Why Tech Students Should write Engineers Blog? I think every engineer should consider blogging. Blogging is not just for “thought leaders” or “internet marketers” anymore. It’s becoming an essential tool for everyone — particularly engineers — to survive in the new talent economy. Even Blogging is better than Job;
Tech Students Should Write Engineers Blog
When I say that to engineers or tech students, I typically get three types of responses:
- Blogging is mainly for building a brand. I’d much instead showcase my coding skills and knowledge on places like Github and StackOverflow.
- Blogging is hard, and I am not good at writing anyway. So means it is a totally wastage of time.
- Even if I started writing, getting an audience is a pain in the ass, so why bother.
Those may have been valid a few years ago, but not anymore. Here’s why Engineers Blog:
1. Blogging makes you visible to the right audience
As I’ve written before, we have a severe signaling problem with engineers. Most recruiters and hiring managers to go after a small number of engineers that “look good on paper,” i.e., have top school education or senior company experience, but miss out on a majority of engineers that are good but don’t meet their bias.
The only way to fix that — to stand out from the rest — is by blogging. Having a Github or StackOverflow profile can increase your chances for selection (i.e., get hired), but not discoverability (i.e., get noticed). Recruiters and hiring managers are not on Github. They’re on LinkedIn. They’re on Medium. They’re on Quora.
Of course, if you are actively looking for a job, you can find ways to get to them and showcase your Github. Still, there’s a big difference between inbound discovery (they find you impressive and come to you) and outbound discovery (you going to them for a job). You know where your chances of getting a good offer are.
The future of work is freelancing. Forget the “10 to 6” job — think of being an independent software engineer providing “engineering services” to two, three “clients” at a time, working from wherever, whenever.
That’s where the world’s headed:
In a world where we’re all freelancing, reputation is everything. Today, freelancing has a severe cold start problem: if you’re based in any country, you can’t find meaningful work.
Marketplaces like UpWork and Elance, which were initially designed to match US companies with global talent, have made it impossible for engineers to find work. You’d have to lowball yourself for months to get some action and build up credibility. Even if you succeed, you’d be competing with engineers from India and China that have a much better reputation than you and can afford to charge half the price.
Newer marketplaces like TopTal, Gigster, and Hired are slightly better, mainly because they are not as crowded, but you still have to pass their acceptance criteria, which can be painful. So the only way to go freelancing is to think of yourself as a startup, → build a premier brand, position yourself to the right companies, and charge rates you’re worth.
Blogging is the best way to do that — to build a premier brand for yourself and stand out.
LinkedIn’s ProFinder, which aims to match US companies with local freelancers, will only accept you if you have some recommendations and blog posts. So in the “freelancing economy,” it is no longer enough to “be” a sound engineer; it is essential to “build a reputation as a good engineer” — with recommendations, blog posts, endorsements, etc.
2. Blogging helps you grow as an engineer.
At some point in your career, “soft skills” like communication and leadership become essential for growth. It’s a bit unfair: companies expect you to develop them, and managers (subjectively) look for them for promotions and such, but they don’t make any special efforts to help you develop those skills. It’s a silent assumption that those skills come naturally when you work in teams, and over time you’ll develop them without particular intervention.
But Blogging can accelerate that. No matter what your profession is, communication is a potent tool, and Blogging can significantly improve your connection.
- It forces you to read. When you write something, you’ll naturally read more about it. So the more you write, the more you’ll understand. That will make you a better reader in general and make you smarter. Good writers are voracious readers.
- It improves your communication. Like coding, Writing gets better with practice. Your first few blogs will suck, but eventually, you’ll become an expert. That helps you everywhere — in your meetings, discussions, brainstorming sessions, emails, etc. You’ll become better at framing arguments, making decisions, and resolving conflicts.
3. Blogging is not as hard as you think.
Pick Medium or LinkedIn. Or Ghost. Or WordPress. It does not matter, but every platform has pros and cons, which I won’t’ cover in this post, and you should independently research.
But here are some tips you might find helpful for Engineers Blog :
- Write to someone. A blog post is a product. Be very clear about who the target user is and write for them. It could be a fellow programmer, an aspiring programmer, or anyone else. The more clarity you have about your target reader, the better your work will be.
- Write to educate. A common theme for useful blog posts is “story → lesson → proof.” Start with a good story and end with a good lesson and some proof. You don’t have to follow it every single time. This blog post doesn’t.
- Write to inspire. A good blog post educates the reader, but a great blog post inspires them. A single blog post can indeed change someone’s life. It can change your life as well.