When I first started writing about the things I was doing while learning how to code, I honestly don’t think I had any particular future plans in mind. I’d read various sources on the web and saw that it could be beneficial in finding a job, and even though I didn’t necessarily believe it would make a huge difference, I did it anyway. Over the first few months I wrote 9 articles covering the things that stuck out the most for me at the time.
I started to notice, however, that the last few were focusing less on the lessons I was learning in actual technical topics and more on managing myself and my well-being in regard to work-life balance. I feared that if I continued in this trend then I’d more likely hinder my job hunting as I may give the impression that I’m selfish or worse, lazy. Once this idea had crept in, I more or less stopped writing and just focused on learning and gaining experience.
The thing with being focused solely on building yourself up is that it is incremental. So much so that it often feels as though you’re making no progress at all, and that was definitely where I was at around the end of last year. After taking a bit of a break around the new year, I came back and decided I would try to push myself in some different directions to try and shake the feeling I was reluctantly harboring. I decided I would focus a little more effort into networking, try out creating video content on YouTube, and centralize it all around making and deploying a personal website (…this).
After kicking around a few different ideas, one thing lead to another and I ended up with a site to show off past projects and some space for a blog. The problem was I’d stopped writing material that could go on the blog but needed something to fill the pages. So I went to my old articles that I’d posted on LinkedIn. I spent half an hour copying and pasting them into the needed markdown files which meant I was giving each a quick skim read. Something caught my attention though. I wasn’t even half the developer I am today when I wrote these less than one year ago!
I read them all properly, in order and sat for a moment and realised… wow, I’ve actually come a very long way in a short period of time. The things that used to have me stumped for days and weeks I could now achieve in an afternoon. The level I’m actually at now, seemed unattainable back then and that gives me a great deal of hope going forward as I know that there are dizzying heights to reach and overcome, but if I got this far, then I can certainly continue!
Besides this morale boost, I also felt like I gained a bit of clarity in the direction in which I would like to take future material. Admittedly, this realisation came a day after I started to draft this article. Writing just half of it and having read my more recent previous articles must have kicked my brain back into gear regarding searching for topics to cover, and I think I may settle on the topic that had actually caused me to stick to writing only
code. I will read about, think about and write about maintaining a healthy mind and body while working in the industry I have found myself in. I already have the interest in it and a fair bit of experience, so it really makes the most sense.
Of course I will still do a few more technical articles here and there, depending on what I do for work and in my side projects. However, I feel like the internet is absolutely saturated with far more accomplished developers than I that are making content probably much better than I would, so, I will make this promise to you and to myself right now that I’ll continue in this direction for the forseeable future, as it is probably where I can provide the most value. I may even have been leaning towards this decision before I even knew it as I think back on the description tagline I wrote for the new YouTube channel that I recently started to try and acheive one of the goals I have set myself. Even the content I will make for that may soon follow in the same path.
I will make an effort to become known for bringing the human side of learning tech to the forefront. The highs and lows, the stressors and decompressors, the moments of being faced up to a brick wall like when I convinced myself to stop writing and the moments of elation upon breaking through it to see a wide open space before you like me right now realising what I am going to do.
I appreciate the things I wrote before. I appreciate that I wrote them without even knowing the compounding value they would pay me back just a year later. If you are just starting out in learning web development, or any tech for that matter, there’s no reason you too shouldn’t start writing like all the advice says to. It really is a good idea. Get writing!