Every software developer should blog in my opinion. If there are ever a set of qualifications or standards needed to be a qualified developer, then I definitely think that writing technical blog posts should be a required skill.

But instead of telling you why you should start blogging, I’ve decided to list some of the reasons that I enjoy blogging, as well as take a short trip down memory lane.

The history of clairecodes.com

I started this blog in September 2015. It was first built using Octopress and deployed on Heroku. My first domain was claireparkerpen.com! I chose Octopress on the recommendation of a colleage at the time. I used to work with Ruby so it was a natural choice: geared towards beginners, themes built-in and written in Ruby.

I soon felt ready to use a more advanced blogging platform. I moved to Jekyll and had a good experience with it. I would still recommend Jekyll today: it’s a very mature project, great documentation and strong community. You don’t need a lot of Ruby knowledge in order to create advanced features with it. I used an open-source theme as a starting point and customised it more and more over the two years I used Jekyll. I transferred my domain to the more mature claireparker.co.uk - a few months before getting married and changing my name to Claire Parker-Jones 🤦‍♀️, oh well! No one read my blog except me and a few recruiters.

This year I felt it was time for a rewrite. I’d long stopped using Ruby professionally and wanted to play with one of the hot new blogging frameworks I was hearing so much about instead. I experimented with Gatsby, but settled on Hugo, as I wanted to start dabbling in Go. I rebranded to clairecodes.com to match my Instagram account that I’d started in January 2018. I built the theme and design from scratch and started blogging a bit more regularly. And this brings me up to date, three years later.

Oh, and still, no one reads my blog. I know because I check the Google Analytics!

Why do I still maintain this blog?

  • It’s fun
  • It helps me learn the subject I’m writing about better, or crystallise my opinions
  • It helps improve my writing and verbal communication, which is an undervalued and important skill in development
  • I enjoy sharing knowledge, which I also think is a very important skill as a developer. This is my small way of giving back to the open source community.
  • Maintaining the codebase of the blog, rather than using a ready-made platform like Wordpress, is a great portfolio piece, and the blog is a good sandbox for playing with designs or code snippets
  • I created the blog from scratch and designed everything on it myself - it may not be the best blog in the world but it’s my pet project and I’m proud of it
  • It comes in handy when applying for jobs - it makes you stand out from the crowd
  • I often revisit my technical posts in order to remember how to do something. They are great cheatsheets.
  • The content of the blog posts are a good way to measure my progress as developer
  • I like having something published - even though my blog receives no traffic, there’s something about knowing that it’s live on the internet that’s different than having it sitting unpublished on my laptop.
  • It’s fun - I’ve put this twice because this is the most important reason. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t continue doing it.

These are my reasons for running a blog and writing technical posts. If you’re a developer, I recommend you run one too - and send me the address so I can read your posts please!