At the beginning of this year I made the goal to come back to blogging, not as a New Year resolution per se, but more as something I have been feeling the need to do. Writing has been very difficult to me. Looking at a white blank page is very daunting for someone that learned English as a second language. However, as a professional developer I have always seen blogging as something missing in my career.
There are many reasons why I think blogging is an important thing for a developer to do. We initiate our career with loads of professional insecurities and thanks to many online articles, books and blog posts written by other community members you start moving your career a step further until you get to the point you feel very thankful for the internet and other devs’ hard work that you want to give back to the community that you have learned a lot from. I understand that this might not be everyone’s case, but it is what is happening to me.
Then there is this artistic thing that I have no idea how to describe. You wrote a piece of a beauty (until someone convinces you otherwise, or you look at it a few years later, whichever comes first, it’s beautiful code!) or you solved that huge problem that has been bugging you for days and you couldn’t find the solution anywhere. All of the sudden you feel empowered. You feel catharsis. You feel you want to run up on the stage and show everyone. That’s art; code can be art. Art needs to be put out there to be seen. I have felt this emotion.
Then you realize you have matured as a developer. You know you have a universe to learn, but you are not that same guy. You went from asking question in forums, to answering them. You have been writing code for some time and you recognize code cleanness. You have been there, you've solved some problems, you help businesses be more successful, and you want to share your experiences.
The last two years of my career has been very rewarding and exciting. I met and joined a group of amazing developers as a part of a community called dotNET Miami. I have learned a lot with those guys. They convinced me to start speaking and I gave my first presentation in January this year. I am scheduled to speak again either July or August (more details in future posts). It was an obvious move and one I was very grateful for. It was terrifying as well, but so it is writing. Speaking was a good milestone; I understood writing was my next.
Another reason that may not seem apparent for some people: I read a lot. There is a lot to be learned in this industry and I am a firm believer that to be a good developer, you need keep sharping your skills. I have known so many developers that tend to disagree with this statement, and that’s OK. However, this is a career for me, not a 9 to 5 job. I still approach programming with the same passion I had in college. I believe that the need to write has a lot to do with the amount of material I read every day. For me, both interactions go hand in hand.
I had been blogging on and off for a few years now, this domain exists since 2005, but I was never consistent and I was all over the place. I knew that was something I wanted to get back at, but the feeling of having nothing to say, the infamous excuse of not having the time, plus the belief that I was writing nonsense always ended it putting me off. I know I was more immature back then…that’s what has changed. I have a need now.
I have had many inspirations over the years. If anything the internet has given us, are great community people that spend great deal of their time sharing their success and encouraging others. These are two great articles that have been in my bookmark for some time:
I have used many blog engines over the years, including the ubiquitous Wordpress. However, I am mainly a .NET developer and I like to hack at things. Even though I did PHP at the beginning of my career, I felt I wanted to deal with something I am very familiar and feel comfortable with now. I have used BlogEngine.NET in the past, but then I felt I didn’t want to use Web Forms anymore. Then, over a year ago I found Funnelweb. It’s an open source ASP.NET MVC 4 app that hasn’t gotten the love that it deserve, with markdown support and a very clean coding syntax. They don’t have many themes out of the box. So since I am a Twitter Bootstrap fan, I went over https://wrapbootstrap.com/ and bought this theme and modified it (a lot!). In a future post I will describe the process I went through to make it work with Funnelweb.
So here I am again. Expect more posts!