I had the pleasure of sharing a few of my candid thoughts on blogging and software development over at Six Revisions this morning in a guest post titled How Being a Coder Can Make You a Better Blogger.
Please spend a few moments stopping by, dropping a comment (or two), and thanking Jacob Gube for the opportunity! Let’s be a community that shows up!
I also wanted to share a few additional thoughts on how you can practically get started on becoming a better blogger by dabbling in even a small amount of code:
1. Start with What You Know and Use
One of the best places for you to start flexing your software development skills is where you are, right now. The perfect place is WordPress!
Why not take a look into your WordPress Theme files or even a plugin (or two)? What do you see? What do you understand? What confuses you?
What if you were to actually manually edit your theme’s header file and add a line of Google Analytics? Every software developer starts with something small and learning to copy and paste is where it all starts!
Not interested in that? Why not take one of my free WordPress Themes and “hacking” it a bit? Adding something here, or there?
You can learn a lot about your blog and become a better blogger by taking just a few moments to understand the system that you use day-in and day-out! If you want to go a bit further you can always check out the official WordPress Codex for even more juicier stuff!
2. Take a Risk, Start Today, and Dedicate Time
Most of the developers that I’m friends with sort of “fell” into software development, almost by accident.
There are very few people that I know that woke up one day and said:
I think I’ll become a software developer today.
What this requires of you is simply the courage to try something new as well as dedicate explicitly some time every day (or every week) to jumping into it.
This could mean that you’re actually building a basic HTML page, walking through many of the free tutorials out there (check out this amazing series on the basics of HTML and getting started), or reading a number of great blogs that cover development extensively.
The important thing is doing it and not just waiting around to see if it “happens” because it won’t.
3. Keep an Open Mind
Building software might sound pretty insane right now, especially if you have no experience, but there have been more dramatic changes in your life – I can guarantee that!
What if you were to start spending time every day with a little development – what do you think would happen? What if you started an entirely new career path? This story, as crazy as it sounds, is not unique!
On the flip-side, don’t “force” it – if you’re not loving this experience then feel free to quit as you’ve got more important things to be doing. But if you can make it I’ll tell you that it’ll pay off in spades.
I love blogging and I love developing software and they complement each other like ice and sweet tea on a hot summer day – and I’m not sure I’ll ever find an activity more satisfying!
[Images via Creative Commons, aleera]