How to start creating content as a software developer
I’m an active Twitter user and I follow a lot of tech people there. Most of them create great content that I really enjoy reading and I believe this is what makes our tech community great.
I’m a backend engineer who also enjoys team collaboration, being involved in product decisions, time management, productivity hacks, and I’ve decided I want to get started on sharing personal experiences and learnings about those topics.
Next, you will find my personal process into content creation, everyone has their own so maybe you can take a few things out of this post.
Find inspiration ✨
As I said, I follow a lot of tech people on Twitter and I get most of my inspiration from them. I look closely at how they share their content, what they talk about, on which channel, etc. Never to copy them!, but I strongly believe that looking at other people’s work to find inspiration is very useful.
These are some of the people I follow and who have inspired me to create content:
- Emma Bostian — she’s a software engineer at Spotify. She’s a part of the LadyBug Podcast, she’s the author of the book De-Coding The Technical Interview Process, she writes on her blog, creates Youtube content, and in general, I just love the way she communicates.
- Ali Spittel — she’s a Senior Developer Advocate at AWSAmplify and also a part of the LadyBugPodcast. Ali teaches programming, writes on her blog We Learn Code, she has tutorials, beginner guides, and also creates content for her Youtube channel.
- Sara Vieira — she’s a developer at CodeSandbox, has written a book “Opinionated Guide To React”. She’s always programming new and fun stuff and sharing it on her Twitter account and it’s a really fun person to follow. You can check out all the things she has built on her Github account
There are many others as well, but these are my favorite software development content creators at the moment.
Define your channel 📹 📃
All of the people who inspire me have different channels to share their content. Perhaps you want to start a blog because you are good at writing, or maybe start a Youtube channel because you are a good communicator and you like editing videos. In my particular case, I enjoy writing and conference speaking. Since in 2020 I wasn’t able to participate physically in any conference, I’ve decided to migrate to a video format (still a WIP but you get the point). I’m also going to be more active in my blog posting 🤞
I’d recommend starting where you feel more comfortable. If writing feels good, start there. You might even find a hidden talent.
Despite the channel you chose, you also need to keep in mind who are you addressing and pick the channel that suits your audience the most.
Define your audience 🗣️
Are you targeting already experienced software engineers? beginners? both? completely up to you! but it’s important to know who you will be talking to.
In my personal case, I’ve noticed most of my ideas are targeted to beginners so at least from now on this will be my target. I believe starting with beginners' content is a good thing, they are just getting to know the community and the majority of the content they might consume will be new information.
Write down your ideas 💡
I literally have 5–10 notes in my Google Keep account dedicated to random ideas for potential content, also in my medium account, I probably have 10 possible blog posts that are completely empty but just contain the main idea I’d like to share someday. In fact, this very blog post is one of them and it’s been a WIP since 2021 started (yikes!).
Even if you think the idea is not worth sharing, write it down, and keep it there for later. I’ve noticed that depending on my mood, the day I’ve had, etc, when I re-read my notes after a while I’m sometimes able to tweak them or improve them and also discard them. 😅
Start creating 🤩
Don’t be like me thinking about doing this for months, if you found an idea that resonates with you and you think is worth sharing just go for it!. We are part of a community that appreciates content creation a lot and even if you don’t reach millions of people, at least you were able to create something out of your own mind.
After you’ve defined your audience and channel the only thing left is the content, for a video, for example, you could write a script to really have a clear idea of the story you are sharing, although some people prefer to improvise, it’s up to you. For blog posts, you could start with drafts and improve them every time you re-visit them.
Lastly, make it public! For me, the hardest part because I’m never 100% happy with the content (thanks imposter syndrome). This blog post is also an opportunity for me to improve on this and just go for it.
Ali Spittel posted this tweet a few days ago and it really pushed me to finally publish this story (thanks for that!):
and let me tell you, did I benefit from this blog post… hell yes!. I’m no content creator expert, I’m literally just starting, but since I’ve been overthinking this for too long I thought it was worth sharing it with you so you won’t do the same as me.
Hope to read/watch/hear something from your creation soon. 💪