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Let's start

The start of my adventure in learning in public and sharing my thoughts (6 min read)

The journey is On!

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Clemens van Lay



Let's make it official! I decided to create my own blog. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now and, even though it was one of my personal goals for last year, I've finally made it (just 3 months or so late).

I've always admired people that are excited to share what they learn day to day with others. This helped me grow immensely both as an engineer and as a person in the past 3 or so years and becoming one of those people is one of the main reasons that drove me to this point. Sharing things in the open is something I've previously saw as requiring a really high bar (e.g. you kinda have to be the best at what you do) but I see more and more that you don't need to be some sort of wizard to be able to share things in public. Just being able to put out an idea and spin up some interesting thoughts in someone else's mind is extremely valuable, together with the other reasons below.
I probably won't have a large audience and I'm totally okay with it: having big numbers is not the main goal I have with this project. Of course, if you read something that poaches your mind and you'd like to talk about it with me, feel free to reach out, I'd be super happy 😊

Some reasons why

I think there are a lot of motivators and positive aspects in writing and maintaining a personal blog. I'll mention some of them I think are worth it but they're not all of them (I definitely don't know all of them, I'll just learn new ones during the adventure).

Start a butterfly effect from good ideas

This is one of the most important aspects of why I'm starting this. Everyone has great ideas and, if they're great, you should share them around (unless is the next unicorn startup idea probably, jk you would still need to share it with someone). Having this medium as a platform where I can share good ideas the rare times they come to me is priceless, even if it will be just for myself. What I hope will happen though is that someone who reads one of them can pick up something interesting and in turn come up with another great idea and so on. I've seen this on myself watching tech talks and reading blogs where a great idea can transform into another great idea if applied to a different context or to a different situation.

Boost my writing skills and improve my mental clarity

This is probably very Amazonian, but I've seen how important having strong writing skills really is, pretty much for anyone. Writing in this context is referred to many different kinds, from more behavioural and career related things to very technical analysis or designs.
Amazon is really popular for being obsessed about writing and I love this aspect. It forces people to really reflect on their ideas before sharing them (a lot more than just thinking about them and telling someone).

For the mental clarity aspect, putting things on paper (or on a web-page) rather than just reading them and then forgetting is helping me to get the most about the things I learn and remember them overtime, so I might just post them here instead of on my personal Notion account.

Increase my teaching and mentoring skills

These are, in my opinion, two very valuable characters in any engineer. Teaching things effectively is obviously very important to grow other people's knowledge and provide them the information they need/want to know (if they are involved in a certain project you're leading/want to learn more about a specific concept).

Mentoring, on the other hand, is something that not everyone values in the same way. I've been part of LeadTheFuture, the biggest STEM mentoring community in Italy, for the past 4 years and I've gained an unimaginable amount of knowledge and motivation from it. I see similar traits in the top talent in Amazon where mentoring and growing others are seen as a core principle every day. Being able to effectively mentor others both directly (1:1) and indirectly is an important goal of mine.

(Minor) Experiment with some fancy new tech

Who doesn't love to play around with dope tech? Having this kind of baseline project where I can experiment with switching services, frameworks and stuff is pretty cool. For learning and trying out new things, I find it is easier to start from something, even if just a dummy website, rather than thinking about an idea where that particular technology might be useful in the first place and then implementing that from scratch.

Also not having any downtime SLAs or availability metrics to worry about is nice sometimes 😅

What you can expect from this place

DISCLAIMER: everything I will post in here is and will always be in no way related to any of my employers, present or future. All the opinions are my own and will stay so.

I'm not 100% sure to be honest. I'm fairly confident most of it will be technical and career focused around software engineering, as the .dev tld states. Technical-wise, I think I'm going to space around between different topics. My current day-to-day work is mainly focused on clients but I also constantly learn about different things across the stack.

Career-wise, I really like personal career development discussions so I'll try to share cool things I learn on the day.

I don't plan to limit myself in any way if it comes to tech, career or personal growth so things might change quite often according to what comes to mind. I can promise I won't post about totally unrelated things I like (coffee, music, gym), trust me on that.

Let's connect

If this sounds interesting to you, please don't hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter (@Gobbees) and maybe subscribe through RSS.
I'm currently based in London 🇬🇧 so if you're in town I'd love to take a coffee around. I'm becoming a bit of a coffee nerd so I might be quite opinionated about coffee shops 🙃