Yes, you should have a blog.

Stock photo from Unsplash

When people talk about having a personal blog, they immediately go into a mindset with ideas of why they think they shouldn’t have one. “I am not interesting enough”, “I am not a good enough at your hobby to write”, or “will it even help you professionally as a CV when looking for jobs?”.

The truth is, writing has a bunch of benefits even if you aren’t going to get millions of views a year.

Aaron Swartz had a blog post about the beauty of writing.

I don’t consider this writing, I consider this thinking. I like sharing my thoughts and I like hearing yours and I like practicing expressing ideas, but fundamentally this blog is not for you, it’s for me. I hope that you enjoy it anyway.

Aaron Swartz

He hits the nail right on the head. Writing is thinking and is a way to improve yourself. Being able to translate your thought into word that can be shared is a key business skill. How many times have you seen someone want to talk on the phone because they can’t communicate properly? When you start to blog, you build these skills and start to place your ideas into structured and communicable words. The higher you climb in an organization, the more your job will orbit around sales and communication. Writing helps you do both. Inspiring imagery drives sales, while clear thinking makes you a better communicator. Writing is executive-level training.

Not only will you learn to translate your thoughts, you will build expertise in topics. Quality writing begins with clear thinking. Once you write about a topic, can speak about it more clearly which will help you with job interviews and sound confident.

When you begin to share well written ideas, you will start to build a community and a network. As you start to grow, you will find readers will want to engage with the topic and share their own ideas increasing your network and also improve your knowledge of the topic.

If you decide to take it big time, you will learn skills to grow your personal brand and business. Building your audience will develop marketing skills. Publishing regularly will give you structure and discipline. Writing well will teach you to think intelligently and continue to learn about your industry.

So yes, get out there and start your blog. Write about what interests you and focus on doing it for you.

After 15 years, we are here.

The idea of Non Stop Dev started while sitting on a patio at a local Panera with a close friend on our laptops, thinking of random website ideas and buying .com names on a whim. We were working at our media startup where we would build and customize WordPress sites for businesses and also do some custom development for local sites trying to build their presence online.

This was during the era where not many people were working remote or in public so the idea of co-working and collaborating was still kinda new. This was also the era before a new javascript framework came out every week, Nodejs and “npm install” didn’t allow you to install every package under the sun, PHP and object orientated was still a crazy thought, and even though everyone said “AJAX”, it really meant everyone just loaded jQuery on every website.

Anyone who had a website during this time was seen as being a legit company. There wasn’t much around with Yelp yet or massive social media followings to validate and promote you so was mostly breaking into local keywords and getting those websites listed on the front page.

While we were working to get sites online, we also worked with people on custom work and trying to get various ideas going. The whole thought process was, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we could do X” and we went to work trying to make it happen. In parallel, we thought it would be cool to document how things were hacked together and basically how we wrote web apps or middleware that linked APIs and even started to mess with geolocation.

Some of the best learning and fun was the early projects so the idea here is while the web has evolved and people do things different, still keeping that writing, creative mindset and throw ideas out there. Some of the past work and projects were:

Buffalo Trending – We collected data from 4Square and Twitter based on lat/long. We organized and fed this into a single stream which allowed a visitor to see current topics, check-ins at popular locations, and hashtags being used in the area of Buffalo, NY. Was our first real-time application we worked on and started to get exposure to the Twitter API and Firehose.

TopThisPic – Webcams were starting to be a thing, again before everyone had a HD camera in their pockets. We had a site that was a social ranking where someone could create a challenge that was “Best mean face” and others would submit pictures to them to top that pick and be knocked off the leaderboard. Simple concept that exposed us ways to rank and assign metrics before ML and classification was as open as it was.

So here we are 15 years later. There is finally a base to move forward and while getting a blog up and running isn’t a technical masterpiece, I hope to stay committed to posting content from the days and keep the posts coming.