Why does a person create a software development blog, and where do they find inspiration for their posts?

I have intended to create a software development blog for years. The goal of such a blog has always been to demonstrate expertise in my areas of focus. I think it will be helpful when applying to future jobs or getting clients if I attempt to be an independent contractor. Most posts, I think, will largely be useful tidbits I encounter in my workday.

But until now, I never made it happen. I just let the idea sit idle.

Today I’m finally getting around to it, and a big reason is that I’m now confident I have a consistent source of inspiration for my blog posts. That source is my daybooks.

Daybooks are a concept I learned about in Pragmatic Programmer. Generally speaking, they are a day-to-day log of a person’s work.

For a software developer this can include stacktraces of errors, troubleshooting notes, installation steps, planned architecture of a feature, meeting notes, etc. In my case, a daily cronjob generates a blank markdown file in my journal directory. I scribble work notes in the file throughout the day. Over time, a grep-able log of my work history accumulates.

I’ve been writing software since 2012, but I only started keeping daybooks this year (2020). Prior to keeping daybooks, I failed to take the time to reflect on what I’ve learned and where I’ve spent my effort. By developing the habit of taking notes on my work, I have come to realize, among other things, that I learn a lot throughout my day. Now I intend to share what I learn on this blog.

I make no commitments to myself or the reader about posting frequency, but I am looking forward to seeing how this blog develops. And if you are considering starting a software development blog, consider keeping daybooks as a first step.