Blogging For Data Engineers?
How important is it for Data Engineers to have a blog? In this episode of Big Data Big Questions I talk about importance of building a blog in your career in Data Engineering, Data Analysis, or Data Science. Learn my thoughts on What Every Data Engineers Should Have A Blog in the video below.
Transcript – Why Data Engineers Should Blog
Hi folks! Thomas Henson here with thomashenson.com. Today is another episode of…
Big Data Big Questions. Today’s question, I thought I would take a topic that I’ve seen and keeps coming up in some of my videos, and really dig down into it. Maybe this is going to be a multi-part series, but we’re going to talk about starting a blog to build your brand as a data engineer, data scientist, or if you’re watching this and you’re just a technologist or somebody that just wants to do book reviews, trust me, there’s going to be some topics in here that are generalized for everybody, but it really shows you how to key in on your field.
Before we jump into that, though, I want to say, if you have any questions, put them in the comment section here below. This is where I find content to make sure I’m interacting with the community and answering the questions that you want. It also gives me an idea. Hey, there’s enough people that ask a question or interested in a certain topic, and I haven’t done any research on it, gives me an opportunity to study and see what’s going on. This is all about being a community here. Reach out to me on thomashenson.com/big-questions if you don’t want to put it in the comment section here below. I’ll do my best to answer those quick as I can.
Today, I want to talk about why you should start a blog as a data engineer, or data scientist, or if you’re a web developer, and you’re watching this, or anything. I think it’s very important. In 2019, should you start a blog? I think so. I don’t think it’s something that is going away. Just because I say start a blog, you don’t have to start a blog and just write. You can start a vlog. I think you definitely should have your own domain. I bought thomashenson.com. It cost me, I think, $12 a month. No, $12 a year, but it’s like, hosting and everything like that can be really, really cheap. I wouldn’t worry about that. It’s really important. I’m going to talk a little bit first about my journey and why I started a blog.
When I got my first job, like I said, I’ve talked about it before, I was a web developer. One of the things where I was working at, we weren’t really embracing. We were using open source, but we weren’t really contributing, and it was shunned upon or shied upon for us to actually have any code to be able to show or anything like that. One of the things, I didn’t really think about it at the time, but you get a couple years into your role, and you might get opportunities to interview at other places, to do other things, and one of the things that came up that was really whole when I was going through the interview process was, I didn’t have any example code or anything like that I could show. I wasn’t involved in the open source community outside of work, and I didn’t have my code. It was my company’s property, and there were some other pretty big reasons I couldn’t, I didn’t have anything I could point to and show. That got me thinking. I don’t have anything that really captures the work and some of the things that I do. Then, at this time, too, I’d already embraced trying to do at least 30 minutes a day, or maybe even four times a week getting 30 minutes in of learning new things. I had all these ideas and all these things that I was going through and learning in the process, but I could only talk about them. I’m on a whiteboard or from a resume perspective, but I didn’t really, couldn’t really show. Couldn’t let it stand on its own. That’s where I started really looking into blogging. I was like, “Man, maybe I should start a blog.” Start a blog, didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. If you go back and look at some of my early posts, it was like, “You know, I’m doing this, and I’m starting a business!” It really wasn’t a business, it was just me writing. As I started writing, I started talking about some of the things I’ve learned. I would go through and look, and be able to create articles around something I’ve learned, maybe even create some test projects.
A lot of that, they weren’t very good when I started. It can be an opinion thing if they’re good now, but I definitely know that I’ve improved, and I feel like that, but I think it’s something that really helped me and really focused me, too. Like I said, I was a web developer. You’ve all heard my story before, about when I became a data engineer, and jumped into the Hadoop area. I had that platform, and I had already been practicing doing some of the blogging and stuff like that. It was really easy for me, as I was going through, and learning, and learning things that other people wanted to see, to be able to start writing pig Latin tutorials. Hive, and what I’m doing with H base [Phonetic 00:04:40] and HTFS, and just general tips of things that I learned. It was like, strengthening that muscle, and it really helped me just accelerate just in being a part of the community as well, too. That’s my journey. That’s one of the main reasons that I’m so big on it, is because I came from that area, where I didn’t have anything that I could point to and say, “Hey, look.” These are all the cool things that I’m doing.
That’s why I started a blog, but why do I think that you should? What should your story be? Your story, you’re still writing it. You should write it on a blog. I really think it’s something that’s help you build out your brand, and I think it’s always something good that shows, one, you’re interactive in the community. It keeps you honest and keeps you motivated, too. It’s late at night. I didn’t really want to have to record any videos. I wanted to put it off. I have an audience. I have a schedule, and I try to keep content coming out. This made me come out to the office, and make sure that I got on camera, and was able to create content here, too. The same thing with your blog. If you create a blog, say you create a schedule, and you’re like, hey. I mean, I’ve done this before. I’m going to publish once every month. When I was first starting out, you feel horrible when you don’t. I missed quite a few months. It took me a long time before I published every month. I just really wasn’t consistent. It’ll keep you honest about learning. It’ll keep you honest about creating content and being a part of that community, too. I really think that it’s good at any stage in your career, but especially if you’re watching this channel, and you’re trying to figure out, “Where do I get started? What are some things that I should be doing?” You’ve probably heard me say it a ton of times. Start creating something to be a part of the community. I’m not saying go out and… We’ll have a longer session about how to start blogging and how to find, how to create your own content. I’m not saying go out and borrow people’s content or anything like that and put it as your own. There’s a definite way that you can do a lot of different things. I’m going to end this video this time, but maybe this is, we’ll just call this part one. I definitely think we should dig into how to start that blog, some content ideas, but I think today just kick around the idea, just think about it, start churning, start kicking those around in your idea, and then we’ll talk, and follow up later on with some content ideas. I’ll show you how to set up on, I think, I used Dream Host, but there’s a ton of other places out there. It’s something simple that you can set up in 10 minutes, and if you’re using [Inaudible 00:07:18] you can start publishing some of your own content, having your own audience, heck, you can put it in the comment section here below, to build, and we can use our audience to help everybody push their content out there. We can all support each other as well, too.
That’s all I have for today. Like I said, I’m going to follow up. I really like this idea, here. If you have some comments, or you think it’s a bad idea to start a blog in 2019, which I don’t think it is, but I’d love to hear your opinion. All opinions are welcome, so, thanks again, and I will see you next time on Big Data Big Questions.