Business: The Engineering Value of Blogging
Over on JobSyntax blog, Gretchen talks about the role of blogging in recruiting. She has linked in several articles and recruiting blogs where the subject has been discussed.
I’ve come to the conclusion that software engineers must blog just to be competitive. And that we need to share not only knowledge and code samples, but also our thoughts on technology and our experiences. This makes it easier for prospective employers to say, "Yes! I want you." And for our peers to say, "Your post on X saved my project." Our peers are really our audience; future employers just get the benefit of our conversation.
Every time we walk into a job interview both the candidate and employer are selling to each other. And selling is about telling stories and reducing risk. Each side tells their story and asks questions that make them feel safer in saying, "Yes." An honest and open approach to blogging can eliminate the marketing feel of a blog and can clearly communicate your "story". A story that shows you for who you really are and that allows the other person the opportunity to feel safer (reducing their perceived risk.)
An engineering blog should demonstrate knowledge, coding style, and relevant technical experiences. But it will also demonstrate writing ability, communication style, humor, clarity of thought, and in some cases, the other faces we wear. All of these qualities are very hard to determine from traditional resumes and cover letters. And even during the interview process it can be difficult to get a clear picture of a candidate’s "style". A well tended professional blog helps with all of that. It makes us 3-dimensional and real. All of that makes us more marketable and easier to sell.