Starting

Today’s challenge for 10 Days to a Better Blog! is to look back on your writing, research your blog analytics, and start identifying your focus. Even though I’ve had some false starts in the past, I can say that this is really my first true blog, so I’m focusing more on this post from John Saddington in order to lay the foundation for what this blog is and will be. In fact, that post is what led me to the 10 Days challenge and has inspired the small changes I’ve already made to the blog. I don’t really have enough information to spot trends or which context is really “popular” just yet, so I’ll just set the stage for what I intend for this blog for the next year or so, at least.

First, this blog will be extremely narcissistic focused on my journey as I start a new career and what I’m learning about changing my life. I hope this never comes off as self-indulgent, since I really just want to keep myself accountable when I fall into old habits and I never want to forget that this is the year I finally got my shit together haha. I started blogging about my time at the Iron Yard Academy in Houston and this is the continuation of what was started there.

Second, this blog will be updated daily, so don’t expect deep insights all the time. I want to share what I’m learning, but it’s going to be almost in real time, so I’ll try to write something a little longer maybe weekly or monthly. The blog since I’ve started the challenge may read to a lot of people as “navel-gazing“, but I want to assure you I’m building a foundation for what I hope to be an interesting year of sharing my story. But just like anyone who builds a foundation, it’s hard to share your successes too soon because it all sounds like, “Look at how straight this edge is! Look at how sturdy and solid this foundation is! It will definitely hold a building up!” So believe it or not I’m saving you a LOT of tedium as I relearn how to code a blackjack game in ruby or how to curl locations into my map application.

Which leads me to: Third, I want this blog to be engaging and fun. I will definitely share some tech-centric stuff along the way, but most of you will never care about API’s or the magical feeling you get when you use your first ruby/rails gems to solve problems in seconds that seemed insurmountable, herculean tasks just a few hours before. So, I will share less “I learned how to use ______!” and much more on “I built _____!” (accompanied by requisite links).

Rest assured, there will certainly be some “I learned how to use _____!” stories, but only within a certain context. I want to tell stories of learning from human beings, even if it’s learning from a blog post or StackOverflow question/answer, because what’s all this technology for if not to connect us to each other and (hopefully) make us better in some small ways?

This is describing my Fourth point: I want to tell you about this amazing community I’ve joined! For lack of a better term, we’ll just call it the “Open Source Community” right now, but I want you to know there is a group of people who love to learn things and then feel a responsibility to turn around and share what they’ve learned. If you know me at all, you will recognize I have found “my people” haha. I just want to be better (and I definitely want all of us to be better), and when I find something that helps that process I can’t wait to share it.

Ultimately this is my vision for what I think a church should be, although there might not be a ton of me talking about that on this blog (but maybe, who knows). A friend of mine in Philadelphia shared that his church broke their usual community group/Sunday School/small weekly meeting schedule for the Summer and let members of the church teach classes on subjects they were knowledgeable in, and although most were what you’d expect, classes on how to budget or how to read the Bible, there were also classes on brewing your own beer at home and wine tasting. I love it so much, but this is literally the only time I’ve ever heard of something like this.

If you’re not a part of the web development world, take a second and google “Ruby Meetup” or “JavaScript Meetup” in the first city you can think of as a “big city.” There will be weekly or monthly meetups of people who are not only working full time as web developers, software programmers, and designers, but who also love to get together and share what they’re learning (often in their spare time). The JavaScript meetup I went to in Houston involved building robots you can program using JS and even turning a light bulb on and off with a specific twitter hashtag mention.

Hopefully you’ll see why I want to talk about this world. I feel like it’s a whole world of people the wider public knows nothing about. Maybe they want it this way (I’ll find out!), but I’m in love with this amazing group of nerds who just want to chomp down on these technologies and fiddle with them enough to make them useful or at least really fun.

So that’s what this blog will be about. I’m entering this world and will report back my findings like a total nerd who has an MA in Cross-cultural Studies… wait, I DO have that degree! And I am a total nerd! My hope is that you’ll enjoy it.

P.S. If you want to get in touch, check out my About page. Following the advice of Saddington’s post, I turned off the comments so I can just write freely without feeling the urge to craft each post to elicit reponses, but feel free to respond as you will haha.

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