Discoveries of the week!

#1 NextJS

NodeJS framework build on top of ReactJS to render React Serverside!

I’m currently working with that to build the new Mr Frontend Blog with NextJS! Next week I will show you in short video how it looks.

https://zeit.co/blog/next

#2 The Syntax Podcast

I listened to a lot of podcasts in the car, especially when it is busy on the road! It’s the podcast from Wes Bos and his friend Scott Tolinski. This time they talked about CSS grids!

https://syntax.fm

Why you should start blogging as Junior Developer

Before diving into how you could start blogging, it’s important to know why it is good to blog as a Junior Developer.

1 It will show what you learned

A blog is all about sharing with the online world what you have to say. So as a developer you probably can tell something about what you have learned or discovered. This will help others get inspired or learn things from you. Even the smallest things are valuable!

You can start showing tips & tricks with HTML, CSS, JavaScript or whatever you are working on. Use code example’s to make it better. Because showing is better than telling!

2 It will train your brain to explain

When you start writing about the things you have learned, your brain is gonna be trained to explain. You will force yourself to explain things to someone else. You need a good preparation for your topic to explain it.

Be explaining more and more it will make you a better teacher, maybe teaching small things. Doing things a lot will make you better at it in the end!

3 It will show your knowledge and expertise

Your blog will be a part of your online presence. If people are gonna search for your name, they definitely gonna find your blog (if it is public).

And when they do, they are able to discover your level of expertise and the things you enjoy making! So make it count!

My personal blog always made my story stronger on a potential job interview. Because the people could see all my blog posts. By my blog posts, I proved that I knew where I was talking about!

A great example is about Harry Roberts, he is a well-known Frontend Developer. His career started to grow because of blogging. Recently he was interviewed by Jessica Rose on the Pursuit Podcast. (great podcast to listen btw 😉) But in that interview, he shared his story about it, so it’s definitely worth it to check it out!

How should you start blogging as a Junior Developer

Let’s get practical! Below I will give a few places to start with blogging. Some free and easy and some are paid and more advanced!

1 & 2 Build your blog for free on WordPress.com or Medium.com (easy & free)

There is no excuse that you can’t afford any domain name or web hosting. Because WordPress.com and Medium.com are both free. Just register an account and go and start writing!

On Medium it is just that. On WordPress.com you can also install plugin’s and change your theme.

On Medium there is a much wider platform to get more readers than on WordPress.com. But pick the one you like!

3 Build your blog with a Static site generator (easy+ & free)

A static site generator is a tool to generate your blog posts from MarkDown files. There are a lot of different options.

A great site to choose and compare it Staticgen.com

I have tried Jekyll and Metalsmith. I know that Jekyll can be used for free on Github, but also on your own web hosting! And if you have a domain name you can connect it to. It cost a little bit of work, but it works great! I found a great guide to use Github as web hosting for a Jekyll website from Smashingmagazine, this is worth trying!

Metalsmith can also be hosted on Github or your own web hosting. On Sitepoint, there is a great tutorial to use Metalsmith!

4 Host your own WordPress website (easy+ & free)

WordPress is free to use, it’s opensource. There are a lot of free plugins. But you can also choose premium themes and plugins.

Hosting your own WordPress is my all time favorite for blogging. I host my websites at WebFaction, it is very suitable for Web developers from all levels. Via plug and play, you can install the newest WordPress, connect it to a database and host it on your domain.

With your own WordPress website, you can use premium WordPress themes, but nicer is to build your own WordPress theme. The best way to start is with the Underscores base theme. If you want, you can only do the CSS and HTML. It is already full of the best functionality.

5 Serverside Rendered NodeJS applications (advanced, free)

This is a bit of a bonus! I just discovered NextJS and I love it!

There are 2 frameworks I would like to recommend, NextJS (on top of ReactJS) and NuxtJS (on top of Vue). It’s not typically for blogging, but also for building websites.

The nice thing about it is, you can use an API to display your posts and pages. Yes, it is more advanced, but if you like a challenge, this is worth checking!

Next week I will post a video of showing NextJS with the WordPress REST API to build a completly new design for the Mr Frontend Blog!

NodeJS can be hosted for free on Heroku. But my web hosting WebFaction is also supporting NodeJS applications. But I prefer Heroku for testing because of the ease to set it up!

Do need any help with blogging?

If you have any questions about blogging or if I missed some tips about how and why you should start blogging as a Junior Developer, please share them in the comments!

If you liked this podcast, don’t forget to subscribe and share them with others who could be interested!

If you want to support the podcast, blog or video’s financially, you can do that via Patreon.com/mrfrontend. I have a few rewards for those who support me!


Also published on Medium.

Author Raymon S

Lead Frontend Developer ♥ CSS & Sass / Founder of Mr Frontend Community / Coach & Mentor- #HTML #Sass #BEM #JavaScript #AngularJS #responsive #CoderDojo #NodeJS

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