Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Start your own blog today!

I am a big fan of blogging.  Personally I find that it helps me organize my thoughts and gain a deeper understanding of topics. Blogging can also be great for your career as well.  When recruiters contact me they often reference my blog and something they read on it. One day it could lead to a job referral or a promotion from one of my followers.

You account for maybe 0.5-1% of my average daily usage of my humble blog.  Think about that. Blogging does not have to be of benefit to you 100% of the time. If even 1 out of 1,000 visitors thinks you could be a great addition to their team or thinks they would like to work with you then your career prospects could skyrocket.  Blogging opens doors. Nothing beats an in house referral.

John Sonmez (Simple Programmer), who you may have heard me metion a few times, has a free blog course available.  The course is done via email which is perfect for learning at your own pace and not fall off the bandwagon a couple days after you decide to start blogging.
There are lots of information about why you should blog. I have not interested in adding to the noise, but here is why I am blogging.  Maybe you well see something that tips you over the edge to make the commitment to sign of for the course.

Professional Growth
  • Blogging improves your writing skill.
  • It improves your ability to explain potentially complex concepts.
  • It helps me learn because I try to "teach" some of the new technologies I encounter as a way of organizing my thoughts.
Career Growth

  • networking - It is not news that the more people you know the more opportunities are available to you.  This isn't just for job searching but your current team needs the best possible talent too and networking helps find that talent.  Hiring someone from within your network is much less of a gamble.
  • marketing / branding - This does not have be something dirty to shy away from.  Branding yourself is just a way to consistently express who you are and how you add value. 
  • visibility - Some of the best engineers I have met over the course of my career have also been the most introverted. Blogging is a good way to get people out of there shell without a need to leave your desk. Not only that but you can reach a huge audience vs just the people standing by the water cooler.
  • resume supplement - Even if someone doesn't recognize you by name they can easily go to your blog and get a taste of who you are.  Job interviews often go quick.  In phone screens you get 10 to 15 minutes to express how you are worth bringing in for a face to face bit with a blog you can extend that engagement.  Your potential employer may even know you are worth bringing in for a face to face interview just because they cam see your value via your blog.
Good for your company
WHAT?!? How can blogging be good for the company you work for? Blogging helps get your name out there, right? In all the ways that blogging is good for your personal career growth it is good for your company because you are becoming a better employee.  Not only that since your name is in someway linked to them it reflect positively on them. The people you mentor, network with, or even just see your LinkedIn profile now see your company linked to it. When you are looking for a new position wouldn't you want to go somewhere you know other talented engineers work? Talent attracts talent. Corporate blogs are almost always boring but a personal blog from an employee of the company can give you a nice glimpse at the culture and people in the organization.
Giving Back
The internet has helped me solve countless problems professional and personally but what have I done to contribute back?  Stack Overflow for example helped me out of many sticky situations but up until recently I never answered one question there.  I never even asked my own question.  I was just a Stack Overflow voyeur. Starting this blog is in part a way to help me give back to the community.  If I am working through a problem chances are someone else will be in a similar spot in the future so why not write it down.

I don't know by this point if you are convinced or not if you should start your own blog or not. If you are ready to start blogging go sign up for John's course and if you are not go read more about blogging on John's site and maybe he can convince you.  If you are still not convinced read John's book and get on the soft skills bandwagon.  Seriously, there is too much to gain and nothing to lose.

My blogging mentor: Daniele Rossi


  1. I agree with you, its better you do earlier though :-)

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