Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

Senior Mindset Book

Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companies

Senior Engineer Mindset cover
Learn more

    Why write

    Writing is a hidden superpower and after doing this for ~15 years – can confirm: It works.

    Fardeem asked in a chatroom, if I had any advice about writing for a junior dev and how I come up with a content strategy. A few folks liked my approach, figured you might too :)

    The no strategy strategy

    My favorite approach to content strategies is a quote from Philip Morgan (of Positioning Manual fame) – I write every day because I think every day.

    This is not the best approach, if you have a goal like sales or a massive audience. But it's a great approach if your goal is to increase your luck surface area and maybe to become an authority in a field. Perhaps even a field that you yourself define based on interests!

    Sidenote: I used this "define your field so you're a top expert in that field" trick to get my greencard

    A super power for structured thought

    I think regular writing is a hidden super power that a lot of people miss out on. Publishing is even better because then you also get feedback. Structured thought is a huge career/success multiplier when you're a few years into your career (less so as a junior) and the earlier you start developing that muscle the better.

    When you're spitballing at a meeting and it all fits together and makes so much sense, nobody knows you've written 5 deep articles about this topic exploring it from all sorts of directions. They just see a fuckin' genius who can anticipate their arguments, has answers ready, and has a proposal that stands up to scrutiny.

    The premature expert trap

    A trap almost everyone falls into when they start writing (I sure did), is writing like an expert when you are not yet an expert. No need! Write what you know. We can tell when you're bullshitting.

    The critical shift you see in people going from junior to senior+ is that they stop speaking from principles and start speaking from experiences. This is important. Share insights you've gained from doing stuff, use research to support those insights.

    Summarizing your research is valuable, but mostly for you. Summarizing your experience is valuable for everyone. Expanding research with experience, that's gold.

    And remember: You are lightyears ahead of everyone who memorized some facts, but hasn't tried to understand.


    PS: if you ever catch me bullshitting, hit that reply button hard

    Published on August 30th, 2023 in Writing, Lessons, Career, Reader question

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Continue reading about Why write

    Semantically similar articles hand-picked by GPT-4

    Senior Mindset Book

    Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companies

    Learn more

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev

    Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Want to get my best emails on JavaScript, React, Serverless, Fullstack Web, or Indie Hacking? Check out swizec.com/collections

    Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created by Swizec with ❤️