The Perils of Technical Blogging
When you write web code for a living, you drink a lot of coffee. Once the caffeine kicks in, coding seems like a good topic to write about. Next month, it’ll be out of date. So is it worth the effort?
Good question. But first, some facts.
Developers are an opinionated bunch.
That is because of:
All the coffee and late nights spent looking for a bug (there’s always another bug, right?) When normal people are out enjoying life.
The amends (last minute and often not scoped) we battle with from our clients.
Often succeeding in wrecking our brains to figure out how to put in place some weird new feature.
Cue maniacal laugher…
Then you want me to blog about code too?
Tumbleweed rolls across the desolate landscape…
It’ll make a great post topic, though.
Yes. Yes, it will. You’ve battled long and hard figuring out how to do something. Why not share it with the world? That is after all, the true spirit of the web.
So you begin writing.
But it’s not easy. You need a site with the code in it so you can write about it. So you begin to build the site/app. That’s more coding on top of the gazillion lines of code you’ve stared at all day.
Through blurred eyes and caffeine-fuelled keyboard bashing the post comes alive. And you have the code on Git Hub ready for scrutiny by other developers.
A few more hours of toil and it’s finally ready.
Great. Hit publish and collapse into bed. WAIT…
What if it’s a bit shit? What if other developers read it and laugh at you? They’ll point and snigger.
They’ll say: “he can’t code for shit. Did you read that hopeless blog post? There were so many things wrong…”
Leave it until the morning. Then, we’ll publish it.
So, later that morning (1am was still yesterday) you take in your first caffeine and read back your post. You read expecting to hit delete very soon.
This is alright. This is a post you can publish and be proud of. It even sounds like you know what you’re talking about.
Great, press the button (and tweet the link).
And it’s live. Now we wait.
The next thing to happen is:
No re-tweets, no comments.
No complimentary emails.
Your shiny new post sits out there like a lonely satellite. Taking its last few orbits before the power cells finally die.
The cold sweat starts. It must have been shit. Nobody?s read it.
Tweet the link again.
The comments start coming in. Detailing why your technique is wrong. Explaining why using the “x” framework is a bad idea. Telling you that your post is like someone else’s - except theirs was better.
And so the self-loathing begins. Why did you write it? You know you’re rubbish at coding.
Note to self:
Don’t write any more technical blog posts.
After a month of not writing any more blog posts, you get another idea.
You think about writing it. You’ll make a better job of it this time. And you won’t worry about all the negativity/silence…
Technical blogging is hard for many reasons. But at least your posts serve as a reminder for how you managed to solve a problem.
There is that at least.