources that blogging can actually help me on the long journey of Software Craftsmanship. If you are developer I think it can help you too, let me tell you why:
I have a couple of blogging experiences in different fields (about movies first, electronic music later) and different language (both were written in Spanish). On both previous experiences the goals were more or less the same (learning), but this time there are more reasons behind.
Learning about Software
One of my favorite books dealing with learning software development is Apprenticeship Patterns (it's small and you can read it online for free). In this book David Hoover and Adewale Oshineye talk about several patterns of learning that although in this case are targeted to software, most of them could apply to almost any field you usually work on.
The first pattern that deals with blogging is Record what you learn. Let me paste here the introductory quote of this pattern:
You should not also underestimate the power of writing itself....You can lose your larger sense of purpose. But writing lets you step back and think through a problem. Even the angriest rant forces the writer to achieve a degree of thoughtfulness.
—Atul Gawande, Better
The main idea is to keep track of what you learn, as the problems you are facing today are likely to appear in front of you soon, and this writing about it process can be really handy for refreshing your knowledge.
The second pattern is Share what you learn. Here is another quote:
I can not overstate how much a generous spirit contributes to good luck. Look at the luckiest people around you, the ones you envy, the ones who seem to have destiny falling habitually into their laps. What are they doing that singles them out? It isn’t dumb luck if it happens repeatedly. If they’re anything like the fortunate people I know, they’re prepared, they’re always working at their craft, they’re alert, they involve their friends in their work, and they tend to make others feel lucky to be around them.
—Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit
This time it is more about helping people around you to grow, improving your communication skills on the process, and becoming an asset for those around you.
Giving back to the community
No, don't worry, I am not planning to write a book! Writing is a way of communicating though, and as all of them, you can train it. For me it's a little bit more challenging, as English is not my first language, but that makes it even better right?
It's really easy to start
No doubt about it, with Wordpress.com, Medium and the rest of free publishing platforms there is no excuse related with technical limitations or lack of time to set up a site. It's true that I have taken just the opposite path, choosing a Backbone/Marionette site with a static fallback for crawling bots to build this blog (I know is the worst solution ever). At the end, after a couple of months, I have a blog!
It feels good to start again with blogging, I am really excited. I have list a lot of goals above, and maybe I don't meet that much people or don't get really good at writing, but just getting a half of what I aim to would be good enough!
And you? Why do you blog? Why you don't?