Mon, Sep 17, 2012

I’ve started blogging. Why?

So here I am, Jonathan Channon, blogger. I never saw the point of blogging before so why now?

I have read and spoken to many people regarding blogging who were all in favour of it. I would always argue that I don’t have time, I have nothing to blog about or I’m not that insane to start blogging about stuff I barely understand just so the masses can come and hurl abuse at my ignorance. However I recently read an article by Ben Dornis titled “How I learned to stop worrying and love my community”. He outlined all the reasons why a lot of people don’t publish their code and don’t publish their thoughts online. I thought he was being modest, the man is clearly talented at what he does so he didn’t have to worry however, someone like me still had these fears.

Over the last year I have made an effort to start contributing to open source software and to take the forked road away from Microsoft. I found lots of things and this increased my appetite for learning. If you’re not learning you become stagnant in my opinion and you become bored, more bored and so on until you find yourself completely out of touch from the peers around you. On the whole its not good to be ignorant in software development, there are fashions that come and go but you have a duty to keep up to date with today’s best practices. I have learnt many things from dipping a toe in OSS, I have begun following more and more people in the software development industry on Twitter listening to their discussions and at times joining in. I realised that I’m not actually scared of asking questions, I just have to word them a certain way just to protect my ego. In fact I think I’m possibly one of those annoying people who just keep asking questions until I get something straight in my head. Unfortunately that’s the way I am, things pop up in my mind and then I try to find the answer and if I don’t find it quickly I start badgering people until I get that answer or blurting out things on Twitter. That’s because I’m terribly impatient!

In my attempts to be part of the software community I came across Jabbr, essentially an online chat room made up of various rooms discussing different things. This appealed to the impatient me, I could ask questions and get the answers quickly. The more I used it the more I was hooked not just in consuming answers to my questions but reciprocally answering any questions others might have had.

What I found from this new path was that I was no longer scared of publishing code online and asking questions. I had been using Stackoverflow for a few years and had never received any abuse or criticism from the questions I have asked so why did I think blogging would be any different? The stuff I have put on Github has not resulted in any moments that made me think “I really need to take that code down” so I have bitten the bullet and here I am.

Putting yourself out there is daunting at first but the more you do the more you realise that there are a great bunch of people out there only too happy to share which encourages you to continue your learning. One prime example I would like to single out in this area is the support given to the community by @Grumpydev and @TheCodeJunkie, the lead developers of NancyFX. I won’t go into depth about what NancyFX is, that’s another blog post, but what these guys illustrate is a dedication to encourage and support people wanting to learn NancyFX. What this results in is more and more people wanting to help out the community which can only be a good thing.

As my wise father used to say to me over my teenage years, “the more you put in, the more you get out” so I’m hoping that my continued presence on Twitter and now this blog and my meagre contributions to OSS will enable me to learn as much as I can handle and make me a better software developer.

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