Ales Nosek - The Software Practitioner

Practicing to make software perfect.

Two Years of Technical Blogging

Wow, the time goes by so fast. It’s been two years since I began writing this blog. Why did I start and am I having fun? Let’s take a closer look.

I think that there are two kinds of authors. The first kind are the extroverted authors, that can fill pages and pages of paper without difficulty. They love to communicate and writing is yet another way of communication for them. The second kind of authors would be the introverted authors. Communication is not necessarily second nature for them. Before creating an article, they are concerned whether they really have something interesting to share.

It seems to me that in the developer community the introverted authors prevail and I personally count myself in this category, too. Only after a decade of software development, and now heading towards software architecture, I finally decided to start my own technical blog.

Getting my blog started

Coming late to the game, there were plenty of technical blogs out there to draw inspiration from. I quickly settled on Octopress as the engine for my blog. Octopress is a blog generator. I can write articles using the Markdown format and Octopress generates the entire website for me. As the generated website is completely static I’m hosting it on GitHub. No PHP or MySQL databases are needed to run my blog. Currently, the development of the Octopress engine is stalled for more than a year, however, I still like to ride this horse even when it might be dead.

Before I get going I typically need to read at least one book on the subject. Regarding technical blogging, I would recommend the Technical Blogging book from The Pragmatic Programmers. I read the first several chapters before creating this blog and it was a great eye opener for me.

Why is technical blogging fun?

Technical blogging takes some effort, however, I’m really enjoying it. Here are my top five reasons why I like technical blogging:

  1. Blog gives others insight into what you’re working on. People with similar interests will find you if you show what you’re passionate about.
  2. Blog as a contribution to open source. Creating articles and tutorials about open source software is a form of contribution to the software we all love.
  3. Blogging helps you to more deeply understand the subject you are writing about. The best way to learn something is to teach it. In addition to teaching, writing about something is also a good way to expand your learning.
  4. Blog is a documentation you can refer to in the future. It happened to me several times that I had to come back to my own article to refresh my memory on the subject.
  5. Blogging advances your writing skills. Concise and easy to understand written communication is certainly appreciated by other developers on your team.

Let me know how I’m doing

Feedback is always greatly appreciated. If you find some time, I would be happy to hear how I’m doing as a blogger. You can leave your comments in the comment section below.

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