I got You are a writer by Jeff Goins on a day it was given for free years ago. I got to read it over the weekend. I thought then, and I still do no now, that the book offers advice to people who write code too. Maybe because sometimes I believe that code is like a poem. So I will try to rehash advice I found useful here, since this seems to be one of the acceptable self-help books that have come my way.
While anyone can connect with anyone and put stuff out there, how does one gets noticed? By helping people. By relieving their pain. I’ve advocated answering one question per day on ServerFault (or StackOverflow, or whatever clicks to you), although I do not always practice this. I used to, though, years ago when mailing lists and newsgroups were the thing.
You need to build a platform. This blog is a platform. I post stuff here. Others do it with more success, for example John Sonmez who uses a variety of platforms (blog, YouTube channel, podcast, book) to publish his work (and he gives 90% of his work for free he said on Ruby Rogues). You make the platform and you establish a brand. Without a brand you are forgettable.
And you know what helps you not being forgotten? Networking does. Meaningful relationships do. Relationships that are mutual, matter to both parties and give you the opportunity to make friends and find mentors.
But nothing of the above makes any sense unless you are prepared to answer the following questions:
- Am I serious?
- Am I committed?
- Am I prepared to be challenged?
Please take the time to sincerely answer these questions. And while you are at it, understand that you probably are not the best coder in the world yet. But you can become one. There is room at the top here.
Like one of the main characters in The Phoenix Project said, mastery comes through practice. And here Goins argues that the best kind of practice is done publicly. Interestingly GiHub seems to be our public place of practice.
While you’re at it, learn to estimate. Underpromise and overdeliver. Especially when you are part of a team. Like Goins writes, you have a gift. Someone is willing to work with you.
Go on! Practice.