I recently started a course at the University of Toronto that requires us to keep a sLOG, and this happens to be the first required topic we were instructed to write about. The thing is, the topic somehow implies that there is some sort of cultural belief that they shouldn’t. I mean, I personally believe that everybody should write, regardless of where that writing takes place. However, most people imagine Computer Scientists (or programmers in general) as anti-social beings that live in basements and somehow are not interested in communicating with others. The truth is that our field is much more social than most people would think. Since projects can yield visible results in short periods of time, and both code and thoughts can be interchanged effortlessly through the internet, writing and reading blogs is one of the best investments a geek can make in order to gain knowledge and recognition in the field.
The first reason why geeks should write is that other geeks are very likely to benefit from your geeky endeavours. The more geeks that write about relevant topics, the more the field is going to advance in general. It doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel every time somebody wants to make a car, but in order to be able to google how to code a wheel, a geek must have written about it first.
The second reason why geeks should write is that a good blog will make a geek stand out from the crowd. Lets be honest, if you were going to hire someone and had two candidates with exactly the same background and qualifications, but one of them had been writing in a blog that was featured by a mayor corporation, and contained many clever ways to solve problems (of the same kind that they would be encountering in the job), who would you hire? Exactly.
There are many more reasons why a geek should write, but I still think assuming the contrary a priori shouldn’t be done. Being a geek is something people should be proud of, because it is awesome. Then again, blogging is just a by-product of being awesome and wanting to share it with the world.
Juan Camilo Osorio