Blogging as a Web Developer: A Must Do?

#Blogging
I keep reading that having a blog is a pretty good idea for a web developer. It puts your face and ideas out there in the community and is another place potential employers can go to learn about you and your skills. Its a good way to network with other developers as well. Before I joined here I occasionally posted to Blogger. But after learning skills here I decided I should design my own blog.
#My Template
I came up with a Template for posts. Hosted Here. I could use some feedback since I am far from a blogging expert. I used a google form because I lack backend skills and don’t really want something like discus or facebook taking up room on my page.
#What to Write About
Does any one else have a developers blog and if so what do you like to write about. I was thinking I could start with my experiences here and just getting into coding…its been around 40 days for me…And then over time start to do tutorials when I have the skills to teach. I could always do posts related to projects or challenges here. And general information about becoming a web developer. Right now I am just brain storming. Thanks in advance for comments or feedback!

Blogging is a great way to get known, and also a great way to better understand what you are doing. The best way to learn something is to explain it to someone else.

You want to do tutorials ‘when you have the skills to teach’. Let me tell you, you already have the skills to teach right now! As someone who has only just learned a skill you are in a better position than an expert to teach other new-comers. Experts have problems remembering exactly what it was like to first acquire that skill. If you are relatively new yourself you can often communicate more effectively to people who are at a similar level.

So definitely write about your experiences, but also explain any concepts or tasks that you found particularly interesting or challenging. That will help other learners.

For feedback on your blog template: The layout is nice and clear. As a designer I’d recommend you keep the line length constant between sections (currently your first post has a longer line length than the second). So have your blog posts the same width. Ideally there should be between 11 and 15 words per text line for optimal readability. The body text font and line-height are great and easy to read.

The blog post title and subtitle font, Frijole, is harder to read. That’s not such a big issue for display fonts used in the header (though it could cause readability and accessibility issues for people with dyslexia or other reading conditions). I don’t think you need to re-use the display font in the individual section headings and subheadings, though. If they are used to structure the information and guide the user through the document it would be better to use something more legible and readable. I’d recommend using a heavier font-weight of your body text font, Work Sans.

I hope this helps!

cheers,
Ali

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wow thanks alot. this is just the sort of technical info i wanted to know. like i said i have no clue, i just looked at a few blogs and went with what i liked. readability best practices are something else i know nothing about…well i guess i know a little now. i just picked fonts that looked cool to me, but i agree with you on frijole. in fact I just bagged frijole altogether and went with Righteous instead. its not as funky but i was using frijole in places i probably shouldn’t. making work sans bold was a great move as well. my blog is looking better already thanks!!!

I’m glad I could be of help!

I don’t know much about full-stack development yet so it’s nice to be able to help with other issues more related to my sphere of expertise!

Looking at other sources and seeing what you like is a brilliant first step. Your first attempt was very, very good. It was visually interesting and you chose the body text very well, as I said. I look forward to seeing the next version!

cheers,
Ali

Write about what you know… and/or write about your experiences. Nobody can shoot you down for it, or accuse you of not knowing what you’re talking about. Write about something you like, interests you – regardless of what other people think.


I started a developer blog about 7 years ago, it’s about a web developer trying to learn PHP/MySQL from the point of view of an experienced Classic ASP/MSSQL developer. I used the blog as kinda a repository/diary of what “new thing” I’ve learned, and comparing how to do certain tasks in PHP vs ASP. — I lasted about 2 months doing the blog. Real work got in the way.

A few more months, I lost interest in PHP and switched from Classic ASP to C# (WebRazor syntax) and .NET. The familiarity and the immediate and practical use to my client’s projects was a big deciding factor for my switch. So my PHP/MySQL blog kinda died at that point. That’s the extent of my blog experience as a web developer.

TAKEAWAYS:
It’s hard to come up with things to write for a blog. Sometimes you feel you’re just talking to yourself, and you really have no audience or thinking “nobody will be interested in this”, or thinking “I’m no expert, who am I to write”… all these things I experienced. Then you’ll think “I’ll skip writing this week, nobody is reading my blog anyway.” and before you know it, months and years have passed.

So if you want to write, write for yourself to please yourself. If other people find out about your blog, and it interests them, they’ll follow you. Don’t write to please other people.

If you want to write, do it the easiest way possible! The first thing that comes to mind, just setup a WordPress blog and be done with it (especially if you don’t have experience with backend and databases). Some people will insist you use Ghost, or _____ whatever platform, etc. If you want to tinker with your blog software and find that fun, go for it.

But If you want to write, just use WP. It’s already hard thinking of something interesting to write about, there’s no need to make it more difficult and time-consuming by messing around with your chosen blog software. There are a lot of well-known, famous Ruby/Javascript/whatever developers out there, and guess what they’re using for blogging? Wordpress usually. Sandi Metz is even using Squarespace! Whaaat?? The shopping cart software? Yes.

http://www.sarahmei.com/blog/ - Ruby & JavaScript developer (using Wordpress)
https://www.sandimetz.com/ - author of Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby (using Squarespace)

Should you blog or not? Only you can answer that. But I say go for it. A big push for you to try it and see where it goes. Give it a full year, and at the end of 12 months, if you still like it, do another 12 months.

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i think it is much clearer now. and i don’t know jack about backend yet either. i like both the techy stuff and design, i think thats why im so hooked on this stuff.

Im going to try to get around the equal width thing my making something like this with svg…this needs a little work…

thanks for input. some practical things to keep in mind for sure. my first thought was no one will ever read this. but i had a rock climbing blog on blogger that i never promoted and it has 5000 hits from just random searches i guess. it was about rock climbing in the adirondack park in ny so its a specific search, unlike say javascript…my blog most likely won’t be popping up first…if you get what im saying. its been fun so far anyhow…like making the template was fun. we’ll see what happens with it…i would go through the forget about it process with the other one…and 6 months later do a couple posts…forget again etc.

Without a doubt, blogging will help reinforce your understanding of what you are learning.

My advice though, if you find yourself investing more time in blogging about coding instead of actually coding, I think it is counter productive to your goals. Also, don’t start a blog with the goal of “getting more followers or hits” as I find this is counter productive to your goals of becoming a web developer.

Just blog.

Get your ideas, progress, struggles, and light bulb moments out of your head and on paper.

Also, I notice you make youtube videos, so I don’t think there is a reason to invest even more time in blogging since making youtube videos is a better way to achieve the same thing.