Here are the 4 easiest types of posts that you can write about on your programming blog:
- show some code, explain
- explain how you solved a problem
- opinion on another blog-post
The purpose of this list is not for you to always write easiest posts. But to know that not every post needs to be a bible, guide or very deep dive in. Shorter forms are welcomed nicely in programming communities and does not require tremendous amount of time to read. They have their own, valuable place in your blogging style. Especially at the beginning of your blogging journey when you are not an expert yet. And especially when you want to build a habit and keep writing regularly, but you don’t feel inspired or don’t have the time for anything very long.
I wanted to elaborate a bit more about show some code and explain technique presented by Andrzej in the video.
I want you to remember, it does not need to be your code. Sometimes you don’t feel inspired by the code you wrote recently in your daily work. Don’t force yourself.
Think about your favorite gem, package, library. Go to github (usually) to check its code. Find lib or src or other directory with code. Find an a filename which sounds important or interesting and start reading. Don’t assume you are going to understand the code easily, but try to get an understanding what this class/function/file does and how it fits in the whole library that you already like and use. Spend as long doing it as you want.
Usually we don’t like jumping to unknown code as programmers and reading someone else code for the first time can be challenging. However… most popular open source libraries usually maintain good quality because of the whole community effort. When you browse code of a library you use and like, you already know more or less its top-level API exposed for programmers. So this is not a completely strange code to you.
I guarantee the feeling won’t be the same as diving for the first time into a new, legacy project that your company got 🙂 Although that can be interesting as well. The feeling will be more refreshing. More curiosity instead of worrying. After all, you don’t need to maintain this codebase. You are just passing by, trying to learn something new and interesting that will make you a better programmer. Something worth sharing with your readers.
You will be doing a few things at the same time:
- becoming a better programmer by reading and learning from good code
- becoming familiar with internals of interesting code
- promoting a library you like
- teaching other developers about programming techniques and bits of code from that library which inspired you
Helping others and helping yourself at the same time. Everybody wins.
Here is how I did it last time.