In this piece, I want to give you the five reasons I started writing technical blog posts early in my career as a developer.
Writing tutorials, documentation or complete technical guidance is not just for experienced developers! It’s for developers with all levels of experience.
1. Use Writing as Your Teacher
Because I write about everything I have learned in my career, I have found I process the information much better.
At school, I was not the perfect student (I write more about this in “7 Lessons I Learned While Being a Developer for 10 Years”). But because I started to share everything I learned, I discovered how my brain works.
When I was a student I hated writing summaries about stories or other learning materials. But now I know that the science proves that “Learning by writing" works.
If you dive into a topic you process information, but when you want to write it down, you’re thinking a lot deeper about it than just “learning.”
2. Train Your Brain to Explain
When you write about a topic you’re not comfortable with, you use all the information and write it in your own words.
You don’t have to start with a difficult topic — start with something simple and small.
Pick a topic you are comfortable with.
Let someone else read your writing and ask for feedback. Both in terms of grammar and if it makes sense technically.
Be explaining more and more it will make you a writer.
Writing repeatedly on technical topics will eventually make it easier for you to write.
3. Show Your Knowledge and Expertise
Blog posts show others the knowledge you have. This can be a benefit when changing jobs and growing your career.
When you put everything online, you create an online presence for yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it will show others that you dive into things that matter to you. It can even turn you into an expert in a specific field of your work.
A great example is Harry Roberts, a well-known Frontend Developer. His career started to grow because of blogging. Read about it on “CSS Wizardry creator, Harry Roberts, talks to Honeypot".
4. Write It First for Yourself, Then for Others
Before you start writing for others, write it for yourself!
This will be your online documentation — before long you will find yourself working with a technology that you have written about. You Google, “how do I do this,” then you run to your own documentation. Great!
So write those posts for yourself first!
When you’ve gained more experience in writing technical blog posts, you can shift your focus towards others. Yes, it’s important that others can understand it, but don’t expect it to be perfect the first time.
5. You Can Start for Free
Now we have four reasons to start writing. But I like practicality, so I will show you how you can start for free.
Currently, you’re probably reading this on Medium.com. Well, if you’ve created an account, you’re ready to start.
Click on your profile icon and then, in the dropdown menu, click on “New story”.
Now you have a full-blown editor inside your browser.
Medium has a great editor with lots of functionalities to embed photos, videos and code snippets.
If you want to write offline, use any editor you like and move it when you’re done. This is how I do it.
You can also contact several Medium publications on Medium to write for. This will help you reach much higher.
But the most important thing is to just start writing!
Thanks for reading!
I’m happy that I started writing early. It’s never too late! So take courage and start writing.
If you need any help with technical writing, please ask in the comments.