Opinion

Why Northcoders students should write a journey blog

Why Northcoders students should write a journey blogPreview: Why Northcoders students should write a journey blog

Who am I?

Hey 👋 I’m Harry. I graduated from the May cohort on 6th August, and I’m a few weeks into my Junior Full Stack Development job at Asda, I’m working with React Native and using so many of the skills that I learnt on the NC bootcamp.

Feel free to check out my Twitter, GitHub, Dev.to, and LinkedIn.

Why did I start writing my blog?

I’d never really thought about blogging before as I didn’t think I’d have much to write about that other people would like to read about. However, way before my entry challenge for Northcoders I saw their twitter account share a blog post by a student that had joined their brand new cohort a matter of days before. It was this blog post that got me interested in keeping track of my own for my journey into tech. It was great to see a breakdown of what a day at NC would be like and the kind of content I’d be learning.

Most importantly, I wanted to write it for myself. So I forced myself to look back each week and consider what I had learnt. I knew before coming into the bootcamp that it would be lots of information in a short amount of time so I thought having a solid way of tracking my progress would be great.

What was good about writing my blog post?

As the tough times rolled around and my motivation took some hits after struggling with one of the many topics, my blog was a backlog of achievements. I could look back on my own progress and see how far I’d come each week. Having this to look back on during the course was a huge driving force for me.

Every Time I was struggling, my blog reminded me that I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because I’d made it through the learning struggles before and if you don’t know 100% of the content you’ve just been taught, don’t worry, nobody does, and the tutors never expect you to either. All of the pro’s are pro’s because they’re good Googlers.

Another good reason to blog is that a lot of people said it’d look great for potential employers to see your journey, but also commitment as well as to give some insight to anyone else who was thinking about doing the course, to give them a heads up about what each week entails.

So a win-win right?

What was difficult about writing my blog posts?

Honestly the hardest thing was setting the time at a weekend aside to actually write the content. It was hard at the beginning because all I wanted to do instead was to play around with the new skills I’ve been taught, and it was hard at the end because I wanted a break, I wanted more time to work on the final project, and I for sure wanted more time for personal projects for my portfolio and applications for jobs.

Some weeks, at the time I would have definitely rather not spend the time writing my posts but looking back on it there’s not a second of it I regret.

Advice for starting a blog?

  1. Shamelessly self promote your blog. It became a bit of an in joke on our cohort that I’d shamelessly promote my blog any chance I got. Why do you think I chose to write a post on the Northcoders blog about it? Speaking of… have you checked out my blog yet?
  2. Make good use of hashtags across Twitter and LinkedIn, to increase the reach of posts. I started to see engagement rise whenever I labelled my posts better this way, you never know a potential employer could chance upon your blog when scrolling through LinkedIn.
  3. Don’t worry about hitting a word count each week, even if it’s a very brief retrospective look at your week, you’ll surprise yourself how much good has happened that week. And if you’ve had a tough week, getting to put your thoughts down gives you a great starting point to ask the important questions to the tutors.
  4. Tag Northcoders every week when you share your posts to Twitter and LinkedIn, they’ll share your blog every single time!
  5. Engage with others on socials like Twitter, LinkedIn, but also blog platforms like Dev.to (where I published all of mine), and especially engage with them if they are soon to be Northcoders, current students, or Alumni.

Honorable mentions

Bex Newton’s blog posts.

Kev Morel’s blog posts.

Northcoders blog (look at that you’re already reading one, go you clever clogs!).

And last but not least my blog proof-reader and all round tech inspiration, Sam Roebuck, here’s her twitter.