Hillary smiling and posing on a log in the forest of Oregon.

Why I Am Starting a Blog as a Software Developer

So why start just another software developer blog in 2021?

I am decided to write a blog that covers my experience as a software developer — but there is nothing new or exciting about that, of course. I am just another developer offering my experience to the world through the internet because I like writing and hope that, in some off-chance, this could be of use to at least someone out there in the interwebz.

So, what is it about my experience that I think could help others? Well, not unlike many other developers (engineer, programmer, whatever you want to call yourself...) in our wonderful field, I have a diverse background. I was a hairstylist, pre-med, psychology college student who took 3.5 years post-graduation to work as a full-time hairstylist so that I can find out what it is I really wanted with my life. Once I stumbled into the world of computer science, by way of my love for math and physics, I was hooked and the happiest I had ever been.

Now, almost 2 years in this career, I am your average developer working for a tech-forward nationwide Social Security law firm, building internal tools. I enjoy learning new things, but I am not always coding or always reading about the latest tech. I do spend a good amount of time with that, but I do make time for many other hobbies. Other things I do to grow my career knowledge are things like listening to tech podcasts related to things I want to learn or that I'm working with in my project. Also, I take extra courses on Frontend Masters or whatever platform I find has a course worth taking. Sometimes, I'll buy the Humble Bundle packs of books on topics that I want to "git gud" at or learn from scratch, but never quite getting through them as I expected to when I bought them. Every now and then, I practice some Leetcode to keep up on data structures and algorithm knowledge, but I never had to do it too seriously in my job searches. As I type this out, it seems like I take the effort to do more than I realized, but seeing the software developers of social media land (i.e. Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and beyond), it is easy to feel like whatever you are doing is still not enough.

I guess what I seek to do with this blog is:

  1. Push myself to learn new things. So far step one has included me trying out Notion for the first time, learning and building this blog with Gatsby and Sanity CMS, learning more about design, and eventually maybe I'll explore more about building a brand/marketing (as many say this can be helpful for developers).
  2. Practice and improve my writing and creativity (something I always loved, but pushed away, far away, in my myopic pursuit of this career).
  3. Maybe, somehow, show that you can have a pretty low-key job, not at a glamorous tech company and still be "good enough"?
  4. Show others what you can learn on your own; even if you don't have job-given mentors or the social network that seems to be touted as these end all be all the days (I am a person riddled with strong introversion, notable shyness/awkwardness, and moderate social anxiety, which results in me having the HARDEST time trying to network meaningfully).

So, what can you expect from this blog?

I plan on writing tutorials about new things I am learning. For example, I built this website using the Sanity Gatsby starter and I had a fun time learning the code they provided and adding my own. I have some other personal projects I will be working on soon, too! Also, I can post some fun AWS tutorials because I use those tools a lot at my current job. Overall, I will try to sprinkle in topics that I think could be helpful to people in this field or just getting started.

Since this is my first post and mostly just an introduction before I dive into the fun stuff. I will end this here. Thanks for reading!

*This website is built with sustainability in mind — It's not perfect but I'm learning ♻.

Cover illustration by Pixeltrue from Ouch!

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