Looking back at how my career has shaped, I can point to one moment where I feel it took off. The moment I started writing blog posts. Not that my career had become stagnant, but it rocketed up quickly the moment I started putting thoughts on virtual paper and presented them for the world.
In hind sight, I feel there are a few reasons why that happened. And it’s why I think every developer should look at creating content, no matter if it is writing in a blog, streaming on twitch, making YouTube videos, or all of the above.
Content Becomes Your Portfolio
Trying to break into this career, I spent all my free time building hobby projects and such to prove I could start contributing right away. It was a great representation of my work during that snap shot in time. Once I started working “real” developer jobs, that portfolio was no longer representative of my skills and I needed to stop showing them to potential employers.
The problem was that, the code I was writing wasn’t able to be shown to new employers. It was all behind private repos. As you move up, it is just as important to show you understand higher level concepts and not just technical syntax.
That is where content creation can easily step in and become your new portfolio. Code examples and the explanations for them more accurately show your programming abilities than random projects on Github will. It shows that not only can you do something, you can communicate why.
Content Helps You Learn
Sometimes I wrote content, because I learned something cool and wanted to share it. Just as often, I wrote content because I wanted a reason to learn something.
I also learned a lot from people who commented on my blog posts. Yes there is a stupid Troll sometimes, and even others who have legit comments, but have zero ability to criticize nicely. Overall, comments have been a source of knowledge to me and helped refine my knowledge even further.
How To Get Started
Carla Urrea Stabile wrote a great post about it over at her blog. The biggest thing is just start. I was thinking about streaming on twitch for a while now, but it wasn’t until my friend, Ben Meyers who streams over at SomeAnticsDev, the biggest thing you need to do to get started is just start. And then when you are done, do it again. And then do it again. You get better as you go, the hardest part is get started.