Why do people bother to blog? Very few must have anything truly breathtaking to say, at least not to the caliber of other writers already out there. I get it, it’s intimidating to publish when there’s already so much good content out there already. There’s always a fear of looking the fool, saying the wrong thing, or otherwise just doing a poor job of it. So why should you even bother?
Relative to What?
Open up Github, or whatever code store you may have, and take a look at the code you’ve written even a few months ago. Chances are high you’re cringing a bit at some of the things you’ve written, patterns you’ve tried, or even lack of testing. If you had the time, you’d likely think of refactoring the entire thing, and doing it right this time.
That urge is one of the most compelling reasons you could ask for to start writing. That experience that transformed the way you think about code is a valuable thing, and worth sharing. It doesn’t matter if the realization was that you shouldn’t use
eval in your code or that an abstraction could have saved several hours of time in the future, it’s valuable.
A Long Road Ahead
Every programmer will find themselves at a different stage of experience, many looking for someone who went through the same trials they did. By writing, you’ve given that person a resource on which they can build and grow as you did. You’ve given them a map to guide them out of a potential pitfall that you’ve once encountered, and by doing so you’ve helped them move faster than they would have on their own.
Many a new programmer will find themselves terrified by the complexity that most of us take for granted. The hours of hacking away at a terminal just to get your first Rails or Node server running, the perils of deploying your first code, the nightmares of your first testing suite, these experiences are not to be undervalued. Writing a post explaining any of the things you had to fight through just to see that glorious
hello world on the screen for the first time may be just the hope someone else needs to keep going.
A Great Distance Traveled
You’ll find that as you blog, you can learn far more about yourself. You can chart where you’ve been, what you’ve learned over the years, and trace the path to what you’ve become. It’s a warm feeling to be able to point back at your earlier writings and say “I was there too, once, and I made it.”
Write, and share your struggles so that others may be lifted above them on the shoulders of giants.