Dan Kim

Your ideas are important — share them with the community

Sharing your ideas helps you and others get better. Here’s how to get started.

At least once a week I say to myself, “That’s interesting. I should write something about it.”

And then I don’t. A bunch of excuses fly into my head.

“Lots of people have already covered this. I’m not an expert. Why would anyone care what I think?”

Sound familiar?

I need to constantly remind myself to stop making excuses and that it’s important to share my ideas with the community.

Maybe I can convince you to do the same?

Ditch the excuses

The fundamental flaw in these excuses is assuming your perspective isn’t valuable to others. It’s a convenient excuse to say your viewpoint isn’t unique, so why bother.

But really it’s the exact opposite.

Your perspective is 100% unique — a composite of thousands of life experiences that nobody can replicate. Nothing that’s ever been previously shared has been through your words and the lens of your experiences.

So don’t worry about being original. You already are.

Understand the importance of sharing

You still might be wondering — why should I spend the time and effort to share?

It helps you

Sharing teaches you how to build compelling stories and make persuasive arguments — clearly and concisely. You’ll learn something new about your work every single time you share.

Don’t worry if you’re “just” a beginner. If you make a mistake, the community will offer helpful tips on how you can improve. That’s free advice from a bunch of experienced people that you can learn from!

And don’t forget — you’re simultaneously leveling up your portfolio. Over time you’ll build up a fantastic body of work you can point to at any job interview.

It helps others

Whether you recognize it or not, you didn’t get to where you are alone — you’ve learned and improved with help from a lot of people.

Any time you’ve read a blog post, used an open-source library, or learned from a conference talk, it’s because someone else helped you by sharing their ideas.

So it only makes sense to give back to a community that’s helped you so much already (and will continue to do so).

Don’t worry, it took me a long time to realize this too. But I encourage you to really think about it sometime. It could really serve as strong motivation for you to start putting your stuff out there too.

Get started

Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you that 1) your perspective is valuable and 2) it’s worth your time.

So how should you get started?

Keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration

I read, watch, and listen to a lot of stuff that inspires me to share my thoughts. Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes not.

But the more you consume, the more chances you have to come up with shareable points or counterpoints. Not to mention, simply consuming content is a good way to learn.

Focus on topics that are important to you

I usually loiter at the intersection of learning/teaching, Android, Kotlin, arguing against excessive work, and the importance of teamwork — all things I care about.

Find the subjects you care about, not trending topics. You’ll know you’re on the right track when the ideas are flowing and don’t feel forced.

Find a medium that works for you

For me it’s writing. But there are lots of other ways. Talk at a conference or local meetup. Record a podcast. Shoot a video series. Contribute to an open-source project. Write a gist and tweet it out.

There’s absolutely no shortage of ways to get your ideas out there.

Look at existing examples of sharing that you liked

Read other people’s writing, watch their videos, and listen to their podcasts. What did you like? What would you differently? Use existing content as a model, then make it your own.

Just start!

Inertia is an absolute killer when it comes to sharing, so getting started will be the hardest part. You’ll be a little nervous and overanalyze everything you make. I certainly was.

I wish I had better advice, but you’ll just need to fight through it and get some stuff out there. Once you get past the first couple, it gets easier — and your content will get a lot better too.