Hello, world. An introduction.
The first of many.
I am you. Well, not literally. At least I hope not (and I haven’t stumbled into a parallel universe where I’m me, but you... sorry, I’ve been watching too many Marvel movies).
What I’m trying to say is that I’m not very good. No, wait, that’s not it either. I’m simply a normal, mid-ish level software developer who’s just recently moved from an okay, foot-in-the-door job to a real “big boy” developer role.
That sounds boring, doesn’t it? Why should you even bother reading the blog of a self-proclaimed not-very good dev? Well, if you’re a senior/tech-lead*/15-year-old coding ninja, you probably shouldn’t because it’ll have you reminiscing your past. I don’t know about you, but I find that concept terrifying.
However, if you’re still here, you’re probably more like me. You’re trying to build a successful, fulfilling and meaningful career in software development. Or maybe you’re a junior trying to work out the do’s and don’ts of interviewing, jobs, or using Git in a team (I swear I watched a bazillion videos that showed me concepts, but didn’t break it down into simpler merge this, don’t merge that).
Hopefully, we can all help each other along and make ourselves all just that little bit better.
I’ve failed, so you don’t have to.
Isn’t failure the mother of success or something? If that’s the case, I can only see success’s beady little eyes watching me from under the bed, but hey, at least he talks to me at the dinner table now.
I’ve done many things in both my career and life, some that I’m thankful for, some that I regret, and some that I kicked myself for in the moment but now realise it was for the better. I plan to write about those experiences, both to act as a guide for other aspiring or like-minded developers, but also to document my potential growth.
Out of those experiences will probably come some hardcore code tutorials or examples (I promise, it’s not all going to be just soppy ruminating round here).
Sometimes I feel like my code’s a part of me, so when other people see it, it feels like they’re seeing all my private parts exposed to the world. Does that analogy work? It sounded way better in my head than what it does on paper.
I’m sure, as the problem solving dev you are, when faced with an issue that your knowledge or the debugger can’t cover, you scour the internet far and wide looking for ideas, examples and solutions. Sometimes we find them, a helpful StackOverflow comment from 2013 that was wrong in the first place, and is now out-datedly wrong (yes, that’s a word), or a solution on a blog (like this one) tucked away in the internet's corner.
Sometimes we don’t find them. Or even worse, you find someone asking the same question, but at the bottom they’ve put “edit: don’t worry, I’ve fixed it”. Tell me, johnXXdemonz, what did you find? What was the answer!? I must know!!
I plan to do writeups of problems that I encounter in my work and personal projects, and explain either how I fixed them, or point you to the resources that enabled me to do so. Considering I get stuck on something almost on the hour, I’m sure there’ll be plenty where that came from.
This blog will also make me a better dev, and further my career.
Selfish? I know. It’s a tough world out there. I’ve always found the better I get at explaining something, the better I get at doing it. If I can succinctly explain why I’ve designed a function this way, or why this solution could be better than an alternative, I likely understand the problem and solution pretty well. If I stumble my way through, punctuated by umms and ahhs, then I haven’t fully understood what’s going on.
This blog will also act as a great show piece for future employers and opportunities (current employer, if you’re reading this, don’t worry, I love my job and plan to stay for a long time). Maybe I’m putting words into HR’s mouth, but if I saw a dev that’ll discuss problems or failures he’s run into, but also tidily summed up the solutions for them, I’m thinking that looks pretty good? Hopefully, it would help him move a couple of rungs up the hiring ladder.
Where to from here?
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll start improving my documentation process for topic ideas. Every day it feels like I run into something and think “oh, that would be a great blog post", and then promptly forget about it.
And the issues that I can’t find answers to, or have to piece together myself, surely there’s someone else out there looking for the same answers?
Hopefully, I can start being that resource.