Even though I explained the main reason for writing this in the first post, I figured I would follow it up and explain the story behind how I came about starting this blog. Now you may be wondering: “Greg, if you love writing code so much, then why do you want to write plain old English for this blog?” Well that is a very astute question of you my young friend. I would have asked the same question. My explanation for it, unfortunately, is not very simple… so let me paint you a picture.
It was the end of the summer, 2019, and a young computer science student had just returned home from a summer internship in California. Being from a relatively low key town in Connecticut, the young student was very happy to be home and away from the constant bustle that everyone in Silicon Valley seemed to be infected with. The first couple of days he enjoyed relative freedom. He no longer had to deal with the constant stress of work and the endless tidal wave of notifications that plagued the summer. Countless hours were wasted playing video games, meeting up with friends, and streaming movies. But after a while, the student began to reflect on his summer. He began to think of the best parts of the summer. He reminisced about how he was constantly surrounded by people as passionate as him. Now that he was back in the “real” world, it seemed like no one really cared about making anything happen. Our hero spent many nights lying awake in bed, unable to sleep because of the hole in his life that he now realized existed. Feeling lost and alone, he turned to reading. Not books containing works of fiction, but books masterfully crafted by experts in their fields about how to be successful. Beacons of motivation and drive that our young programmer had so desperately been longing for. For a while, he was content. But eventually, the same feeling came back to him. He still longed for the thrill that only motivated human interaction could bring. Eventually, he came upon a solution. A solution that would allow him to connect with engineers as passionate about their craft as he himself. A solution that would not require any physical relocation. A solution that you are now reading.
For those of you who didn’t get it, I’m the ‘young programmer’. Maybe I overdramatized my actual story a bit to make it more interesting but hey, we both know you don’t want to read something that isn’t interesting. In a nutshell, that’s how it happened though. The reason I decided to start this at all was to appease my want to connect with programmers like myself. It sounds kinda sad, but the reason this exists at all is because I was lonely. Along the way, while I was trying to pinpoint a topic, I came up with the idea of writing for introductory programmers like what I talked about in my first post.
There are a couple of other reasons that I think starting a blog is a really good idea. Most obviously, it can help improve writing skills. As much as you and I don’t want to admit it, there is a fair amount of writing (in like plaintext English) that has to be done to do our jobs well. Whether it’s writing documentation, comments, or even variable names. The more descriptive we can be and the less grammar mistakes we have can really help us in our jobs. Think about it, would you rather work with someone who is the best programmer in the world but writes incomprehensible documentation, or with someone that gets the job done, coding wise, but can explain everything they do in the clearest way? Yeah exactly. I thought so.
Always strive to be the programmer that you want to work with.
The other reason I started this is, to put it bluntly, I really need a hobby. I’m a full time college student, doing research, taking honors classes, working on a capstone project, working on personal projects, and I still find that I have free time. Previously, I just occupied it by watching Netflix or something, but I really hate watching TV. Definitely gonna write about that in a later post because I have no doubt that opinion is an unpopular one.
But yeah that’s it. Those are my reasons for starting this. If you think I need more reason, then I don’t know what to tell you because all that was enough to push me to start writing. I really can’t take any credit for this idea though. I got the idea from the book I am currently reading: “Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual”. John Sonmez does a great job outlining the benefits of writing. He also explains what you need to do to prepare in order maximize your chance of keeping it up. So maybe he can convince you of the benefits of starting a blog if I did not do a good enough job. I, personally, could not have read it at a better time in my life, because, like I illustrated before, I was pretty desperate to connect with other developers. It sounds sad, but everyone goes through it at some point. At least I hope I’m not the only one…