Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

On a recent PowerScripting Podcast episode, I brought up the topic of PowerShell Desired State Configuration, and pointed out that I thought folks should be learning this important technology. There was a bit of a debate – some folks disagree, of course. But putting that aside, at least a few folks agreed with me and set out to learn the technology.

Jacob Benson was one of them, and he’s been blogging – daily – about his learning experience.

It aptly demonstrates why I think everyone should have a blog – even if it’s a private one that nobody else sees, but I really think anyone working in IT should have a public blog. Writing something down reinforces it in your head. The act of writing forces you to organize your thoughts; Benson’s been doing it chronologically, which is fine. He’s documented his failures, too, which is going to prove useful to someone else in the future, because he also documents his fixes.

You know that you truly know something when you can teach it to someone else – and forcing yourself to write down what you’ve learned proves to you that you’ve learned it that well. Blog selfishly: make every entry a reminder of what you’ve learned, and you’ll always have a reference to go back to. If you’re at work, blog there, too. Use SharePoint or something to document problems you’ve solved in an informal fashion; that can supplement help desk ticket notes and serve as a long-term reference for others in your environment.

And you do have time. Remember that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, and that’s never been more true than in the IT industry, where I see people constantly making the same mistakes over and over. If you don’t document history, everyone forgets it. You can’t afford not to.

Sure, other people don’t read. I get it. I’m constantly re-answering questions that I’ve already answered in a book or something. But that’s often because people aren’t used to other people writing stuff down, so they don’t bother to look. You can help cure that. When you “re-answer” a question, politely refer the person to whatever writing you’ve done on the subject, so they start getting used to looking for those answers.

Don’t like to write? Fine – start a YouTube “blog” instead. Get a screen recording application, a decent microphone, and record your learning experiences. They don’t need to be pretty – they need to be helpful. 

We live in an age of unprecedented ability to document and retain information forever. What are you doing to help build the knowledge base?

7 thoughts on “Here’s Why YOU Should be Blogging

  1. Scott W says:

    I agree completely.. My own personal blog has saved my butt a few times in the past. Between the little bit I put here and there, and then the OneNote notebook I keep (I can’t recommend that enough), it’s all part of documenting in one fashion or another. Blogging has the distinct advantage of allowing other to learn from your mistakes or experiences though, which is fantastic.

  2. Chris H says:

    I just recently celebrated by first “blog-iversary” and wrote up some of my experiences about hosting a blog and getting some page views. Including blatant self promotion on other popular blogs like this. http://www.automatedops.com/blog/2014/02/25/one-year/

    1. Don Jones says:

      Happy to help ;).

  3. I totally agree. I have wanted to get a blog going if not just for remembering the cool things I have worked on or accomplished. I love the TECH industry and everything that comes with it. Do you all recommend just getting a WordPress blog for this purpose or is there a better option for this? Any recommendations are welcomed.

    Thanks,
    Rob

    1. Don Jones says:

      WordPress, Blogger, there’s lots of free places to have a blog hosted. Whatever works best for you.

      1. rcjay272 says:

        Don,
        Thanks for the update. I went with WordPress…rcjay272.wordpress.com. Only 1 post but you have to start somewhere.

        Thank,
        Rob.

  4. rcjay272 says:

    I totally agree. I have wanted to get a blog going if not just for remembering the cool things I have worked on or accomplished. I love the TECH industry and everything that comes with it. Do you all recommend just getting a WordPress blog for this purpose or is there a better option for this? Any recommendations are welcomed.

    Thanks,
    Rob

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