Should students blog?

I recently attended a panel with the ITP at WelTec, and after the event, a student asked me if they should be blogging, even though they "don't know anything".  

The answer is HECK YES.

But they were right. Content is the hard part as a student. You're kind right, you don't know much yet, and certainly not at a level that most think they need to be at. But that's not really the reason I'd visit a student's blog?

What I mean is, I want to see your journey. In your blog posts, or vlogs, or tweets, or podcasts, I want to see a few questions answered:

  • What are you learning right now?
  • What did you find fun?
  • What didn't you like, and why?
  • What are you struggling to learn or understand, and what are you doing about it?
  • What you need help with from the community?
  • Are you doing an internship or part time work relating to software? Tell me what you've learned* 
  • Are you doing any open source or project work? What are you learning there?

Ultimately, document your journey. Now, these wont be the most mind blowing posts, sure. They won't be on the front page of hacker news, and they wont be shared and viewed countless times. But what it will do is help you more than you think.

It'll help you learn. By writing down and digesting your thoughts into a post, you'll understand the topic better, and therefore remember it better when it comes to exams. 

It'll help you learn to communicate. One of the really lacking skills for devs is written communication (and I'm no master myself!), so getting in the habit of writing long form will help. 

Finally, it'll set you up for good habits. I believe great developers blog (or something), so making time for this activity will be helpful as you enter your career. 

Read more: Having an Online Presence as a Junior Developer

Best of luck!

* What you can, some may be commercially sensitive. Check with your manager.

Disclaimer: Blogging, vlogging, etc production as a hobby takes time you might not have. That's okay. It's not a 'hard' expectation and reasonable employers shouldn't hold it against you. That said,  I urge you to find just some time to try do a small bit of the above. The benefits come with very little time investment. A single paragraph once a week is great! Reach out to me if you have questions on this.