11 Jan 2017
By Belle

Why I blog about my code even though I'm not an expert

I've written a handful of posts for the Hello Code blog and my own blog about my experiences as a junior developer working on iOS apps. I've written about my journey of learning to code, bugs I've had trouble working through, and specific features I've implemented in my apps.

I'm only about three years into learning programming. I'm certainly no expert, and I rarely feel like I know what I'm doing. It's scary to make parts of my code public, or to talk about programming in a blog post. I'm always afraid I'll be found out as a fraud with no idea about iOS, or that I'll use the wrong terminology for what I'm doing and look stupid.

But I try to find the confidence to blog about my code anyway, because I think the benefits are worth it.

It creates transparency

We value being transparent at Hello Code, and sharing my work on the iOS apps I build for our products is part of that. Because I'm still a junior developer my progress on the iOS apps is much slower than Josh's efforts on Android, so I try to be transparent to keep our users updated about what I'm working on and why things are taking so long.

It helps me learn

Writing publicly about my code is useful even if nobody else reads my posts. The process of writing about what I've done as if someone else might read it is enough to make me think through my work carefully. It helps me practise talking about code (which I'm terrible at) and explain what I've done and why.

I don't talk to other iOS developers very much. Mainly because I don't feel like I can talk to other developers, since I know so little about programming—and I often don't even know the right names for the things I do know a little about. Writing blog posts about my code gives me practice I'm missing out on by not having discussions with other developers.

A further part of this that I didn't expect is when developers read my posts and offer advice or suggestions based on what I've done. I had one very nice developer point out a better way to do something I'd mentioned in a post, which made my code much simpler—always a good thing. I wouldn't have thought to ask anyone for a better way once I'd figured out any way to achieve what I wanted, but by sharing my experience publicly I opened myself up for a friendly dev to share an idea I hadn't thought of and help me make my code better.

I can help others

I can't imagine learning to code years ago when the internet wasn't full of Stack Overflow answers, open-source projects and blog posts by other developers. I'm so grateful for everyone else who's shared their experiences, bug fixes, and tutorials for me to learn from. Although I haven't had much experience so far, I try to push past my insecurities to share the few things I have done, in case they help someone just starting out.

My day job is writing articles that get published online. And I tend to write fairly often on my own blog. I'm no stranger to writing publicly. It's writing about code that scares me.

But whenever I've had an experience that others might learn from or enjoy reading about, I do my best to push past the nerves and hit publish. Maybe all I'll get from it is a better understanding of my own process, but even that is worth it.