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I want to know how much time I should wait until I start writing a blog since, IMO, a newbie does not have that skills to write something substantial. I'm talking about technical blogs like writing about new C# features or Advantages of Ruby over other languages.

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How about now? I'm no expert in anything but I have a programming blog that I update once in a while. –  Terence Ponce Feb 11 '11 at 8:25
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I've often toyed with the idea of starting a blog. But being programmery, I'd want to write my own from scratch, and spend more time doing that than I would writing for it >_> –  sevenseacat Feb 11 '11 at 12:54
    
If you have enough knowledge about technology and writing skills then you can write blog without any difficulties –  Xulfee Feb 11 '11 at 13:27
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11 Answers 11

up vote 16 down vote accepted

When you have something worth saying

While a blog may be about you there are other people that will most likely read it. If you don't have anything worth posting for public consumption you might as well just keep a journal.

Do the world a favor, and maintain a blog or website only if you have something substantial to say.

Robert Harvey

There are a million people dumping links into Twitter, Tumblr, and even home grown solutions. Reddit does not need to be re-invented.


The best time to start a blog is when you have something worth saying. I wouldn't have guessed it was that hard to find something, but judging solely on the quality of other blogs I read it would appear very hard to do.

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I wish I could upvote this more than once. It's far better advice than the answers with more votes. –  Mason Wheeler Feb 15 '11 at 21:18
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I disagree. Write when you have something you want to write about. It doesn't matter whether other people read it or not. The real value of the blog is the opportunity to improve your writing skills and clarify your thoughts on a particular subject. Readership is optional. –  Bryan Oakley Jan 26 '12 at 11:47
    
@BryanOakley You can get the same results with a journal or daily writing site like 750words.com. Public blogs are a direct reflection of the author. –  Josh K Jan 26 '12 at 15:39
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@Josh K: I disagree. By putting your writing out in the public it encourages you to write a little more clearly. In a journal it doesn't matter if your code snippets work, but on a public blog it does. Writing a public blog forces you to dot your i's and cross your t's. –  Bryan Oakley Jan 26 '12 at 21:51
    
@BryanOakley If you would like to have an extended discussion on this please ping me in chat. –  Josh K Jan 27 '12 at 1:51
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The act of trying to write a blog is likely to improve your skills. It is a sort of thinking aloud and is part of the learning process. This works even if nobody ever reads your blog. It works even better if you occasionally re-read it and critique your own thinking.

See http://www.paulgraham.com/essay.html for concrete advice on how to write useful blog entries, and what you should be trying to accomplish with them.

(Not that I should be giving advice on this. I don't write in http://bentilly.blogspot.com/ nearly often enough...)

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This is very true. Consider your blog more like a public journal. Because it's public, you'll feel a bit attached and won't delete it(and may even occasionally make backups!). I have commonly referenced my own blog for things I did in the past and forgotten, or when I run out of ideas –  Earlz Feb 11 '11 at 9:25
    
+1. This is exactly how I make use of my blog right now. Even though no one reads it, it gives me a chance to reflect on my thoughts and improve the way I write and think. –  Terence Ponce Feb 11 '11 at 9:36
    
+1 I use more blog as a motivator for my current project. Also it is great to look back on and see how much I have progressed. –  G3D Feb 11 '11 at 14:50
    
This is exactly why I have my blog. I have dyslexia among other things, so I need to practice at writing just as much as I practice at programming. As of right now, exactly zero subscribers and some hits from google. :) –  Tony Feb 11 '11 at 16:09
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Nobody or nothing (your beliefs) should prevent you from starting your blog.

If you think what you write is interesting, then there are a lot of chances that it will interest other people as well. "Interesting" is fully subjective and bound to beliefs, culture and other cognitive dissonances. Being mainstream is not required.

If your objective is to share, then every single line of text you write contributes. In fact, every single ligne of text that you don't write is pure waste.

Worry about your writing skills? It's while writing blog posts that you will gain skills required to write blog posts.

So go ahead!

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How much time should i wait?

Wait until you have something to say.

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More like, wait until you have something useful to say. –  Dynamic Jun 19 '12 at 15:22
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Just like being a teacher:

1/ all you need to be is one lesson ahead - the beauty with blogs is you will always be one lesson ahead from at least some of your viewers.

2/ making a good attempt at explaining what you know will cement that knowledge in you better than anything else.

3/ the feedback you get will be very helpful to you, equally from those who are a step behind (they will force you to explain it better) than from those who are a step ahead (they will provide some useful insights).

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People generally want to be thought of a wise rather than foolish. You are entitled to change your mind and learn your own lessons. Nowhere is it written that what you write one day, you must believe it the next, or think it correct for all eternity. We all learn. The more you practice your skills and try to learn, the better they will get.

There is no time like the present to try to improve your life and skills as you see fit. If you are interested in writing a blog, go for it. Who knows, it may take a different path than you originally forsaw.

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Writing about anything means you have something to put into words. It doesn't means you should be a master of that topic. If you are a newbie for C#, Ruby or any other technology, you can write a blog about

  • your experiences of learning a new language,
  • what should be done
  • what to avoid
  • efficient (or best) of doing things
  • your research ideas about that technology
  • news about the new features and releases.

See an example about Java.

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If you feel that you have something to say, then start writing now. If nobody is interested, then so what?

I have found that the act of writing for a supposed audience (I'm not that popular ^^) has helped me to clarify my own understanding. They say that teaching is the best method of learning.

So go for it.

I'd say that you're already blogging in a sense by contributing to the StackOverflow community. You can post your answers and refine them as your knowledge improves.

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I have a hard time thinking of blog topics that aren't (1) opinions or (2) rehashing of what other people have to say.

When I do post to my blog, it tends to be brief observations or code snippets that I want to save.

If you can cogently explain your thought processes as you are learning to code and talk through the learning experience, that would probably be valuable to other learners.

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Do it now!

Install blog software or go to tumblr and start posting.

If it doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to then at least you can say that you've tried.

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Tumblr isn't a good idea for a programmer, too much distractions –  Mahmoud Hossam Feb 11 '11 at 11:57
    
Tumblr has syntax highlighting and was it just a suggestion. The point is that the OP shouldn't wait to write. Just do it. Do it now. Write lots, practice makes difference. Procrastination is just stopping him from writing and posting his thoughts. –  Spoike Feb 11 '11 at 15:55
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As a newbie you should have plenty of learning experiences that are food for a blog. Your blog will get more in depth over time, but sometimes it's useful for someone else new to have things explained to them that you learned through trial and error. Think about what things confused you at first and write about those. Think about the disconnect between an academic environment and the realities of life in the business world. Are there some things you were taught to do, that just don't work out well in real life? Talk about dealing with unreasonable deadlines. Talk about a programing problem you had and how you solved it. It doesn't have to be a complex problem at first. Be prepared to have people dispute what you say. You may find an even better method than the one you used in the comments. Be gracious about this.

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