Three Reasons Why Engineers Should Blog

Blogging is something I've always been terrible at. I need to get better at it. Here are three main reasons why I think so:

1. It helps you organise your thoughts

If not for anything else, blogging is great for organising your thoughts.

I recently went for a job interview. I was asked about why I preferred NodeJS. I prepped for all the generic interview questions such as if I am planning to have kids in the next twelve months. It took me by surprise being asked about something I knew the answer to but didn't prep answering. I ended up doing a brain dump of all the features of NodeJS I liked in contrast to how competing platforms solve the same problem. My interviewer liked my response. However, it wasn't very structured. It didn't sound very well thought out in my mind. In retrospect, I could have provided a much better response had I thought about it beforehand and did a brain dump onto a blog post instead of during the interview.

As the age old saying goes, "you never really learn something until you teach it." Blogging it a great tool to organise and simplify your thoughts for your audience. This helps you clear your thinking and learn from the process.

2. It makes you a better writer

Writing, in my opinion, is the single most important skill in software engineering. It will make you better at producing documentation. Most engineers are so terrible at it that they either end up wasting a lot of time on it or use agile as an excuse to not produce any.

It is not just for producing documentation. If you are a terrible writer, there is a very good chance that you write terrible code. Maybe you are a lazy thinker. Maybe your thoughts are unorganised, un-prioritised and you miss the point. Maybe you don't understand the context of your software or your requirements. I've seen these reflected on software produced that is full of unnecessary complexity, with jumbled notions running everywhere, with unreadable code, with unsuitable/nerd driven technology choices etc.

You need to write clean software for someone else to read. You need to produce software that is to the point. You need to produce software that won't make you yourself go "who wrote this" after you've been away from the project for six months. Same applies to writing.

3. Market personal brand

Blogging is a great tool for building and promoting your personal brand. It helps you attract an audience and helps you share your view of the world with them. It may even help you get feedback on your thoughts. It helps you tell your story and shape your personal brand.

In summary, I think blogging is a great tool for improving thinking, writing skills and promoting personal brand.


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